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Georgia Voters Cast Ballots In U.S. Senate Runoffs

Annette Knight voted in Thomasville on Tuesday.
Steve Bousquet
Annette Knight voted in Thomasville on Tuesday.

It's election day across the state of Georgia as voters decide the future political direction of the country with two U.S. Senate seats at stake.

Annette Knight is a retired Flowers Bakery Company employee who showed up to vote early Tuesday in a 44-degree chill to vote for Democratic Senate candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.

"It's time for a change," Knight said "I hope and pray that a lot of Democrats will come out and vote so that this nation can rise up as one, instead of all the division and poverty and people dying for no reason. It's a sad situation."

Justin Shiver is a 33-year-old registered nurse who voted Republican. He does not want Democrats to take over the Senate.

"There has to be checks and balances," Shiver said.

And as for the Reverend Raphael Warnock?

"I think he's just a radical," Shiver said.

Thomas County Election Supervisor Frank Scoggins said turnout is very high for a runoff election.

"Been great. Been great," Scoggins said. "We are at over half of the active voters in Thomas County [who have voted] prior to this election day."

Georgia's runoffs are the focus of intense interest all over the country. Republican U.S. Senators David Purdue and Kelly Loeffler were forced into runoffs after failing to secure a majority vote in November. If they lose, Democrats will have a majority in the chamber with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris acting as tie-breaker. Democrats would then control both the House and Senate, along with the presidency. If Democrats lose one or both races, Republicans will maintain control of the Senate.

Steve Bousquet has covered state government and politics for three decades at the Sun Sentinel, Tampa Bay Times and Miami Herald. He was the Times' Tallahassee bureau chief from 2005 to 2018 and has also covered city and county politics in Broward County. He has a master's degree in U.S. history from Florida State.