GEORGIA (WRBL) — The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office has officially certified the results of the Jan. 5, 2021 runoff election, paving the way for Democrats Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock to be sworn in. The state announced the results were official Tuesday.
The certification by Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger officially affirms that all 159 counties’ results were tabulated correctly for state and federal candidates. Ossoff and Warnock are replacing both incumbent Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler respectively. Warnock will be the first Black senator from Georgia, while Ossoff will be the state’s first Jewish senator and the Senate’s youngest sitting member.
The dual runoffs for the U.S. Senate seats in Georgia flipped the state blue for the second time in recent months after Georgia chose President-elect Joe Biden for president in November. Biden became the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Georgia since 1992, while Warnock and Ossoff were the first Democrats to win a U.S. Senate election in the state since 2000.
The senate races continued after the November election, in which both parties saw increased voter turnout both in-person and by absentee ballot.
Ossoff and Warnock will take office just as the Senate weighs whether to convict President Donald Trump in an impeachment trial for inciting the deadly storming of the U.S. Capitol. They could be sworn in as early as Wednesday, the same day as Biden’s inauguration.
The shift in Georgia means that the U.S. Senate will be tied at 50 Democratic senators and 50 Republicans, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to be the tie-breaker on legislative votes in the chamber after she and Biden officially take office.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.