After a pause in vote counting Tuesday night, the vote count continued in Georgia on Wednesday after yesterday’s special Senate runoff election, which saw Republican David Perdue face Democrat Jon Ossoff, a filmmaker, and Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) face Democrat Raphael Warnock, a pastor.
The special election was a campaign between two political aspirants. Loeffler, 50, a wealthy financial executive, co-owns Atlanta’s WNBA team and is married to the President of the New York Stock Exchange. She was appointed in 2019 by Gov. Brian Kemp after longtime Sen. Johnny Isakson stepped down due to declining health. Perdue, 71, grabbed national attention when he appeared to mock Kamala Harris’ name at a Trump rally. Though his team said that he “didn’t mean anything by it,” the gaffe turned into a major fundraising boost for Ossoff’s campaign. Purdue was elected to the U.S. Senate in the 2014 midterm elections. He almost won a second term outright in November, pulling 49.7% of the vote while Ossoff garnered about 48%.
Projections on Wednesday indicate that Warnock, 51, will win the race against Loeffler. The race between Ossoff, 33, and Perdue is extremely close, with less than 1% separating the two candidates.
In a scene that closely resembled the presidential election on Nov. 3, the Georgia special election was fraught with voting irregularities and evidence of potential election fraud. On Tuesday evening, President Trump alleged that a big “voter dump” was being set up against GOP candidates Loeffler and Perdue.
Looks like they are setting up a big “voter dump” against the Republican candidates. Waiting to see how many votes they need?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2021
Trump’s remarks came after Chatham and Fulton County announced Tuesday night that they would pause vote counting until Wednesday morning. At the same time, a technical issue apparently caused a delay in DeKalb County’s vote count. The glitch meant 19,000 ballots would need to be manually scanned to be added to the total vote count.
Rassmussan tweeted Wednesday morning that force was again being used to prevent either party from observing or from overseeing absentee ballots and signature verifications, going against the superior court’s order which requires them to be allowed.
Reports of malfunctioning Dominion Voting equipment surfaced on Tuesday in some locations, including Columbia County. State voting official Gabriel Sterling blamed the county’s problems on a programming error for security keys and poll worker cards. After discovering the problem, law enforcement took newly programmed codes and key cards to voting locations.
The Stevens Creek Church voting site in Columbia County was one polling location that experienced machine issues. According to the polling manager, a code provides staff members access to the systems to start them up for the day. However, that code was wrong Tuesday morning. When this occurs, staff members report the problem to the elections office, which must re-initiate that code and get the systems back up. Poll workers started issuing emergency paper ballots on Tuesday until their systems came back up.
In another instance, numbers for David Purdue disappeared in real-time on CNN and other networks on election night when close to 32,000 votes suddenly vanished from Perdue’s vote count.
Here’s the -31k for Perdue earlier in the evening. And we’ve got this documented on five networks thus far: pic.twitter.com/xybUagmApJ
— Kevin McCullough (@KMCRadio) January 6, 2021
If Democrats win both Senate races, they will hold 48 Senate seats. Bernie Sanders and Angus King, the two Independent senators, both caucus with the Democrats. Meanwhile, the Republicans would hold 50 seats. If Joe Biden becomes the president, Vice President Kamala Harris would be the tiebreaker in the event of any 50-50 split votes in the chamber. Therefore, the Democrats would be the majority party and hold the chairmanship of every Senate committee.