Warnock and Ossoff Win Senate Races in Georgia

Democrat Raphael Warnock beat incumbent Republican Kelly Loeffler to make history, becoming the first ever Black senator from Georgia, according to CNN. Democrat Jon Ossoff also defeated incumbent Republican David Perdue. Ossoff is the first Jewish senator to represent Georgia.

“Tonight, we proved that with hope, hard work, and the people by our side, anything is possible,” Warnock said in a virtual victory speech, according to NPR.

As a result, Democrats now have a 50-50 split with Republicans in the Senate. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will break any tied votes.

Ossoff spoke earlier in the day. He said now is the time to unite in the face of these unprecedented times.

“At this moment of crisis, as Covid-19 continues to ravage our state and our country, when hundreds of thousands have lost their lives, millions have lost livelihoods, Georgia families are having difficulty putting food on the table — fearing foreclosure or eviction, having difficulty making ends meet — let’s unite now to beat this virus and rush economic relief to the people of our state and to the American people,” Ossoff said.

The Senate runoff elections ran “smoothly,” Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, said, according to WXIA-TV. This despite the fact President Donald Trump tweeted otherwise.

Voters in Columbia County reportedly resorted to temporarily using paper ballots due to a programming error involving the scanners used for election ballots. However, Gabriel Sterling, the voting system implementation manager in the Secretary of State’s Office, tweeted every vote was  “protected and counted.”

(This story has been updated.)