Georgia election officers are extending using safe poll drop packing containers to be used within the state’s twin Senate runoff elections on Jan. 5, the place the Republican majority in the Senate is at stake.
The five-member Georgia State Election Board, chaired by Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, voted on Monday to increase using the 24/7 monitored drop packing containers to be used by way of the runoffs. Use of the packing containers was initially set to run out in late December.
The transfer comes amid a surge in absentee poll requests within the runoff elections. Officers stated that as of Monday morning 762,000 requests for absentee ballots had been submitted.
A second rule adopted permits counties to proceed to start processing absentee ballots two weeks earlier than Election Day – however now additionally mandates them to begin processing them no later than every week and someday forward of the election. However as per Georgia regulation, not one of the ballots can be tabulated and counted till the polls shut on Jan. 5.
The board didn’t talk about or rule on a measure coping with residency considerations. The secretary of state’s workplace opted as an alternative to ship an official election bulletin to counties concerning residency info.
The deadline to register to vote for the runoff elections is Dec. 7 – and early in-person voting within the twin contests begins on Dec. 14.
Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa on Monday turns into the most recent excessive profile Republican to journey to Georgia to marketing campaign with Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, the Republican incumbents within the runoff elections.
The present stability of energy for the subsequent Senate popping out of this month’s elections is 50 Republicans and 48 Democrats. Which means Democrats should win each of Georgia’s runoff elections to make it a 50-50 Senate. If that happens, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris can be the tie-breaking vote, giving her get together a razor-thin majority within the chamber.
In Georgia, the place state regulation dictates a runoff if no candidate reaches 50% of the vote, Perdue narrowly missed avoiding a runoff, successful 49.75% of the vote. Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff trails by roughly 87,000 votes.
Within the different race, Loeffler captured almost 26% of the vote in a whopping 20-candidate particular election to fill the ultimate two years of the time period of former GOP Sen. Johnny Isakson. The Democratic candidate within the runoff, Rev. Raphael Warnock, received almost 33% of the vote within the first spherical.