Georgia Runoff Elections

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REUTERS

Republican U.S Senators David Perdue (top L) and Kelly Loeffler (bottom L) and their Georgia runoff election challengers, Democratic U.S. Senate candidates Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock, are seen in a combination of file photos. REUTERS/Staff

Leonard Blachly-Preston, Staff Writer

The Senate, which is currently controlled by the Republican Party, hangs in the balance, as both of the Senate elections in Georgia head into run-offs today. 

As of right now, the Republicans have won 50 seats, the Democrats have won 48, and the final two seats hang in the balance. Georgia’s runoff election will determine who controls the Senate. The Democrats have to hold out hope that they can win both seats because the 51st vote in the Senate would go to Kamala Harris, who as the Vice President controls the Senate when it is a 50-50 split. This would be preferable, as a Senate controlled by one party with a President from the opposite party is difficult, as the Senate will not approve many laws made by the President.

The two races in Georgia have become the focus of many people, as more and more disturbing information is uncovered about the two incumbent senators. These two senators are both Republicans and supporters of many laws that President Trump has proposed. Meanwhile, the two candidates hoping to beat the incumbents to take control of the Senate have both been described as “Some of the most progressive candidates in the party.” 

The first race is between Republican Kelly Loeffler and the Democratic Reverend Raphael Warnock. Kelly Loeffler has served in the US Senate only since 2020, as she was appointed by the Governor of Georgia to replace a senator who President Trump had picked to become part of his cabinet. However this means that she is so far only a junior senator because she has not been elected. She has sided with President Trump on many things, and she recently announced that she will vote against certifying the election results for Biden’s victory. 

There are several other Republican senators so far who have said the same thing about the election results, saying that they will refuse to certify the election results because they were fraudulent. This is a last-ditch attempt to keep President Trump in office, as he has continuously claimed the election results were fraudulent, despite the fact that top election officials including the Department of Homeland Security have said that this was the “most secure election in US history,” and that there is no proof behind his claims.

The opponent of Loeffler is the Reverend Raphael Warnock. He is 51 years old, and he is a pastor and politician. He has been the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta since 2005. Warnock came to prominence in Georgia politics as a leader in the campaign to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. He has brought ideas to the table that will expand voter rights in Georgia, because Stacy Abrams has made it very clear that voter suppression is real and very prominent in Georgia.

One huge problem with our country that is being tackled by Stacy Abrams, a former candidate for governor of Georgia, is voter suppression. Ever since the 15th Amendment was passed, which said you cannot deny the right to vote based on a person’s race, people all across the country have been fighting to keep African-American voters away from the polls. 

Nowhere is this more visible than the state of Georgia.

More than 200,000 eligible African-American voters did not vote in the 2016 Presidential election because of voter suppression. This means that people did things to keep them away from the polls, scared them, and even threatened them with weapons. Georgia’s government so far has done nothing about it, however, issues that are being tackled by Warnock and Abrams include voter suppression. In the 2018 governor’s race, more than 100,000 African-American people voted who had not voted in the 2016 Presidential race. Despite this, Abrams lost the election.

A win in this race for Senate would mean that Georgia would most likely become a much more integrated state when you look at who voted. This is a hope to end that kind of abuse towards people only because of the color of their skin. 

The other Senate race involves Republican David Perdue, an incumbent, against new candidate Democrat Jon Ossoff. Perdue won the race 6 years ago and has been serving since 2015, and he too has sided with Trump on far too many issues that suppress voters. He has had some very controversial moments, including one only a day before his election, where he threatened the wife of the Georgia secretary of state, over his phone call with Trump.

The president had an hour-long phone call with the Georgia secretary of state, in hopes that he would be able to convince him that there was some sort of voter fraud in Georgia and that he should get a recount, and earn 11,000 more votes. The president asked multiple times to receive fraudulent votes himself, because the win in Georgia secured Biden’s election victory, and in the mind of the President, it seems that he thinks that he can win by raising enough doubt in the election that people will start to believe him. 

Despite this, the secretary of state for Georgia held his ground and firmly refused to bite any hooks that the president tossed him. Trump threatened him, saying that he would prosecute him because the secretary of state is hiding votes, despite the fact that it would be nearly impossible to make off with 11,800 votes, which is the number the president needs to supposedly win.

Perdue threatened the wife of the Georgia secretary of state because he refused to uncover the supposed 11,800 votes that the President needs to win, and now the Georgia secretary of state is demanding an apology, saying that he will take action against Perdue because of these threats. Despite this, Perdue has refused to back down. But we do know that there is even more dirt of the two incumbents than we thought. 

We have learned that both Perdue and Loeffler both received secret briefings about the pandemic, and made investments based on their insider information. 

But the person running against Perdue, Jon Osoff, is a very young candidate, at only 33 years old, Ossoff was the Democratic nominee in the very, very expensive 2017 special election for Georgia’s 6th congressional district, which had long been considered a Republican stronghold. After finishing first, but without more than 50% of the vote in the primary, he lost the runoff with 48.2% of the vote to Republican Karen Handel’s 51.8%. He is a filmmaker, as well as an investigative journalist, a position that allows him to have a very important role in the Senate, as this is similar to the qualities of Kamala Harris.

As of yesterday, the race between Warnock and Loeffler is very close, with Warnock leading by 1%, and the race between Perdue and Osoff is tied with both of them at 50% in the polls. Despite this, it means very little,  because time and time again, the polls have been off, because more people vote for one side than expected.

The Senate hangs in the balance until every single vote is counted.