Several Georgia races head to quick runoffs under voting law

Voters at Snellville United Methodist Church on Tuesday, May 24, 2022. (Natrice Miller / natrice.miller@ajc.com)

Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@ajc.com

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Voters at Snellville United Methodist Church on Tuesday, May 24, 2022. (Natrice Miller / natrice.miller@ajc.com)

Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@ajc.com

Georgia is one of 10 states with runoffs for primaries

Georgia’s primary election is going into overtime with runoffs in both parties for the U.S. House, along with Democratic Party runoffs for lieutenant governor, secretary of state and two other statewide races.

Runoffs will take place in just four weeks, on June 21, because of Georgia’s voting law passed last year.

Previously, there were nine weeks before runoffs, but the Republican-led General Assembly moved up the runoff date after Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock won runoffs for the U.S. Senate in early 2021.

Instead of three weeks of early voting, Senate Bill 202 required one week of early voting, or it can begin “as soon as possible” after the initial election. Absentee voting is also available, but there won’t be much time for voters to request and return their ballots.

Georgia is one of 10 states that require a runoff after a primary if no candidate wins over 50% of the vote, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In most of the rest of the country, the candidates with the most votes win, even if they receive less than a majority.

Requiring a majority vote makes it harder for fringe candidates to win. A lesser-known candidate might get enough votes to win a plurality in an election with multiple candidates but fall short of 50%, forcing a runoff.

Voters who participated in the primary must vote in the same party during the primary runoff. Registered voters who skipped the primary can vote in either party’s runoff.


Georgia 2022 primary runoff elections

Democratic

Lieutenant governor: Kwanza Hall vs. Charlie Bailey

Secretary of state: Bee Nguyen vs. Dee Dawkins-Haigler

Insurance commissioner: Janice Laws Robinson vs. Raphael Baker

Labor commissioner: William Boddie vs. Nicole Horn

U.S. House District 1: Joyce Marie Griggs vs. Wade Herring

U.S. House District 10: Tabitha Johnson-Green vs. Jessica Allison Fore

Republican

U.S. House District 2: Jeremy Hunt vs. Chris West

U.S. House District 6: Rich McCormick vs. Jake Evans

U.S. House District 7: Michael Corbin vs. Mark Gonsalves

U.S. House District 10: Mike Collins vs. Vernon Jones