UPDATE 5:30 p.m. 11/14: ADDS RLA to be held Thursday and Friday in Hampton
People across the United States are watching Georgia’s December 6 U.S. Senate runoff between Democrat Sen. Raphael Warnock and challenger Herschel Walker. Whoever wins will give Democrats the power to appoint hundreds of federal judges to lifetime seats.
Today’s the deadline to count any outstanding overseas and military ballots, as well as any provisional ballots people might have casted on Election Day.
Early voting starts Monday, November 28 and ends Friday, December 2. If you plan to vote a paper advance/absentee ballot, you only have a few days left to request one. However, a check of the My Voter Page showed “Error: No Active Elections Found” when we clicked on the “View Sample Ballot” button, and no sample ballot for the runoff appeared on the Clayton County Elections and Registration website as of press time Monday morning. Under SB202, voters only have eleven days to request an absentee/advance paper ballot.
Complicating matters for elections officials is a risk-limiting audit that has to be done this week. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has ordered elections officials to audit his own race with Democratic challenger Bee Nguyen. Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Stephen Fowler explains the RLA process in more detail.
Clayton County will hold its risk-limiting audit on Thursday, Nov. 17 and Friday, Nov. 18 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the South Clayton Recreation Center, 1837 McDonough Road in Hampton. The public is welcome to observe the process.
Under Georgia law, early voting can start “as soon as possible” after the primary but no later than the week before the election. Don’t count on casting a ballot over Thanksgiving weekend: Early voting will take place from Monday, Nov. 28 through Friday, Dec. 2.
Over the weekend, a tweet by MSNBC producer Kyle Griffin that “we don’t need Georgia” to win a Democratic Senate majority drew thousands of critical replies. Griffin eventually deleted his tweet.
Because turnout for runoffs is usually lower than for primary or general elections, Georgia Democrats have their hands full. Turnout in Clayton County was under 50 percent, despite an increase in registered voters. Georgia Republicans will be looking to woo the 2% of voters who cast ballots for Libertarian Chase Oliver, and it wouldn’t take many of those voters to tip the race in Walker’s favor.
Questions? Call the Clayton County Elections and Registration Office at (770) 477-3372.