Georgia Vote becomes an overtime nail biter
January 6, 2020
On Wednesday at midnight (January 6th) the election campaign between the four candidates who want to fight for US senators for Georgia has only a few thousand votes between them.
CBS News reports that Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock has taken a slight lead over GOP Senator Kelly Loeffler of 50.4 to 49.6 percent. Meanwhile, Jon Ossoff, also a Democrat, is literally 50 to 50 percent connected to Republican Senator David Perdue.
The Democratic challengers seem to be supported by late returnees from countries like DeKalb, Chatham and Fulton, which are democratically oriented and heavily African-American.
Warnock made remarks as he and the other contestants waited for the results, hoping he would win.
"For everyone out there fighting today, whether you voted for me or not, I hear you, I see you, and every day when I'm in the United States Senate I'll fight for you, I'll fight for your family fight." he said.
None of the races have been called up by any of the major news organizations and cannot take place before the morning.
Georgia Runoff goes into Hairthin Margins
While the count continues through Tuesday evening (Jan. 5), the Georgia Senate runoff remains too short to call as the four candidates are all very close to one another and apparently none are pulling out.
Kelly Loeffler was 50.2 to 49.8 percent ahead of Rev. Raphael Warnock, according to CBS News. In the meantime, David Perdue has taken a very slight lead over Jon Ossoff from 50.1 percent to 49.9 percent.
Still, the results could go either way as the votes continue to be counted. According to electoral officials, the early voting resulted in more than 3 million votes. It is still unclear how many people voted on the day of the runoff ballot.
But for the Democrats to win, they likely need very strong appearances in population centers like Fulton, Cobb, Forsyth, Chatham and Gwinnett counties
The Georgia count begins
Polls have been closed across Georgia with the exception of a few places which have been extended to around 7:30 a.m. and now the vote count is starting. On a day when there were few problems nationwide, it was too early to call either race.
A close vote is expected and it is not clear whether the runoff election will be scheduled by the end of Tuesday evening, similar to the presidential election. If not, it will continue through Wednesday, January 6, when Congress will confirm the election of the electoral college that cemented Joe Biden's election as president.
Candidates will look at large population centers such as Fulton County, which includes Atlanta, as well as counties of Gwinnett, Clayton, Cobb and Chatham.
CBS News has kept the numbers coming in from the boroughs all night long.
Local Ga., Plant enables employees to coordinate early
A company that had required its employees in Jackson, Georgia to work until 7 p.m. when the polls are closed has decided to release them at 4:30 p.m. so they can vote.
American Woodmark, a kitchen and bathroom furniture manufacturer based in Winchester, Virginia, has nine facilities across the country.
"We apologize for the misunderstanding of today's plant closure time," the company said in a statement on the Atlanta Journal's constitution. "American Woodmark supports the right to vote for all of our employees."
The law in Georgia stipulates that employees must be given free voting time as long as it does not last longer than two hours. The electoral delegation reached out to the Secretary of State, who said it would contact American Woodmark to remind them of the law.
The Georgia ACLU also emailed the operations officials, saying that denying election time was illegal and had legal ramifications.
"Denying employees the opportunity to vote is against state law and retaliation against employees who leave their jobs to vote could expose your company to legal liability," the AJC said in the email.
Midday: Georgia vote goes smoothly with few problems, officials report
Polls have been open across Georgia for several hours and there have been no reports of major problems, say election officials there.
Although it was previously not known how election day would develop from 12:45 p.m., the polling stations reported waiting times of no more than 30 minutes. According to the Georgia Board of Elections website, there were wait times longer than 20 minutes at only one location.
"After waiting an average of just 2 minutes on November 3rd, the Georgian electoral administration reached a new milestone in terms of effectiveness and efficiency," said Foreign Secretary Brad Raffensperger. "I've always said that after every election, half of the people will be happy and the other half will be disappointed, but everyone should be confident of the reliability of the results."
Tyler Perry didn't let a postal voting error stop him from voting
Georgia voters who requested postal votes but never received it will still be able to vote to vote in person. Filmmaker Tyler Perry is one of those people and that's exactly what he did.
Perry tweeted that he requested a ballot on December 2nd and said it was mailed on December 4th, but he never got it.
Does anyone else have this problem? I ordered my postal vote on December 2nd. I was told it was sent on the 4th. I still don't have it!
– Tyler Perry (@tylerperry) January 4, 2021
But Stacey Abrams, who has campaigned for Georgia voters for the past two years, tweeted back and replied, "We have you."
Even so, Perry, who was out of town and wanted to make sure his vote was counted, decided to return to Georgia, where his studio is located, and cast his vote.
Hey @staceyabrams, I flew home because I didn't get it. I'll be there early in the morning. Too important to miss. Too important to miss!
– Tyler Perry (@tylerperry) January 4, 2021
But Perry also wanted to show everyone that he made it to the elections on Tuesday morning, so he posted an additional post on Instagram.
Shorter lines in some polling stations in Georgia, but longer lines in others
Voter advocate and former gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams tweeted an MSNBC report that lines in the Atlanta area are not as long as expected due to the number of people who voted early.
MSNBC reports that many of the Atlanta Metro polling stations are walking in and out of many polling stations in 5 minutes today because so many Georgians voted early! So if you haven't voted, get out and vote until 7:00 p.m. I count on you. #gapol #gasen
– Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) January 5, 2021
However, there have been reports of longer lines in other parts of the state. In some places because of the number, in others possibly because of problems with voting machines.
The voting round in Fulton County is long this morning. Let's go to Georgia
– Michael (@ michael_tn3) January 5, 2021
Some technical problems arise early
According to official sources, reports have been received from some polling stations in Counties Gwinnett and Columbia.
A scanner was not working in one district in Peachtree Corners, but Gwinnett County spokesman Joe Sorenson said a technician was "dispatched to the site," according to local WXIA station. Another technical error was discovered in a suburb of Augusta, which according to official information will be fixed.
Voters had to temporarily use paper votes instead of using machines. Gabriel Sterling, a state vote official, said this was due to a programming bug with security keys and election worker cards.
Some Problems in Columbia Co. A security key programming error has occurred with some of the site scanners and poll worker cards. Voting on backup emergency votes continues. Newly programmed keys and cards are taken to locations via law enforcement agencies.
– Gabriel Sterling (@GabrielSterling) January 5, 2021
Georgia's choice: who's running and what's at stake
The runoff election in Georgia ends on Tuesday (January 5th). The candidates, Rev. Raphael Warnock, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta; investigative journalist and former congress associate Jon Ossoff; Kelly Loeffler, owner of the WNBA Atlanta Dream; and executive director and politician David Perdue all ran for the US Senate, but none received more than 50 percent of the vote in November.
Under the electoral rules, this meant that a runoff was triggered asking the Georigans to vote again to see who they would send to Congress.
Ossoff, the Democratic challenger, is hoping to knock Perdue, who was elected in 2014, off the field. Meanwhile, Warnock faces up against Loeffler, who was named in 2019 by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp to replace Senator Johnny Isakson, who retired on health grounds.
In polls by FiveThirtyEight.com, Warnock leads the incumbent Senator Kelly Loeffler with 49.6 to 47.6 percent. Ossoff Incumben Perdue now leads with 49.3 to 47.9 percent.
It's about the control of the US Senate. If both Democratic candidates win, it would mean 50 percent of the senators would be Democrats. Under the chairmanship of Kamala Harris as Senate Vice President, she would most likely cast votes in favor of the Democrats so that Joe Biden's administration can move forward with its agenda.
But with a loss and a Republican majority, many crucial pieces of legislation could come to a standstill.
The early voting was closed last Thursday (December 31st) in Georgia. Voters cast more than 3 million ballots. Of these, 2 million were in polling stations and another 1 million were mail-ins.
RELATED: Kamala Harris, Michelle Obama rally hard in Georgia, begs voters to cast ballots for the Senate runoff election
Photo credit: Paras Griffin / Getty Images; Megan Varner / Getty Images; Jessica McGowan / Getty Images; Elijah Nouvelage / Getty Images.
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