Wednesday, January 6, 2021 8:54 am
Elections for the two Senate seats in the US state of Georgia are too close to call, with 98% of votes counted, BBC reported this morning.
The outcome will, as the report has it, determine control of the US Senate and with it President-elect Joe Biden’s chances of getting his legislative agenda passed.
The report has it further: “Republicans currently control the Senate. The Democrats would need to win both seats to take the majority.
The election is being rerun because none of the candidates achieved the 50% needed under state rules in November.
Republicans Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue are neck and neck with Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff.
Early on Wednesday, Mr Warnock claimed victory against Ms Loeffler, although some votes remain to be counted.
Although Mr Biden’s Democrats would need to take both seats to gain full control of Congress, the Republican party of outgoing President Donald Trump needs only to win one in order to retain the Senate.
When will we get a result?
All four candidates are in a dead heat, with 98% of ballots counted from Georgia’s 159 counties.
Mr Warnock has a wafer-thin lead over Ms Loeffler, while Mr Perdue is tied with Mr Ossoff.
‘I’ve never seen this energy in Georgia before’
Why is the Georgia election so important?
Thousands of votes remain to be counted in the Atlanta suburbs such as DeKalb County, which is expected to go heavily for the Democrats. The BBC’s US partner CBS News still rates both races as toss-ups.
Georgia election official Gabriel Sterling told CNN that final results were expected by lunchtime on Wednesday (about 17:00 GMT).
More than three million votes – about 40% of the state’s registered voters – were cast before Tuesday. Early voting was a key benefit for Mr Biden in November’s White House election.
Meanwhile, Mr Trump – whose unsubstantiated claims that he was the victim of electoral fraud left Republican strategists worried about turnout in Tuesday’s Senate runoffs – continued to cast aspersions on the integrity of the vote in Georgia.
On Saturday, Mr Trump pushed Georgia’s top election official Brad Raffensperger, a fellow Republican, to “find” enough votes to overturn Mr Biden’s presidential election win in the state.
Read more in BBC