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Georgia’s top Republican elections official wants to end runoffs, says they interfere with family holidays

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Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s GOP secretary of state, called on the General Assembly to end general election runoffs in the Peach State after about 60 years of using the system.

‘Georgia is one of the only states in the country with a General Election Runoff,’ Raffensperger wrote in a press release on Wednesday.

‘We’re also one of the only states that always seems to have a runoff. I’m calling on the General Assembly to visit the topic of the General Election Runoff and consider reforms,’ he said, after the state’s past two Senate elections fell into a runoff.

In his statement, Raffensperger noted Georgia’s General Assembly will meet in January and will have several options to reform the system if they choose to proceed.

‘No one wants to be dealing with politics in the middle of their family holiday,’ the secretary of state continued. ‘It’s even tougher on the counties who had a difficult time completing all of their deadlines, an election audit and executing a runoff in a four-week time period.’

Raffensperger, who recently won his race for re-election, also mentioned Georgia’s record turnout in the 2022 midterms and touted the state’s mail-in voting system. 

Georgia’s runoffs were originated in the 1960s by former Democratic state Rep. Denmark Grover, after he lost his race for re-election. The process requires that in order for a candidate to win a general election in Georgia, they must receive 50% or more of the overall vote or the race goes to a runoff. 

The urge to reform the election system comes after the midterm Senate race between GOP nominee Herschel Walker and Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., resulted in a Dec. 6 runoff. The state began early voting Nov. 26, days after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Warnock was ultimately named the victor of the race, marking the second successful runoff for the senator in just two years.

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