(AmericanProsperity.com) – In Georgia, state law requires a runoff election if no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote. The Peach State recently held a runoff election between Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and Herschel Walker (R), which resulted in the former winning. Now, Georgia’s Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger is calling for an end to runoffs in the state.
Calling to End the Runoff
Raffensperger, a Republican, recently asserted in a statement that “dealing with politics” is the last thing anyone wants to do when they’re trying to enjoy the holidays with their family. The secretary noted that Georgia is one of two states to have election laws that require a runoff if a candidate doesn’t win a majority of the vote.
Raffensperger declared the runoff, demanding that officials audit the election and then undergo another vote in only four weeks, is especially hard on counties that have a hard time meeting their deadlines under normal circumstances. Georgia used to allow nine weeks for voters, officials, and candidates to prepare for the runoff, but a bill signed into law last year narrowed that time frame down significantly.
The secretary doesn’t possess any legislative authority but does oversee the state’s elections. While the Republican didn’t express his support behind any other alterations to Georgia’s election law, his support for eliminating the runoff could impact how the GOP-controlled legislature approaches the idea.
The only other state in the nation that requires a candidate to win over 50% of the vote is Louisiana. If a candidate can’t reach that threshold, the top two competitors go to the runoff. In much of the US, aside from Alaska and Maine, a candidate only needs to secure the most votes, not a majority of them. In Alaska and Maine, elections are decided on a ranked-choice basis. Also called “instant run-off voting,” this alternative method has voters choose multiple candidates by rank, essentially combining the runoff with the initial balloting.
Is it possible the runoff system is no longer relevant and needs to be disbanded, as Raffensperger is suggesting? After all, the secretary declared the current system doesn’t hold any benefits for anyone, instead asserting it only adds more stress to the equation — especially with the shortened time frame. These factors have prompted Raffensperger to call on the Georgia General Assembly to evaluate the current election laws regarding runoffs and contemplate possible reforms to the system.
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