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How the Georgia Senate runoff election works

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In many ways this year The Georgia Senate runoff is very similar to the last one.

Once again, Georgia is holding a runoff after neither Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) nor his opponent, former soccer player Herschel Walker, got more than 50 percent in November’s general election. The stakes are high, if not quite as high as 2021: Democrats have already won and retained 50 seats the Senate majoritybut winning another seat could increase her power on various committees and insure herself against potential losses in 2024.

However, there are some notable differences. Due to a new state election law that came into force last year, there are significant changes in the logistics of the election and the voters. These updates, eventually could affect participationwhich shortens the time people have for early voting and absentee ballots.

Here’s what you need to know about the implications of the new electoral law, the stakes in the runoff elections and the current state of affairs between the two candidates.

When is the Georgia runoff?

Runoff runs will take place on Tuesday December 6th and results could be available within a day or two depending on how close it is. Last November, Georgia announced the results of the Senate election a day after the general election. The state has sped up mail-in ballot processing compared to 2020, a change that could help produce earlier results compared to previous elections.

Early voting gives voters the opportunity to participate before December 6 as well: it will be available in all counties between November 28 and December 2, and was already available in a handful of counties November 22. Website of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia provides information on when each county will begin early voting and where voters can go.

Eligible voters can also vote by post in the run-off election. To do this, they must submit an application for postal voting to their district election office by Monday, November 28th. Voters can make these requests on-lineabove Email, post, fax or in person. They must then mail or drop off those ballots to be received at their county election office by 7 p.m. on December 6, the day of the runoff.

The timing of this year’s election marks a change from what was done in 2021, when there were nine weeks between the general election and the runoff. It’s just four weeks this year, the result of a new law signed in 2021 that governs how the state holds elections. There were three weeks of early voting in 2021, compared to the week or less that many counties will have in 2022.

This change could impact voter turnout, particularly among Democrats who are more likely to use early voting and mail-in options Associated press reports. “For voters who are registered and want to vote, the biggest effect will be the reduced number of early voting opportunities and the limited time frame for absentee ballots,” Lori Ringhand, law professor at the University of Georgia, told Vox.

Who can vote?

In 2022, only voters who were already registered before the federal election can vote.

This is another difference compared to 2021, when new people could specifically register for the runoff election. This year, more than 75,000 new voters registered after the general election deadline had passed, in time to weigh the runoff elections.

The new election law, SB 202, stipulates that voters must register at least 30 days before an election in order to vote. Between that and the shortened window of time between the two races, those who have not yet registered will not have time to do so before the runoff.

However, people who are already registered can also take part in the run-off election if they did not vote in the federal election.

Where is the race now?

The race between Warnock and Walker is expected to be close. (It’s the only statewide race in the runoff, although some counties might have other local-level races.)

Warnock came out on top in the general election and could have it again in the runoff too, although both face the challenge of getting their constituents to vote for the second time in less than a month.

In the general electionWarnock secured 49.4 percent of the vote, Walker secured 48.5 percent, and Libertarian candidate Chase Oliver secured 2.1 percent. An AARP poll from mid-Novemberone of the few conducted after the general election, Warnock had a four-point lead among the likely voters.

However, those leads are still scarce, and each candidate still has different factors in their favour.

Warnock, an incumbent Senator with solid approval ratings in the state, has benefited from a spate of scandals that Walker has faced, including allegations of domestic violence and claims that he paid for two women’s abortions. (Walker has denied that he paid for the abortions.)

University of Georgia political scientist Charles Bullock also suggested that Republicans could see a drop in turnout because Governor Brian Kemp, who won most Republicans and many independents, would no longer be at the top of the list.

Walker is now a well-known soccer star in the state and will likely get a boost from Georgia’s Republican lean and backlash people may face towards the Biden administration over issues like inflation.

What are the special challenges of a runoff election?

Usually, the biggest challenge in a runoff is getting voters to vote a second time.

“Both sides risk severe attrition of their constituents in November, and the side that best reminds voters to get back to the polls will likely be the one that wins,” Andra Gillespie, a political scientist at Emory University, told Vox .

Bullock said Georgia has seen a 10 percent to 40 percent drop in voter turnout in past runoffs. The 2021 election was a best-case scenario: about 10 percent fewer voters turned out compared to this year’s general election.

Prior to 2021, runoff elections had favored Republicans because they could turn away more of their constituents. per FiveThirtyEight. However, that dynamic changed this year as Democrats saw gains in their voters.

This year it is still unclear which party will be more successful, although both have invested heavily in the election. According to NBC NewsDemocrats have so far outperformed Republicans for ads, pouring $17 million to the GOP’s $5 million.

Organizers, including the New Georgia Project Action Fund, also campaigned extensively on the ground, with more than 400 recruiters using everything from text and phone banking to more traditional door knocking to reach voters.

“It’s really a campaign game at this point. We focus on voter education. We’ve been knocking on people’s doors since March, so they’re very familiar with us,” said James Mays, a field manager at the New Georgia Project Action Fund.

What is at stake in this election?

Unlike 2020, Senate control is not up for grabs as Democrats have already won the majority.

That doesn’t mean that this choice isn’t still extremely important. As Vox’s Ellen Ioanes explained, The stakes are high if the Democrats can snag a 51st seat:

If Warnock retains his seat, Democrats won’t have to rely on Vice President Kamala Harris to cast a decisive vote, and they would have more leverage over Sens. Joe Manchin (WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (AZ), the party’s more conservative members, to vote to pass laws.

With 51 votes, Democrats would have a solid majority in congressional committees, which are currently split down the middle. That would give them the power to confirm nominee judges more quickly and quickly approve measures that might be controversial. Any gains Democrats make this cycle could also help mitigate potential losses they could face in 2024. when the Senate ticket will be a lot less partisan.

In addition to the balance of power in the Senate, organizers also note that this election sends a message about the values ​​and issues that Georgia stands for. For example, Walker recently used an anti-trans ad describing how trans athletes should be banned from sports competitions to justify his candidacy.

“What we’re asking people to say, to make a choice about what kind of Georgia they want to live in, what kind of representation they want in the Senate, and what direction they want the United States to go,” says Keron Blair, the director of field service and organization at the New Georgia Project Action Fund.

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Arizona Town to Pay $8 Million Settlement to Widow of Daniel Shaver

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That Republic of Arizona reports that the city of Mesa, Arizona, reached an $8 million settlement with Daniel Shaver’s widow last week. Shaver is the unarmed man who was fatally shot while crawling on his hands and knees down a hallway toward cops begging them not to shoot him.

In January 2016, Mesa police responded to a report of a man pointing a gun out of a hotel window. In fact, it was Shaver who showed some other hotel guests in his room an air gun he used in his job as an exterminator.

Police ordered Shaver out of the hotel room and onto the floor with his hands behind his head. But instead of handcuffing Shaver, the officers began barking confusing and conflicting orders at him, oddly enough, to crawl over to them. As an obviously frightened and drunk Shaver attempted to crawl towards police, he appeared to reach for his waistband to pull up his sagging shorts. A Mesa officer, Philip Mitchell Brailsford, shot Shaver five times with an AR-15, killing him.

The incident was part of a series of fatal police shootings at unarmed men caught on camera, including the killing of Philando Castile and Michael Schlager. Shaver’s death brought Mesa national media attention and bipartisan outrage. As David French wrote in National Review“I’ve seen soldiers deal with Al Qaeda terrorists with more professionalism and composure.”

This is the second major settlement Mesa has paid for Shaver’s death. According to that Republic of Arizonathe city paid Shaver’s parents $1.5 million in a separate lawsuit.

2017 a jury acquitted Brailsford for second degree murder and reckless manslaughter. This is because juries are instructed not to judge officers by how a normal civilian would react, but by how a Centre County Reportable police officer is educated to respond to a real or imagined threat. As Centre County Reportis Jacob Sullum wrotethe acquittal showed that police officers benefit from a double standard in court: “Unlike ordinary citizens, as long as they say they were afraid, they can kill with impunity, regardless of whether their fear was justified or not.”

The Justice Department began investigating the shooting in 2018, but there has been no update on the case since.

Brailsford was fired from the Mesa Police Department for violating department policies. At that time, Centre County Reportis Scott Shackford offered Reader a friendly bet: “Would anyone want to bet that they’re either trying to get their job back at Mesa or trying to get a job with another law enforcement agency somewhere else?”

Shackford collected his imaginary profit two years later. Brailsford did indeed challenge his termination, and in response the city struck a special deal allowing him to be reinstated temporarily so he could retire with medical benefits and a disability pension. Brailsford claimed that killing Shaver and his subsequent prosecution caused him post-traumatic stress disorder. Because of this, he receives a monthly retirement check for $2,569.21 for the rest of his life, courtesy of the Mesa taxpayers.

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Mike Lindell to Run for Republican Party Chair

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Mike Lindell, CEO of MyPillow, Wants More Power Within the Republican Party: He’s Officially Running for the Chair of the Republican National Committee, insider reports.

Lindell said: “With all my due diligence and prayers, I am 100% running for RNC Chair against Ronna McDaniel. It will change very quickly. We’re going to make our country right really fast.”

He added: “The RNC raises money and then they don’t do anything with electoral crime.”

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Democrats Kept The Senate This Year, But 2024 May Be Harder

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NEW YORK (AP) — democrats celebrates a successful effort to keep Control of the US Senate This year will soon face a 2024 campaign that may prove more challenging.

The party enters the next cycle defending 23 seats, including two by independents partying with Democrats. That’s compared to just 10 seats republican hope to stay in her column.

Adding to the potential hurdles is that some 2024 contests will be held in states increasingly hostile to Democrats, including Montana, Ohio and West Virginia. Other seats held by Democrats are in some of the same hotly contested states that have been the focus this year’s midterms, such as Pennsylvania, Arizona and Nevada. And while the Democrats ran each of these races, they did so at great expense and with sometimes tight margins. In Nevada, for example, the Democratic incumbent Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto won by less than 1 percentage point, or about 9,000 votes.

For now, both parties insist they are focused on coming out on top the December 6 Senate runoff in Georgia. But Democrats running for election in 2024 know they could face stiff headwinds and are studying the results of this year’s election when the party beat expectations.

For Senator Jacky Rosen of Nevada, a Democrat facing her first re-election campaign, that means focusing on issues around the kitchen table and announcing legislation like the infrastructure bill signed into law by the president and gun violence legislation Joe Biden.

“We know races are always close,” Rosen said in an interview. “We don’t take anything for granted.”

The dynamics of the next Senate campaign could be influenced by a variety of external factors, most notably the presidential election and the attention it brings. Biden who turned 80 this monthHe has said his “intention” is to stand for re-election and that he will make a final decision early next year. Former President donald trump has already announced a third White House bid, and several other Republicans are lining up to launch campaigns. The eventual nominee in each party could have a profound impact on voting races, including those for the Senate.

But perhaps the biggest question for Senate Democrats seeking re-election will be who the Republicans will nominate as their opponents. The GOP lost several Senate elections this year, including those in Arizona, Pennsylvania and Nevada, after Trump-backed candidates struggled to raise money and connect with a broader, more moderate constituency during the general election.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., speaks to reporters in the Capitol in Washington, November 15, 2022. Democrats, who are celebrating a successful attempt to retain control of the U.S. Senate this year, will soon find themselves face a campaign of 2024 that could prove more challenging. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, file)

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, file

In Nevada, the Republican field to challenge Rosen has not yet developed, but is expected to attract several contenders. One name that’s grabbing attention is Sam Brown, a former US Army captain who was awarded a Purple Heart after being badly wounded in Afghanistan. Brown ran for the Senate this year and came out strong in the Republican primary before losing to Adam Laxalt, who lost to Cortez Masto in the general election.

Richard Hernandez, who was Brown’s campaign adviser, said, “He has made a commitment to his supporters that he will never stop fighting for their causes, but he has made no decision on whether that includes running for office in the future.”

Also in the Southwest, Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a centrist Democrat, will seek re-election. The race, like other recent Arizona statewide competitions, is expected to be very competitive. But Sinema will likely face a well-funded key challenger first, having angered much of the Democratic base by blocking or watering down progressive priorities like a minimum wage hike or Biden’s big social spending initiatives. She has not said whether she intends to stand for re-election.

Sinema’s most prominent potential main challenger is US Rep. Ruben Gallego, who has a long history of feuding with Sinema. Gallego has not revealed his plans for 2024 but has made no secret that he is considering challenging Sinema. He even raised money for the prospect of defying Sinema.

An independent spending group is also raising money and says it will support grassroots organizations working to defeat Sinema in a Democratic primary.

Republicans are hoping a bloody Democratic primary could give them a chance to win the seat after losing three consecutive elections in the Arizona Senate.

Sinema is among a trio of moderate Senate Democrats who have sometimes used their influence in an evenly divided chamber to block or blunt some of Biden’s plans and nominees. They will remain among the party’s most vulnerable incumbents in 2024 as well.

The other two senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Jon Tester from Montana, will run as Democrats in states comfortably carried by Trump in 2020.

Manchin has already drawn a GOP challenger in US Rep. Alex Mooney, who said a week after winning re-election that he aspires to higher office. Manchin has not yet said whether he will stand for re-election.

Republicans see Tester, a three-term senator, as vulnerable, and the opportunity to run for the seat could lead to a heated primary battle between former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Rep. Matt Rosendale. Zinke, who won a seat in the House of Representatives in this year’s midterm elections, said he will decide whether to run next year and Rosendale declined to answer.

The tester hasn’t announced if he’ll seek another term, but he expects 2024 to be just as tough as his last race in 2018 when he beat Rosendale in a close contest.

In Pennsylvania, Democratic US Senator Bob Casey has not said if he intends to run for a fourth term. Casey easily won re-election in 2018, but Pennsylvania has been competitive for Republicans, even that year Senate race won by Democrat John Fetterman.

One potential Republican challenger whose name has been floating around in Pennsylvania is former hedge fund CEO David McCormick, who narrowly won the Republican primary in this year’s race to famed heart surgeon Dr. Mehmed Oz. McCormick advisers declined to comment on the prospect. Conservative activist Kathy Barnette, who finished a close third in the Republican primary, did not respond to news about whether she is considering a 2024 campaign.

Wisconsin, where Republican Sen. Ron Johnson narrowly won re-election this year, is expected to have another Senate race in two years.

Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin He is widely expected to seek a third term but has not officially announced it. There are no official Republican candidates, but US Rep. Mike Gallagher has been raised as a possibility.

Gallagher brushed off a question about whether he was considering challenging Baldwin and said in a statement that his focus over the next two years is on tackling issues like inflation and the border, having just won re-election.

“Any talk about the next election, especially since we’ve just had an election, distracts from the serious work we have to do,” he said.

A number of high-profile Republican senators will also stand for re-election in 2024, including ted cruz from texas, Josh Hawley from Missouri and Rick Scott from Florida.

On the Democrat side, some of the party’s former presidential candidates will face voters. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth WarenSen. Amy Klobuchar and New York Sen. Kirsten Gilbrand have all said they plan to seek another term.

Independent Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanderswho sides with the Democrats and is one of the most influential progressives in Congress has not said if he intends to run for re-election.

In Utah, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney will face his first bid for re-election in the Senate – if he decides to run. Romney remains popular with many Utah residents, but has faced backlash from his own party for being the only Republican to vote twice to remove Trump from office after his two impeachments by the House of Representatives.

When asked if Romney plans to run for re-election, his spokeswoman Arielle Mueller did not provide details about his plans, instead saying that the senator was focused on addressing “significant challenges facing the country.”

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, a Republican who was a Trump ally, is one of the GOP figures who has been considered a potential candidate for the 2024 Senate in the state. Longtime Reyes political adviser Alan Crooks declined to say whether the attorney general will launch a campaign, but argued he was receiving pressure from inside and outside the state to make it work.

“He’s certainly ready to walk, but that doesn’t mean he’s considering it,” Crooks said.

Associated Press writers Scott Bauer in Madison, Wisconsin; Marc Levy of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Jonathan J. Cooper in Phoenix; Sam Metz in Salt Lake City; and Kevin Freking in Washington contributed to this report.

Follow AP’s coverage of the 2022 midterm election at https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections.

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