Trump Calls Georgia Races 'Invalid' Amid Record Voting

President says state's runoff elections are 'illegal'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 2, 2021 6:30 AM CST
Updated Jan 2, 2021 6:40 AM CST
A Massive Number of People Have Already Voted in Georgia
In this Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, file photo, people wait in line on the first day of advance voting for Georgia's Senate runoff election at the Bell Auditorium in Augusta, Ga.   (Michael Holahan/The Augusta Chronicle via AP)

Nearly 40% of all Georgia's registered voters have already cast their ballots in the US Senate runoff race. More than 3 million early votes were cast, a record in the state, Reuters reports. Early voting ended Thursday, but the votes will not be tallied until Election Day Tuesday. Per 11 Alive, both Democrats and Republicans can find reasons to be hopeful in the early voting data; the fact that 31% of early voters are Black, a higher percentage than in the general election, is good for Democrats, but the fact that almost 62% of early voters are 50 or older is good for Republicans. Incumbent Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler are battling Democratic challengers Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, with Democrats needing to win both races in order to get to a 50-50 split in the Senate, meaning incoming VP Kamala Harris would break any ties.

Complicating matters for Republicans, President Trump posted a Twitter thread Friday in which he claimed the state's Senate runoff is "illegal and invalid." As the New York Times and the Hill explain, the thread started off with Trump reasserting his unfounded claim that the presidential election was stolen from him, then going on to slam a Georgia consent decree he declared unconstitutional (which thus, he claimed, renders both the state's general election and the runoff invalid). He was apparently referring to a March consent decree allowing voters an opportunity to fix ballots that appeared to contain a signature not matching the one on file with election officials. Trump backers have filed lawsuits seeking, and failing, to find that decree illegal. Republicans are concerned his railing against the election process could harm Republican turnout in Georgia, where Trump is holding a rally Monday. (Read more Georgia stories.)

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