Georgia 6th District Runoff: Recount Rules & Process


Signs lead voters into the polling location at St. Martin In The Fields Episcopal Church for the special election of Georgia’s 6th Congressional District on June 20. (Getty)

Even though today is considered the final round of voting in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District for the vacant House seat, that may not be completely true.

Polling in the district has indicated an extremely tight race between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel, and many forecasters have predicted the outcome to be a tossup.

If that’s the case, the special election could very well be headed toward a recount.

According to Georgia state law, a recount can be requested by any candidate in an election if there’s a margin between two candidates of 1 percent or less. The request must be made to an elections superintendent “within a period of two business days following the certification of election results.”

Polling averages heading into the June 20 election showed the two candidates neck-and-neck, and the final poll before Election Day showed Ossoff ahead of Handel by just 0.1 percentage points.

That poll moved Daily Kos polling averages to exactly 42.8 percent apiece, with 3.6 percent being undecided.

According to polls compiled by RealClearPolitics, Handel held a 49 percentage point to 48.8 percent lead in survey averages.

That’s a far cry from what was predicted to happen in the historically-red district just months ago. A Democrat hasn’t served the district in the House since 1979 and status quo was expected in the special election to replace former Rep. Tom Price, who was confirmed as the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

But heeding the results of the 2016 presidential election — Donald Trump won the district by just 1.5 percentage points — Democrats saw an opportunity to try and flip the seat.

They tasked Ossoff, a first-time politician that’s the CEO of an investigative documentary company, to run for the seat. In an interview with Heavy, Ossoff said that he intended on running for political office, but not so soon.

“(Running for office is) always something I thought one day I might pursue,” he said. “But I had no plans at all to do it anytime soon.”

So he launched his campaign, and money started to flow into his campaign. He had an extremely strong showing in the April 18 first round of voting — raising many eyebrows — and advanced to a runoff against Handel.

The special election is the most expensive congressional race in U.S. election history, and turnout has been predicted to be abnormally high.

The amount of people within the district that cast votes early surpassed 140,000 — almost three times the amount that did so for the April 18 first round. That’s also higher than the amount that turned out to vote in the 2014 general election.

Georgia 6th District Runoff Election: Live Voting Results & Updates

Voters in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District are choosing between Jon Ossoff and Karen Handel to represent them in the House. See the live voting results.

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