Georgia’s Secretary Of State Calls For An End To Runoff Elections

December 14, 2022

Georgia state Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) called on lawmakers Wednesday to do away with the state’s runoff election system.

Raffensperger made the appeal one week after Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) won reelection against former NFL player Herschel Walker (R) in Warnock’s second runoff victory in two years. The Secretary of State, who’s the state’s top election officer, said runoff elections put a significant strain on election officials. 

“No one wants to be dealing with politics in the middle of their family holiday,” Raffensperger said in a statement. “It’s even tougher on the counties who had a difficult time completing all of their deadlines, an election audit and executing a runoff in a four-week time period.”

Under current Georgia law, if a single candidate cannot secure at least 50% of the votes in the general election, a runoff between the two top vote-getters is automatically triggered.

Raffensperger did not promote a specific alternative. A spokesman for his office said one likely option would be to adopt the system that most states use: the candidate with the most votes in the general wins the race. 

Another alternative Raffensperger’s office put forth was ranked-choice voting, where the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated, and their ballots are redistributed according to the voters’ second choice. Redistribution continues until the top candidate reaches 50%. 

Read more exclusive news from Political IQ.

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