Georgia’s extraordinarily thin partisan divide set the stage for rampant misinformation, lawsuits and fights over election integrity after the presidential election.
With control of the Senate on the line Jan. 5, elections officials are bracing for a new round of drama — especially if the races are as close as polls, analysts and the campaigns suggest they will be.
President Donald Trump has warred with state leaders and elections officials for weeks following his narrow defeat here, even though flipping Georgia wouldn’t be enough to reverse Joe Biden’s White House victory.
Imagine, though, an equally tight margin in the twin runoffs, which have attracted unprecedented spending and attention with the fate of Biden’s legislative agenda at stake. Gabriel Sterling, the state’s voting system manager, is preparing for such a drawn-out scenario.
“Even if there’s a blowout election, I think we’ll have people saying: ‘Well, obviously it was stolen. We have close elections in this state,’ ” Sterling said. “So no matter what direction you go, that’s going to happen.”
He’s not alone. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution interviewed more than a dozen state officials, voting rights experts and party leaders who are quietly gearing up for a tortured election aftermath even while the U.S. Senate runoff campaigns are in full swing.
Their message: Brace yourselves, Georgia voters. These races might not be settled for weeks.