Runoff Elections Canceled

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

A week after Georgia’s Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker lost to incumbent Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock, Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger calls on the state’s lawmakers to end General Election runoffs.

On Wednesday (December 14), Raffensperger released a statement highlighting that the peach state is “one of the only states in the country” that has a runoff for the General Election.

He added that Georgia was one of the only states with runoff elections where the General Election’s outcome was always decided by runoff.

He then added he was calling on the “General Assembly” to examine legislation surrounding General Election Runoffs and “consider reforms.”

When Warnock beat Walker in Georgia’s Senate runoff, the incumbent Senators victory added one seat to the Democrats Senate Majority — before Arizona Senator Kirsten Sinema announced she would leave the party to become an Independent.

A runoff was triggered when Warnock didn’t obtain 50 percent of the vote.
Georgia law requires the winning candidate to secure a 50 percent majority to avoid runoffs.

Only one other state, Louisiana, has such legislation.

Other states require candidates to secure a plurality of the vote to claim victory.

Alaska and Maine, the other states with out-of-the-ordinary voting processes, rely on ranked choice to decide elections.

Raffensperger argued Georgia’s Runoff Elections system — which also requires runoffs to be carried out in four weeks rather than nine weeks as was the case in prior years — is too demanding.

The time frame meant runoffs were often overlapping Thanksgiving, something Raffensperger highlighted in his statement, noting, “No one wants to be dealing with politics in the middle of their family holiday.”