Updated Nov. 11, 8:16 p.m.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced the state will conduct a full recount of votes for the presidential election. All valid Georgia votes, which have given presidential candidate Biden a lead of about 14,000 votes head of President Trump, will be recounted by hand.
Georgia Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, both Republican incumbents facing reelection, criticized the Secretary of State for his decision. The two senators called for Raffensperger’s resignation in a joint statement, stating his “mismanagement and lack of transparency” had “failed to deliver honest and transparent elections."
Updated Nov. 4, 10:31 a.m.
According to data collected by the Associated Press, there are delays in Georgia’s ballot counts due to technical difficulties; Dekalb, Gwinnett, and Fulton counties will continue to count absentee ballots, military and overseas ballots, and provisional ballots through Friday.
With 92% of the vote currently reported, Senator Perdue leads with a steady 50% and Ossoff follows with 47%.
It is too early to call the results as a significant amount of votes have yet to be counted. In a press conference Wednesday morning, the Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger estimated that around 200,000 more absentee ballots and 40-50,000 early votes will be counted throughout the following days.
Updated Nov. 3, 11:14 p.m.
With 90% of the vote reported, incumbent Senator Perdue leads the race with 51% of the vote while Ossoff has 46.7%.
The final ballots to be counted in Georgia will be announced in the morning. Fulton, Dekalb, and Gwinnett counties will likely vote blue, with the potential to sway the vote in Ossoff’s favor. It is approximated that over 86,000 absentee ballots from Fulton county and 80,000 from Gwinnett county will be counted in the vote. These are the two largest counties in Georgia.
Updated Nov. 3, 9:40 p.m.
With 80% of the vote reported, Republican incumbent Senator Perdue leads comfortably with 53.4% to Democrat Ossoff with 44.3%.
Updated Nov. 3, 7:28 p.m.
With 50% of votes reported, incumbent Republican Senator David Perdue maintains his seat with 55.7% of the votes, Democrat Jon Ossoff following with 42%. As Perdue has surpassed the 50% of votes requirement, should votes continue in his favor he will secure the seat and will not need to hold an additional runoff in January.
The special election for incumbent Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler’s seat is led by Democrat Raphael Warnock with 28.7%, followed by Loeffler with 28.5%.
Georgia has two Senate seats up for grabs this year, seats that are especially significant this election, as it could affect partisan control of the Senate.
While Republicans currently hold a 53-45 majority, should the Democratic candidates turn three seats nationally with a Biden win (four with a Trump win), they will take majority control.
The first seat is a fight between incumbent Republican Senator David Perdue, Democrat Jon Ossoff, and Libertarian Shane Hazel (though Hazel, without “spending a dime” according to his official Facebook page, is polling at 4%). Perdue and Ossoff are currently polling at 47% and 46%, respectively (https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/polls/georgia/).
The second seat is much more complicated, with 20 contenders (Yes, 20). Of all the candidates, three are favored in the contest: incumbent Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler, Democratic Reverend Raphael Warnock, and Republican Representative Doug Collins. According to FiveThirtyEight, Loeffler polled at 37% and Collins at 42%, while Warnock led with 51%.
In order to secure the Senate seats, the winning candidate must earn over 50% of the vote, according to Georgia law. Should all contenders fail to do so, the race will end in a runoff taking place on January 5, 2021.
Georgia has been a Republican state in recent decades, but since Democrat Stacey Abrams put up a strong showing in the gubernatorial race in 2018, the number of registered voters has risen a significant 9%. This rise was due largely to Abrams’s efforts to increase voter registration statewide. Mr. Ossoff was quoted as saying in the Wall Street Journal, “We see a clear path to an outright win if turnout is as strong as it can be,” which looks promising for Democrats considering the increase of newly-registered voters.
The incumbent Senator Perdue’s platform briefly reviews his claimed economic successes, namely the robust roll-backs to energy regulations and tax breaks he has supported for small businesses and families in Georgia. His campaign does not address concrete measures to fight COVID-19, but mentions the phased reopening he helped implement in Georgia as well as the SCHOOLS act, which was passed to help students return safely to school.
Perdue is against defunding the police, but supports programs to better train police officers in de-escalation. Other notable issues include his pro-life agenda, support for anti-immigration policies that include funding border patrol agents, and funding the construction of a “physical barrier” (https://perduesenate.com/david-on-the-issues-2/) at the border.
On the other side, Ossoff supports policies that lower taxes for all but “the wealthiest Americans,” (https://electjon.com/policy/) reduce subsidies for Wall Street, and provide free public college for all. He also supports the upholding of Medicare, which Perdue wants to cut, and the option for public health insurance for those who prefer it to private. Ossoff will push for investments in clean energy and increased public transportation as well as pushing for increased environmental policies and the re-entering of the Paris Climate Accord.
Ossoff claims he will work to pass a New Civil Rights Act to combat the systemic racism that plagues our criminal justice system and beyond. He is pro-choice, and supports the Equality Act for the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals. He also supports gun-safety reforms and believes in upholding the Second Amendment.
Incumbent Senator Kelly Loeffler was forced to resign from her seat after a scandal in January, in which Loeffler was accused of profiteering from insider information regarding COVID-19. Loeffler’s run this election follows an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Senate Ethics Committee which both concluded in the exoneration of all charges; a spokesperson said of Loeffler’s innocence, “Despite the obvious attempts by the media, political opportunists and liberal groups like CREW and Common Cause to distort reality, facts still matter and the truth is prevailing.”
Loeffler is running to secure her seat for two final years in the Senate with a platform that focuses on supporting agriculture workers and families, and pushes for health insurance reforms and roll-backs on regulations for businesses. Her platform echoes President Trump’s strong anti-China rhetoric (especially regarding COVID-19) and his anti-immigration policies.
Loeffler is pro-life and introduced a bill to ban Medicaid funding to abortion providers. She believes that Medicare-For-All and the Green New Deal are socialist attacks on liberty. The Senator intensely defends the second amendment and President Trump’s investments in the military; according to her website, she supports a robust national defense.
Representative Doug Collins’s issues page on his official website lists his priorities numerically, the first of which is “Supporting President Trump.” The other focuses of his platform include his anti-abortion beliefs, the right to bear arms, supporting law enforcement and veterans, reducing taxes, and supporting agricultural workers and their families. His platform is similar to that of Senator Loeffler but is presented in a direct way, making his beliefs and subsequent political interests plain and clear.
Collins has implemented a significant amount of legislation in support of his pro-life and pro-gun rights views. He also directly addresses his opponent Loeffler, asserting ways in which he will more successfully defend gun rights as Loeffler’s WNBA team had partnered with Everytown for Gun Safety. While Collins' platform does not discuss in depth his plans to implement the legislation he advocates for, it proudly displays his conservative accolades and endorsements.
Reverend Raphael Warnock’s platform focuses on the protection of Georgia’s agriculture workers and their families, climate change, criminal justice reform, and access to affordable healthcare. His campaign also advocates for access to education for all, women’s reproductive rights, and equality for the LGBTQ+ community. Warnock supports the expansion of the Affordable Care Act and has suggested measures that he will take as Senator to implement his proposed changes.
Warnock has a history of working on environmental justice as a Reverend, and argues the importance of fighting climate change and environmental racism. He has an in-depth list of intended measures to tackle climate change and to create jobs in clean energy.