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Runoff Elections Outlawed?

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is calling for legislators to change the state’s election process and to remove the state’s runoff system as it burdens both voters and election officials.

Raffensperger noted that Georgia is currently one of the very few states that have a General Election runoff. He added that it also seems like they always have a runoff election. This is why he asked the General Assembly to consider what possible reforms they could have.

These comments by Raffensperger came only a week after Georgia held its runoff elections for the Senate midterm election. This is the second runoff election that the state has had to organize within less than two years. The runoff Senate race allowed Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) to defeat Republican Herschel Walker which allowed the Democrats to increase their majority in the Senate.

Currently, state laws require that a candidate needs to receive more than 50 percent of the votes, if they do not then they cannot win the election. If no candidate hits the threshold then the election automatically heads to a runoff election.

Apart from Georgia, only Louisiana has a similar system in which runoff elections are required if none of the candidates manages to receive the majority vote in the election.

A new law that passed last year also made Georgia’s runoff elections much more demanding as the period that was specified for the new runoff elections was cut from nine weeks to four weeks. Raffensperger has noted that this is extremely demanding on both county officials and voters, especially when the voting period is around the holidays.

Written by CFP Staff Writer

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