Six weeks after the contentious US presidential election, early in-person voting began Monday in Georgia ahead of a new fateful political moment: twin runoff races that will determine the balance of power in the Senate.
The southeastern state’s highly-anticipated January 5 runoffs have garnered national attention as the outcome will help determine how much of President-elect Joe Biden’s ambitious political agenda can get through Congress and into law.
Democrats need to flip both seats in order to seize Senate control, while Republicans must hold just one to maintain their majority.
Members of President Donald Trump’s party have framed Georgia as must-win races, with the state forming the last line of defense against what they describe as a radical, left wing agenda.
Biden was declared winner of the November 3 election, and he scored an upset when he became the first Democrat to win Georgia since 1992.
Democratic organizers point to Biden’s win as proof that enough votes exist to flip the Senate seats in a state that has tilted Republican for decades but whose demographics are shifting.
Trump has refused to accept the election outcome, repeatedly stating without evidence that it was “rigged” and that results in swing states that backed Biden should be overturned.
The president’s unprecedented effort to subvert the results has failed, and the Electoral College began voting Monday to formally recognize Biden as the next US president.