The Georgia Runoff

The Georgia Runoff

On December 6th, the Georgia runoff for senator included democratic Senator Raphael Warnock and republican Herschel Walker.

The results yielded 51.4% of the votes for Warnock and 48.6% for Walker, making the democratic senator our winner.

Why a Runoff?

Since the 1960s, there has been a majority voting law in place in Georgia that states that a candidate must acquire at least 50% of the votes to be the winner.

This law was created by a man named Denmark Groover, who was a segregationist legislator. He fought for this law due to his reelection loss in 1958, which he blamed on Black voters.

When he won his seat back in 1963, he made it his first job to put legislation in place that switched Georgia’s plurality voting system to a majority one. The difference is that with plurality, the candidate with the most votes wins, but with majority voting, a candidate must obtain at least 50% of the votes to be declared winner. Meaning that if a singular candidate does not reach that goal the first go-around, there must be a run-off election between the two candidates with the most votes.

This made it, and still makes it, extremely difficult for any minority group to elect a candidate. And we know that this is exactly what Groover intended as he came out two decades after the introduction of the majority voting system and said he was a racially prejudiced man, and that some of his political activity was racially motivated.

Yet the majority voting system still stands to this day, regardless of the historically rooted racism it hold.

The 2022 Runoff

On November 8th, 2022, neither candidates got over half of the votes, which lead to the runoff. And contrary to the original purpose of the legislation that created this rule, both candidates were Black men, making this a historic runoff.

What the Runoff Results do to the United States Senate

After this year’s mid-term elections, the democrats led the senate by a 50-49 majority. Now with Senator Warnock’s victory, they lead with a 51-49 majority, officially solidifying their power in the Senate.