“Whether it’s a four-week general election runoff or a nine-week runoff, voters don’t want to deal with politics in the middle of their vacation,” Raffensberger said in a statement to The Washington Post. “This puts significant pressure on our election officials who must focus on certifying and auditing election results.”
The secretary also said in a statement that Georgia is “one of the only states that has ever had a runoff.” Its peculiar runoff system Product Lawmakers later acknowledged that post-apartheid electoral laws were intended to suppress growing black political power.
Last week, Sen. Raphael G. Warnock (D) defeated Herschel Walker (R). Warnock had won the majority of the vote in the November 8 general election, but fell short of the 50 percent threshold needed to declare a winner, sending the race into second place. Warnock was first elected to the Senate in a 2021 runoff that helped Democrats secure the upper chamber.
Raffensberger focused on runoffs after general elections in his call for change, and he did not mention runoffs after primaries. He had no direct role in the legislative process that determined Georgia election law.
Although he has recently outlined options that could be adopted in the 2023 General Assembly session, he has not endorsed any alternative voting process for runoffs and is unwilling to press state lawmakers about which method to adopt.
As a few states and municipalities have done recently, Georgia, like most states, may adopt a plurality system, in which the candidate with the most votes wins, regardless of whether they receive 50 percent of the vote or a ranked-choice vote.
Raffensberger’s comments are the most significant opposition the Georgia runoff organization has faced amid growing criticism and increased statewide events. Other top Georgia Republicans have not taken a public position on the issue, while the state’s key Democrats and voting rights advocates have argued that the runoffs should end, but are divided on what to replace them with.
The race between Warnock and Walker is the 12th statewide runoff in Georgia since its enactment in 1964. The controversial 2021 Georgia Voting Act shortened the time between the general election and a potential runoff from nine weeks to four.
The shortened window has led to unprecedented pressure on elections workers Cheating on various reviews as required by law and by law Controversies Early voting in the middle of the holiday season. Voters expressed widespread frustration after returning to the polls for the fourth general election in two years.