USA: Record turnout in runoff for Senate posts in Georgia

A few days before the Senate runoff elections in the US state of Georgia, a record turnout is emerging. More than 2.8 million eligible voters took the opportunity to cast their votes before the actual vote on January 5, according to state data released on Thursday.

That is significantly more than in the Senate election in 2008 when a total of 2.1 million votes were cast. Democrats and Republicans are vying for two senatorial posts. The outcome decides whether the future President Joe Biden can rule with the support of a parliamentary majority, or whether he has to deal with a divided Congress, which could make it much more difficult for him to implement many projects or fill important cabinet positions.

The runoff election was necessary because none of the candidates in the November 3 congressional election could win the absolute majority required. So far, Republicans have held the posts with Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue.

If they can defend at least one of the two seats, the Republicans retain a majority in the Senate. However, if the Democrats – Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossof – capture both seats, there will be a 50-50 stalemate. In the event of a tie vote in the chamber, it would then be up to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to use her voting rights to bring about a decision. The Democrats would effectively have an advantage in both chambers of Congress, because they already have a majority in the House of Representatives.

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