Voters in the US state of Georgia cast their ballots Tuesday in a run-off election that will determine control of the Senate and the ability of Democratic President-elect Joe Biden to implement an ambitious legislative agenda.
Republican Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Purdue are running in the run-off against their Democratic rivals Raphael Warnock and John Usoff, respectively.
Democrats must win the two seats in Georgia to gain control of the Senate. A Democrat victory would create a split house with each party having 50 seats, giving elected Vice President Kamala Harris the final vote after taking office on Jan.20. The Democrats already hold the majority in the House.
If Republicans continue to control the Senate, they will exercise veto power over the political and judicial appointees Biden chose as well as many of his policy initiatives in areas such as economic stimulus, climate change, health care and criminal justice.
Biden and outgoing Republican President Donald Trump held two election conferences in Georgia on Monday, highlighting the risks.
The results may be known as early as Wednesday morning, but it could take longer as well, according to state officials, who said the voting process went largely smoothly on Tuesday.
No Democrat has won the US Senate race in Georgia in 20 years, but opinion polls show the two races very close.
Georgia has long been a supporter of the Republicans. But she surprised everyone in the November presidential election by voting for Biden, the first time the state had chosen a Democratic presidential candidate in nearly 30 years.