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Georgia is going to the polls to vote in a second round, which will decide whether President-elect Joe Biden’s Democrats control the Senate.
The Democratic Party must win both seats in the state runoff to gain full control of Congress – and with it the power to push its agenda forward.
Outgoing President Donald Trump’s Republican Party needs to win just one to keep the Senate.
Joe Biden said Georgians could shape the United States for years to come.
President Trump, meanwhile, told voters it was “their last chance to save America,” which they love.
Republicans Kelly Löfler and David Perdue currently hold both Senate seats in Georgia.
Kelly Loefler fights the Rev. Raphael Warnock and David Perdu fights John Osof.
None of the candidates reached the 50% needed to win a full election in November, necessitating Tuesday’s run-off according to Georgia’s election rules. Voting started at 07:00.
The vote will decide the balance of power in the Senate.
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Republicans currently hold 52 of the 100 seats. If both Democrats win on December 5, the Senate will be split evenly, allowing incumbent Democratic MP Kamala Harris to split.
That would be crucial to pushing Joe Biden’s agenda, including on key issues such as health care and environmental regulations – policy areas with strong Republican opposition.
The Senate also has the power to approve or reject Joe Biden’s candidates for cabinet and judicial office.
If John Ossoff and Raphael Warnock win, it will put the White House, Senate and House of Representatives under democratic scrutiny for the first time since President Barack Obama’s 2008 election.
Voting should last about 12 hours, ending at 19:00 local time, although anyone who is still in danger of voting at that time will be allowed to do so.
Democrats are hoping for high turnout and are backed by the fact that more than three million Georgians have already voted – nearly 40% of the country’s registered voters. Early voting was a key benefit for Joe Biden in the presidential election.
Democrats will seek to prove themselves in large metropolitan areas, especially in the suburbs of Atlanta. The issue of long queues of voters may be a bigger problem for them.
For Republicans, the turnout during the day is even more important, and they will look to the North Georgia Fortress, as well as to rural areas and smaller towns.
In general, the results come quickly, but if these races are close, it can take days.
David Purdue almost won for the first time against John Osoff in November, not reaching the required majority of 49.7%. Elsewhere, there were more candidates, with Democrat Rafael Warnock recording 32.9% compared to Kelly Löfler’s 25.9%.
A Democrat has not won a Senate race in Georgia in 20 years, but the party will be strengthened by Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election over Donald Trump there. Joe Biden won about 12,000 votes out of five million.
Georgia’s black community is more than twice the size of America’s national share, making up one-third of the population.
Across America, nine out of 10 black voters supported Joe Biden in the presidential election, according to a survey of more than 110,000 voters for the .