The unprecedented number of swing states in the 2020 election was extremely surprising. States previously going for Trump such as Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Georgia flipped blue, ultimately deciding the election. This was due to higher voter turnout resulting from grassroots organizing, community members, and LGBTQ and POC votes. While Democrats won the presidential election, they lost several seats in the House, and have yet to gain control of the Senate. Currently, Republicans have 50 seats in the Senate, and Democrats have 48. In hope of a 50-50 split where Kamala Harris could cast tie-breaking votes in the chamber, both parties are campaigning for their candidate’s win. The Senate is incredibly important in order for any major legislation to be passed. While bipartisan cooperation is important, control of the Senate is crucial to a meaningful policy agenda.
Currently, all eyes are on Georgian run-off elections, which will take place on January 5, 2021. Every state determines their unique election procedure, and Georgia requires a candidate to win 50% of votes cast to prevent a run-off. Because neither Senate candidate in Georgia gained the majority vote necessary to win, a run-off was prompted. In the two Senate elections, Senator David Perdue (R-GA) will face Jon Ossoff, and Senator Kelly Loeffler will run against Reverend Raphael Warnock.
Although many Democrats are celebrating the new president elect, focusing on gaining control of the Senate is extremely important at the moment. Without control in the Senate, it will be significantly more difficult for any progressive policies to be passed in the next two years. Individuals generally focus more on the Presidential elections rather than crucial Senate, House, local, and State elections. We must ensure the highest possible voter turnout in Georgia. Remind anyone you know in Georgia that the earliest day to mail in an absentee ballot is November 18, the voter registration deadline is December 7, early voting begins on December 14, and the Election is on January 5. Current 17 year olds who will be 18 by January 5 are eligible to vote. Anyone can request their absentee ballot here. Volunteers in Georgia can drive people to their local polling station, and volunteers out of state can phone bank for Jon Ossoff here.