Raffensperger calls for end to Runoff Races for General elections

“No one wants to be dealing with politics in the middle of their family holiday”

ATLANTA, Georgia (WDEF) – The official in charge of elections in Georgia wants to do away with runoff elections.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is taking his case to the state legislature.

The last three U.S. Senate races in Georgia have gone to runoffs, including the most recent between Sen. Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker.

“Georgia is one of the only states in country with a General Election Runoff,” said Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. “We’re also one of the only states that always seems to have a runoff. I’m calling on the General Assembly to visit the topic of the General Election Runoff and consider reforms.”

He says runoffs for November elections are hard on both the voter and election officials.

“No one wants to be dealing with politics in the middle of their family holiday,” said Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. “It’s even tougher on the counties who had a difficult time completing all of their deadlines, an election audit and executing a runoff in a four-week time period.”

Georgia’s history of who gets on the ballot and the runoff goes back further than the current political dynamic in the state.

The Georgia ballot has always been tougher to get onto than most other states, requiring more signatures and more money to qualify.

Then the state added the runoff provision, arguably to decrease the chance that a third-party candidate could change the outcome.

Those decisions date back to the era when Democrats ruled the state and Republicans were almost unheard of.

Critics say the election system was set up to protect the party in power from both other parties and from African American candidates from Atlanta winning statewide seats.

These days, most statewide races have Democratic and Republican candidates, plus a possible third party (usually a Libertarian). If the third party candidate gets enough votes to deny the front runner 50% plus one vote, it goes to a runoff.

In the most recent November race for U.S. Senate, Warnock lead the field 49%-48%-2%. But since he did not clear 50%, the race went to a runoff.

Ga Senate

Seven other statewide races, including the Governor’s race, were all decided without runoffs (All won by Republican candidates). Sec. Raffensperger was one of the winners, himself, winning with 53% of the vote.

The Senate Runoff without the Libertarian basically ended with the same, close result.

Runoff Final

Categories: Government & Politics, Regional News