Georgia voters hold prayer march ahead of Senate runoffs

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Hundreds gathered outside the Georgia Statehouse in Atlanta on Saturday for a prayer march ahead of Tuesday's U.S. Senate runoff elections in the state.

The marchers prayed for "biblical values to be exalted in the Georgia Senatorial elections," according to the Georgia Prayer March, which organized the event. 

The march was billed as nonpartisan but the website said participants would be marching for issues like  "sanctity of life in the womb, the sacredness of one man-one woman marriage, the scripturally-based free market system and supporting Israel" — all traditionally conservative issues. 

"We do not tell anyone for whom to vote," the website said. "That is your decision. We are non-partisan. We do, however, pray for Georgians to vote for candidates with distinctly biblical values. Our prayer is for biblical values to be followed in our nation."

Several of the speakers urged voters to cast ballots for Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue and questioned the validity of the presidential election, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Loeffler faces Democrat the Rev. Raphael Warnock on Tuesday while Perdue will be challenged by Democrat Jon Ossoff. 

"What happens on Tuesday will determine the fate of the republic," evangelical pastor and organizer Dr. Jim Garlow said, according to the newspaper.

Other speakers included Alma Rivera, Robert Weinger and Bishop Wellington Boone, according to WXIA-TV in Atlanta.

More than 3 million voters in the state have already cast their ballots during the early voting period that ended Friday. Around 5 million Georgians voted in the presidential election. 

Early turnout lagged in rural and conservative areas last week but Republicans are confident they will do well in Election Day turnout as in the presidential election, the Journal-Constitution reported. President Trump and Perdue both received around 60% of in-person Election Day votes. 

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