By SAMANTHA SMITH, Staff Writer | Published November 26, 2020
ATLANTA—Candidates for two U.S. Senate seats representing Georgia are preparing for a runoff election on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021.
In Georgia, candidates must have more than 50% of the vote to win races in congressional, state executive and state legislative elections. No candidate in the U.S. Senate races met those requirements in the Nov. 3 general election.
Democrat Jon Ossoff is challenging incumbent Republican Senator David Perdue. To complete Johnny Isakson’s term, incumbent Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler is running against Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock. The winners will immediately take seats in the U.S. Senate.
“Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship” was a document created by the U.S. Catholic bishops to help voters. The Archdiocese of Atlanta created multiple videos inspired by the document as Catholics prepared for the Nov. 3 general election. The document and videos are available online at vimeo.com/channels/faithfulcitizenship.
“The church does not support or oppose individual candidates for any public office,” said Archbishop Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv., in the Faithful Citizenship introduction video. “Indeed, it is clear that no political party reflects the fullness of Catholic social teaching in its entirety.”
Rather, these videos are a starting point, just one tool to help Catholics prepare for the election and to hold public officials accountable, said Archbishop Hartmayer.
“Our faith is part of who we are,” said Kat Doyle, director of Justice and Peace Ministries for the Atlanta Archdiocese. “And, in fact, we are called as Catholics to be active and to live our faith in the public square.”
If you haven’t already, register to vote. Those 18 or older by Jan. 5 can vote in the upcoming runoff election. To register, visit the Georgia Secretary of State website at registertovote.sos.ga.gov. To check your voter registration status and polling location, visit mvp.sos.ga.gov. The voter registration deadline for the runoff is Dec. 7.
Request your absentee ballot. Voters can request an absentee ballot for the Jan. 5 election now. Ballot mailings began Nov. 18. Absentee ballots must be completed and mailed to your county’s board of registrar’s office or placed in an official absentee ballot drop box location. Mailed absentee ballots must arrive by 7 p.m. on election day. Ballots must be placed in official drop box by 7 p.m. on election day. For more information on absentee voting, visit georgia.gov/vote-absentee-ballot.
Early in-person voting begins Dec. 14. Early voting in Georgia will be Dec. 14 until Dec. 31 at select locations based on your county. To find locations and schedules for early in-person voting, visit georgia.gov/early-voting.
Vote in-person on election day. Polls will be open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021. If you are in line by 7 p.m. on election day, you will be able to vote. Be sure to check your poll location prior to voting online at mvp.sos.ga.gov.