BRUNSWICK, Ga. – Democrats won both Georgia Senate seats as final votes were counted Wednesday.
Democratic challengers Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock defeated Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler.
Loeffler has not yet conceded, but the Associated Press and major television networks declared Warnock the winner early Wednesday morning. At midday Wednesday, unofficial results showed Warnock was more than 44,000 votes ahead of Loeffler.
Ossoff led Perdue by fewer than 18,000 votes of nearly 4.5 million cast, with some absentee ballots and provisional votes left to be counted, but the Associated Press and NBC called Ossoff the winner on Wednesday afternoon.
Democrats will now have a majority in the Senate the first two years of Joe Biden’s presidency.
THE VOTE: Results of the Georgia runoffs
David Perdue’s campaign released a statement around 3 a.m. Wednesday, writing they believe Perdue would be victorious once every legally cast ballot was counted. A recount can be requested if neither candidate walks away with at least a 0.5% margin.
Gabriel Sterling with the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office was proactive in answering reporter questions on possible fraud, saying there was no evidence of widespread fraud in the runoff counting. He mentioned specifically a photo on Twitter showed shredded ballots and the user claimed they were at a polling site in Georgia, but that proved to be false.
Camden County voter and military veteran Jerry Fryer thinks Georgians wanted to try something new this election.
“People wanted a change. Just tired of the same old, same old, over and over again. A lot of people just got out and voted. That’s what counts,” Fryer said.
Millions turned out to be counted in the runoff. Sterling said almost 4.4 million people turned out to vote, the most-ever for a runoff in the Peach State. It shatters the previous 2.1 million set in 2008 in the runoff between Republican Saxby Chambliss and Democrat Jim Martin.
For context, 5 million Georgians voted in the 2020 presidential election.
The Associated Press reported that a high number of Black voters helped tipped the scales during the runoff and the general election in the Peach State.
Georgia counties will have until Jan. 15 to certify their election results. The Secretary of State’s deadline to certify state results is Jan. 22.