Incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock has defeated his Republican opponent Herschel Walker, as strong runoff election day turnout Tuesday was not enough to overcome a wave of record-setting early voting numbers from Democrats.
Warnock led with more than 50% of the vote around 10:30 p.m. with most of the ballots left to be counted in Democratic strongholds.
Warnock will now serve a full six years in the U.S. Senate. He earned the seat after finishing in the top two in a November 2020 special election, besting Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler in a Jan. 2021 runoff, then coasting in the 2022 Democratic primary and, four weeks ago, narrowly missing an outright win in the general election.
Read the full report from our media partner, GPB News. Thanks for following our coverage on this live blog today.
Donna Lowry of GPB is reporting about 500,000 votes are still to be counted, with most from Fulton and DeKalb counties. Georgia SOS is reporting Warnock with 1,586,550 votes (50.09%) and Walker with 1,580,764 votes (49.91%).
With nearly 90% of the votes in, Warnock has 50.12 % of the vote and Walker has 49.88 %. The New York Times is predicting a Warnock victory.
Why does Georgia have 159 counties? Check out this story by WABE’s Stephannie Stokes.
Warnock and Walker are essentially tied.
Gabriel Sterling of the Georgia SOS office says it could be a long night.
Warnock takes the lead again after DeKalb votes start rolling in.
Walker has taken a narrow lead over Warnock, according to the New York Times. But many votes are still out in metro Atlanta counties.
The Georgia SOS site shows Sen. Warnock with 922,449 votes for nearly 53% and Walker with 818,516 votes for 47%.
We’re now hearing of some late poll closings, including Scott Elementary School in Fulton County, which is open until 7:20 p.m. Other extensions are in Gwinnett at Evangel Community Church (closed at 7:08 p.m) and in Henry County at Salem Baptist Church until 7:45 p.m.
“Well over 70,000” voters cast ballots today in Fulton County, according to Nadine Williams, interim director of Fulton County Board of Registration & Elections, at a press conference minutes after polls closed.
There are also more than 184,000 advanced voting ballots and more than 14,000 absentee ballots to count. Advanced voting and absentee voting by mail are expected to be uploaded by 10 p.m. Plans are to finish counting all votes by midnight, she said.
There were almost no wait times at any of the county’s 249 precincts, Williams said. The precincts span 70 miles from one end of Fulton to the other. More than 3,000 volunteers helped at the polls.
“It was a great day,” Williams said.
Polls have closed around Georgia. Now the waiting begins. Be sure to check back for the runoff results as soon as we have them.
There’s one hour left to vote in the runoff. State election officials said voting across the state had gone smoothly, with wait times averaging 1 to 3 minutes most of the day. There has been an after-work surge with some polling places in Fulton and DeKalb reporting wait times of 30 minutes or less. There were a few isolated locations with longer times, including Allen Temple AME Church in Woodstock where wait time reached 45 minutes this afternoon, according to officials.
Wait times are just one minute on average across the state, and Gabriel Sterling with the SOS’s office said he’s expecting more than 1 million to cast ballots in today’s runoff.
Both candidates were doing last-minute campaigning this morning. Warnock was in Norcross and Walker was in Cherokee County.
The wait time is still averaging 3 minutes statewide, according to the Secretary of State’s office.
The Justice Department said in a press release that it plans to monitor compliance with federal voting rights laws in four counties in Georgia today: Cobb County, Fulton County, Gwinnett County, and Macon-Bibb County. Monitors will include personnel from the Civil Rights Division and from the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices. Civil Rights Division personnel will be available to receive complaints from the public related to possible violations of federal voting rights laws by a complaint form on the department’s website https://civilrights.justice.gov/ or by telephone toll-free at 800-253-3931.
Skyland Church in Brookhaven said two voting touchscreens weren’t working correctly this morning. “Due to a technical issue identified on two voting touchscreen machines at the Skyland Church voting location, polling officials reissued cards to voters who initially utilized the impacted machines and those voters were able to successfully cast ballots this election,” said DeKalb County elections spokesman Erik Burton. “The two impacted machines are being replaced.” Six other voting touchscreens at Skyland Church were fully operational, according to a report at the AJC.
The Secretary of State’s office reports that an estimated quarter of a million votes have already been cast this morning. Average wait time across the state is just over one minute.
About a dozen voters waited in line on a dreary, overcast morning at First Iconium Baptist Church on Moreland Drive in the DeKalb portion of Atlanta to vote in the U.S. Senate runoff. The wait was roughly 15 minutes to cast ballots. There were 266 ballots cast by 9:35 a.m. Fulton County is providing wait times at its precincts at this link, with most no waits. DeKalb County has an interactive map to find a voter’s precinct and the wait time at that precinct at this link.
Polls have been open for nearly two hours in the U.S. Senate runoff election between Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker. Gabriel Sterling, COO of the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, reports on social media that the average wait time across the state is only two minutes. Our staff members who have already voted this morning report no wait at Peachtree Middle School and three minutes at Morningside Baptist Church. The Dunwoody Library was reporting wait times of about 30 minutes. Approximately 75 people were in line around 8 a.m. but the lines hadn’t extended beyond the doors. More than 1.8 million Georgians cast ballots during early voting last week.