Georgia’s runoff races could ’tilt the power of the U.S. Senate’

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV)- With two Senate races headed for a runoff, all eyes are focused on Georgia. The winners will likely determine if President-elect Joe Biden will have a democratic majority in both chambers of Congress.

“Georgia is literally in a position to tilt the power of the U.S. Senate,” said Antwan Lang with the Chatham County Board of Elections.

Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Senator David Perdue are already campaigning to face each other on Jan. 5.

Lang says Georgians should prepare for a bombardment of political ads and high profile endorsements for both candidates.

“I think there is going to be a major investment from both parties to educate voters on the importance of the two seats in terms of its power structure,” said Lang. “And the strategic nature in the U.S. Senate.”

Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler and Democrat Raphael Warnock are facing the same fate after neither secured 50% of the votes.

Political science professor Bruce Mallard says it’s unclear if is Joe Biden’s projected win will influence voter behavior.

“I would say that it is a good possibility that people might be swayed by that,” said Mallard who teaches at Savannah State University. “Although, they may still like their candidate and want to vote for their candidate and care less about the composition of the Senate.”

As it stands now, the Senate is poised to comprise of 48 democrats and 48 republicans. Georgia is one of three states with Senate races headed for a runoff.

“If it comes down to 50-50, then the vice president can vote to break ties,” said Mallard. “She’s obviously a democrat, so that would work in their favor.”

Those wishing to vote absentee can request a ballot on the Secretary of State’s online portal. Absentee ballots will go out on Nov. 18.

If you aren’t registered to vote, you have until Dec. 7 to do so. Early in-person voting begins on Dec. 14, and election day is on Jan. 5.

Voters who voted absentee on Nov. 3 and are qualified as military, disabled, or older than 65 will get their rollover ballot for Jan. 5.

The Board of Registrars say absentee drop boxes will stay in place in all 159 of Georgia’s counties.

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