Georgia Republicans recruit over 8,000 poll watchers for Senate runoff elections
Trump, Biden to make final push in Georgia
Fox News correspondent Steve Harrigan with the latest from Atlanta
Republicans in Georgia say they’ve recruited more than 8,000 volunteers in the state to serve as poll watchers for next week’s twin Senate runoff elections, where the GOP majority in the Senate is at stake.
The combined effort by the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which is the re-election arm of the Senate GOP; the Republican National Committee; the Georgia Republican Party and Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue's campaigns is a "historic effort" to make sure that the Jan. 5 contests are "safe and secure," party officials have said.
And the plan, shared first with Fox News on Wednesday evening, is the "largest and most aggressive ballot security and voter integrity operation in state history," they said.
Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., speaks as President Donald Trump and Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., listens at a campaign rally for Senate Republican candidates, Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., and Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., at Valdosta Regional Airport, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020, in Valdosta, Ga. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
More than 8,000 volunteers will serve as poll watchers on Election Day, and that is roughly double the 4,000 volunteers Georgia Republicans recruited as poll watchers for the state’s two-and-a-half-week long early in-person voting period, which ends on Thursday.
"Georgians deserve total confidence in the fairness and accuracy of our state's elections, and we're thankful to the thousands of volunteers who will ensure that these runoffs are safe, secure, and that every legal vote is counted," Sens. Loeffler and Perdue said in a joint statement. "Georgia Republicans have already mobilized the most robust ground game and poll watching operation in the state's history and are fully prepared to make certain that the integrity of next week's elections will not be cast under a shadow of doubt. Everything is on the line on Election Day – no Georgian should have to question the outcomes."
The effort comes as President Trump continues to claim there was massive voter fraud during the presidential election in Georgia and five other battleground states where he was narrowly defeated by President-elect Joe Biden. The president has lambasted Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who are both Republicans and Trump supporters, for certifying the state’s presidential election results and refusing to help him reverse Biden’s victory.
While claiming there was rampant fraud in Georgia, Trump is also urging his supporters to vote for Loeffler and Perdue in the Jan. 5 runoffs. The president will rally with the two senators in the heavily Republican northwest corner of the state on Monday night, on the eve of the election.
The contests will determine if the GOP holds on to its Senate majority or if the Democrats will control both houses of Congress as well as the White House.
The balance of power for the next Senate coming out of last month's elections is 50 Republicans and 48 Democrats. This means Democrats must win both of Georgia's runoffs to make it a 50-50 Senate. If that occurs, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would be the tie-breaking vote, giving her party a razor-thin majority in the chamber.
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In Georgia, state law requires a runoff election if no candidate garners 50% of the vote. Perdue narrowly missed avoiding a runoff by winning 49.75% of the vote. Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff trailed by roughly 87,000 votes.
In the other race, Loeffler captured nearly 26% of the vote in a whopping 20-candidate special election to fill the final two years of the term of former GOP Sen. Johnny Isakson. Loeffler was appointed by Kemp after Isakson stepped down due to health reasons. Her opponent in the runoff, Democratic candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock, won nearly 33% of the vote in the special election.
Fox News' Brooke Singman contributed to this report
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