By Ana Martinez-Ortiz
When it came to the November 2020 Election, no one was quite sure what would happen. Between the coronavirus pandemic and potential threats of voter intimidation, it was an intense election.
Although the Associated Press announced Joe Biden as the president-elect, the elections weren’t over yet – at least not in the state of Georgia. The southern state held its runoff election Tuesday, Jan. 5.
Rev. Raphael Warnock was named the projected winner of the runoff election, earlier this week. As of Thursday, Jan. 7, Warnock had 50.9% of the vote. Democrat Jon Ossoff also won the election for his race again Republican Sen. David Perdue with 50.5% of the vote
Georgia’s election system states that a candidate must earn more than 50% of the vote in order to advance through a primary or general election. If none of the candidates emerge victorious than the top two candidates advance to a runoff election.
Following November’s election, Georgia still had two senate seats left undecided. One of the runoff elections was between Republican Sen. David Perdue and Ossoff and the other between Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Warnock.
While typically considered a ‘red state,’ in recent years, Georgia has become a battleground state. It turned ‘blue’ during the presidential election and it just did it again for the senate race.
Warnock is the first Black senator from Georgia. He and Loeffler were campaigning for Sen. Johnny Isakson’s seat, who retired in 2019.
“The four most powerful words in a Democracy: The People Have Spoken. Thank you, Georgia. Now it’s time to get to work,” Warnock tweeted on Thursday, Jan. 7.
With Warnock and Ossoff as the projected winners, Democrats are now in control of the Senate.
One of the driving forces behind Georgia’s elections was Stacey Abrams, the state’s former House Democratic leader. Abrams, who served in the Georgia House of Representatives from 2011 to 2017, ran for governor of Georgia in 2018. She lost in a race that many claimed was riddled with voter suppression.
Since then, Abrams has gone on to create the Fair Fight Action, an organization against voter suppression. She was an instrumental voice in the 2020 Presidential Election and in Gerogia’s runoff election.
Throughout both elections, Abrams worked to ensure that Georgia residents used their voices and that their votes were not only cast but counted as well.
Following the election results and the storming of the U.S. Capitol building, Abrams reminded Americans that there is reason to hope.
“While today’s terrible display of terror and meanness shakes us, let’s remember: @ossoff, Jewish son of an immigrant & @ReverenWarnock, first Black Senator from Georgia, will join a Catholic POTUS & the first woman, Black + Indian VP in our nation’s capital. God Bless America,” Abrams tweeted.
In addition to the conclusion of the runoff election, President Donald Trump has canceled his lawsuits against Georgia, which challenged the state’s election.