Polls open for key US Senate runoffs in Georgia

Georgia voters have begun casting their ballots in a race that will determine which party will control the US Senate.

Polls for the runoffs open statewide at 7 a.m. Tuesday and are scheduled to close at 7 p.m.

The results will have huge implications on US President-elect Joe Biden’s ability to pass his legislative agenda on matters such as the pandemic, health care, taxation, energy and the environment.

Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock need to win both races for a 50-50 Senate. That would allow Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to tilt the chamber to Democrats with the tiebreaking vote.

This combination of photos shows Democratic candidate for Senate Jon Ossoff, left, on Nov. 10, 2020, and Republican candidate for Senate Sen. David Perdue on Nov. 2, 2020, in Atlanta. The two are in a runoff election for the Senate seat. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Ossoff is facing David Perdue, while Warnock is challenging Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler and trying to become the state’s first Black senator.

More than 3 million Georgians have already voted either early in-person or via absentee ballots. That’s more than 60% of the nearly 5 million who voted in November’s presidential election.