ATLANTA (WSAV) — Two years and six elections. Now that Georgia’s final run-off election is in the books and awaiting final certification from counties, voting rights groups are looking to see what went well and how to reach more voters.
The crucial Senate race resulted in incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock winning the runoff by 95,000 votes to serve Georgia for the next six years.
“We elected in the first Black Senator for a full term in the history of this state,” said Deborah Scott, voting rights expert and Georgia Stand Up CEO. “So, now we know that the Democrats have the majority which is going to allow them to get more things passed in Congress.”
Warnock’s win gives the democrats a 51-49 control of the U.S. Senate which means Vice President Kamala Harris will no longer serve as the tiebreaker and this gives the Democrats more control in overseeing committees.
“When you carry those higher percentages in the huge metro-vote counties, you build up, as we saw in the tabulation last night, a huge pile of votes that Herschel Walker — even with a strong turnout by Republicans on election day and even carrying well over 120 counties — can’t quite close the gap,” said political expert Bill Crane.
Voting data shows 3.5 million Georgians voted in the runoffs with a record 1.6 million alone on election day.
“I want for Georgia to continue to be able to grow and thrive,” said Cheri Fields who voted in Tuesday’s runoff election. “At the moment [economic] development is very important to me as well as job opportunities.”
“You know coming out and casting my vote and being a part of this is a way that I can help reflect what I want to be done in the government and make sure that I still have my rights as a woman over my body,” Avery Laril said, who also voted in Tuesday’s election.
Several voting rights groups said this election proves Georgia is a battleground state with a Republican governor and two Democratic Senators.
“We need to look at where people vote, how they vote, how they are notified if they are purged and how to keep people engaged,” Scott said. “It’s monumental that so many people were engaged and keep them engaged.”
State leaders say candidates have three days after initial certification to request a recount but only if there is a 0.5% margin which does not apply in this case since Warnock raked in a 3-point lead.