Jan. 4 (UPI) — Voters will head to the polls in Georgia on Tuesday in a runoff election that will determine the balance of the Senate.
Republican U.S. Senate incumbent David Perdue and appointee Kelly Loeffler face challenges by Democratic candidates Jon Ossoff and David Warnock, as none of the candidates were able to meet a 50% threshold in November’s election.
If both Ossoff and Warnock are victorious, Republicans and Democrats would hold 50 seats each in the Senate, allowing Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to break ties in votes along party lines.
More than 3 million Georgians cast early votes in the election, including more than 2 million who voted in person and 928,000 by mail.
In addition to the Senate race, Georgia has become the focus of national attention as President Donald Trump has called the presidential election that saw him lose the state to President-elect Joe Biden “rigged” and asked Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, in a phone call that was recorded to “find” the votes necessary to overturn the results of the election.
Trump has tied his challenges to the presidential election to the Senate race, warning Raffensperger in the call that a failure to overturn the election result would cost the Republican senators at the polls.
He has also suggested that Loeffler and Perdue may be critical for a challenge of the election results in the Senate.
A group of about a dozen Republican senators, led by Ted Cruz, R-Texas, have said they plan to object to the upcoming certification of Electoral College votes and are call for an emergency audit of the results.
On Monday, Loeffler said she would object to the certification process on her own, separate from Cruz’s coalition.
“Elections are the bedrock of our democracy and the American people deserve to be 100% confident in our election system and its outcomes,” she said in a statement.
“But right now, tens of millions of Americans have real concerns about the way in which the November presidential election was conducted — and I share their concerns.”
Biden has referred to Ossoff and Warnock as “doers” who will help to implement his policy plans, and on Monday said they’d guarantee a Democratic majority that would revisit the $ 2,000 stimulus payments opposed by Senate Republicans.
“That money will go out the door immediately and help people who are in real trouble,” Biden said. “Millions of people in this country are out of work through no fault of their own.”