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Voters cast their ballots in Georgia’s Senate runoff elections Voters cast their ballots in Georgia’s Senate runoff elections  (Elijah Nouvelage)

Georgia votes in runoff election to decide control of US Senate

Residents of the US state of Georgia vote Tuesday in two runoff races which will determine the balance of power in the Senate.

By Vatican News staff writer

Voters in Georgia returned to the polls on Tuesday to cast ballots in a pair of Senate runoff elections.

Campaigning by both Republicans and Democrats has been fierce in the past weeks.

The results will determine which party controls the upper house of Congress.

Control of Congress

If the Democratic candidates win both races, the Senate will be split equally 50-50, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris providing a tie-breaking vote in the party’s favor.

If Republicans win either seat, they will control the Senate. Democrats already hold a narrow majority in the House of Representatives.

Georgia’s runoff race will also determine the capacity of President-elect Joe Biden, a Democrat, to enact legislation and have high-level government posts confirmed.

Many Cabinet positions and judicial nominees require Senate confirmation.

Runoff candidates

The Republican candidates in Tuesday’s election are Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, who currently hold Georgia’s two Senate seats.

They face Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, respectively.

No candidate received 50 percent of the vote in November, required by the state’s election laws.

Mr. Perdue fell just short of that amount, taking 49.7 percent.

Mr. Warnock received nearly 33 percent against Ms. Loeffler’s almost 26 percent, since there were more contenders for the seat.

Election results

Polls opened early Tuesday morning, though around 3 million ballots have already been cast in early in-person voting and mail-in ballots.

The winners are unlikely to be announced soon after polls close on Tuesday.

Election officials cannot start counting votes until after all ballots are cast.

05 January 2021, 15:54