Georgia election official Gabriel Sterling predicted Tuesday that the final election outcome in the twin U.S. Senate runoffs will likely be known in a “couple of days.”
Sterling told reporters after polls closed:
We’re going to be getting results tonight, we’re going to be getting the biggest bulk of them, like we did last time, depending on the margin. When you want to get a final outcome, we will know the number of outstanding ballots, if I’m a betting person, which I’m not, I would say it’s going to be a couple of days because I’m anticipating it will be a close race one way or the other.
Georgia election official Gabriel Sterling on when Senate runoff election outcome will be known: "I would say it's going to be a couple of days because I'm anticipating it will be a close race one way or the other."
— NBC 6 South Florida (@nbc6) January 5, 2021
Earlier Tuesday, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told CNN host Jake Tapper that he expects a winner of the two runoffs will be projected on Wednesday.
Georgia voters headed to the polls on Tuesday in a runoff election that will determine the balance of power in the Senate.
Republican incumbent Sen. David Perdue and appointee Sen. Kelly Loeffler face challenges by Democratic candidates Jon Ossoff and David Warnock, as none of the candidates was able to meet a 50% threshold in November’s election.
If both Ossoff and Warnock are victorious, Republicans and Democrats would hold 50 seats each in the Senate, allowing Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to break ties in votes along party lines.
More than three million Georgians cast early votes in the election, including more than two million who voted in person and 928,000 by mail.
Most polling places in the state are set to remain open until 7:00 p.m., although two polling places in Columbia County will stay open until 7:01 p.m. and 7:04 p.m. after some voters had to fill out emergency paper ballots due to programming issues on some ballot scanners. A polling place in Tift County will remain open until 7:40 p.m., but a reason wasn’t immediately provided.
The UPI contributed to this report.