Georgia’s secretary of state race appeared to be poised for a runoff, with neither Republican Brad Raffensperger nor Democrat John Barrow receiving more than half of Tuesday’s vote.
With less than 2 percent of the vote outstanding, Raffensperger had a slight lead over Barrow, though both were just short of the necessary halfway mark. Libertarian Smythe DuVal appeared to secure a couple of percentage points in the three-way race.
If Raffensperger, a state representative, or Barrow, a former U.S. congressman, do not receive more than 50 percent of the vote when all the ballots are counted, the two will face off again Dec. 4 in a runoff election.
Whoever becomes secretary of state will have a major job ahead of him. The winner of the race will be responsible for protecting voters’ rights and overseeing the replacement of the state’s 16-year-old electronic voting machines.
The Secretary of State’s Office is the closest interaction many Georgians have with their state government, handling elections, business registrations and professional licensing.