Key dates coming up for Georgians voting in twin U.S. Senate runoffs

    Georgians can request an absentee ballot now and have until Dec. 7 to register to vote for the Jan. 5 runoffs for two high-stakes U.S. Senate races. Mario Tama/Getty Images

    Georgia was long expected to have a January runoff for one U.S. Senate seat, but not many people expected there to be two with Democrats and Republicans facing off.

    With important dates coming up fast, here’s a guide to dates to mark on your calendar leading up to Jan. 5. 

    Georgia’s highly anticipated Jan. 5 runoff will determine the winners among GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler versus Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock, and Sen. David Perdue versus Democrat Jon Ossoff.

    Georgians can now request absentee ballots and county registrars can start mailing them on Nov. 18.

    The voter registration deadline is Dec. 7 and a week later, on Dec. 14, is the start of early voting for the general election runoffs. 

    Qualified voters with a valid ID can register online through the Georgia Secretary of State’s office.

    Check with the county election office that you live in to find out the early voting locations and for your assigned polling place on Jan. 5. If you decide to vote in person, you can find the projected wait times online in DeKalb, Fulton, Cobb and Gwinnett counties. 

    Georgia is the only state that had two Senate races on the Nov. 3 presidential election ballot after Loeffler was appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp to replace Sen. Johnny Isakson, who stepped down at the end of last year due to declining health.

    And with Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger moving the state runoffs from Dec. 1 to Jan. 5, voters could also have on the ballot a Public Service Commission race between Republican Commissioner Lauren “Bubba” McDonald and Democrat Daniel Blackman, which remains too close to call. 


    Stanley Dunlap
    Stanley Dunlap has covered government and politics for news outlets in Georgia and Tennessee for the past decade. At The (Macon) Telegraph he told readers about Macon-Bibb County’s challenges implementing its recent consolidation, with a focus on ways the state Legislature determines the fate of local communities. He used open records requests to break a story of a $400 million pension sweetheart deal a county manager steered to a friendly consultant. The Georgia Associated Press Managing Editors named Stanley a finalist for best deadline reporting for his story on the death of Gregg Allman and best beat reporting for explanatory articles on the 2018 Macon-Bibb County budget deliberations. The Tennessee Press Association honored him for his reporting on the disappearance of Holly Bobo, which became a sensational murder case that generated national headlines.