How to Follow the Georgia Senate Runoffs

Elections, Senate Georgia Loeffler, Kelly L Ossoff, Jon Perdue, David A Jr Warnock, Raphael G
The New York Times will provide live coverage of two races in Georgia that will determine control of the Senate.

First, the races:

Georgia polls open at 7 a.m. on Tuesday in the all-important Senate runoff elections, but we won’t start getting results until shortly after voting locations start closing at 7 p.m. With New York Times reporters on the ground across the state, here’s a quick guide for how to follow along.

The second race is a special election between Senator Kelly Loeffler, a Republican, and the Rev. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat. In a crowded field in November, Mr. Warnock got 32.9 percent of the vote and Ms. Loeffler, who was appointed to her seat, got 25.9 percent. The winner of the runoff will serve out the remainder of former Senator Johnny Isakson’s term, which ends in 2022.

One is a regularly scheduled contest in which Senator David Perdue, a Republican, is running for a second term against Jon Ossoff, a Democrat. Mr. Perdue almost won in November but ended up just shy of a majority, with 49.7 percent of the vote to Mr. Ossoff’s 47.9 percent, triggering a runoff under Georgia law.

We’ll have a good idea by midmorning Tuesday about what turnout looks like: Democrats are counting on big numbers in major cities and the Atlanta suburbs, and Republicans need a lot of voters in smaller cities, rural areas and strongholds like northern Georgia.

If Democrats win both races, they will create a 50-50 split in the Senate, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris acting as tiebreaker. If Republicans win either race, they will retain control of the Senate and the ability to block much of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s agenda.

You can also follow the vote counts on The Times’s results pages, which will include live analysis from reporters. These pages will go live Tuesday afternoon.

The Times will be covering the runoffs all day and night. A live blog will be published Tuesday morning, and a link will be added to this article once it is available.

Long lines could also cause delays. (Any Georgian who is in line by 7 p.m. has the right to vote.) In past elections, lines have been a particular problem in and around cities, like Atlanta, that have large Black populations and are heavily Democratic.

When we’ll know the winners is an open question. With results coming in around 7:30 p.m., we could know who won by late Tuesday night — but if the races are very tight, it could also take several days. While more than three million Georgians voted early, their ballots can’t be tabulated until the polls close.

When Georgia’s early voting period for the general election began in October, some voters in Atlanta and its suburbs, such as Fulton and Gwinnett Counties, waited as long as eight hours, and lines were also long in Chatham County, which includes Savannah. In the state’s primary election in June, it was past midnight by the time the last voters — all of whom had been in line by 7 p.m. — cast their ballots.
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