Most Georgia voters support elimination of runoffs: survey

The majority of Georgia voters want to eliminate runoff elections, according to a new survey conducted by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The survey found that 58 percent of registered Georgia voters want to abolish runoff elections when no candidate receives the majority of the vote and instead declare the candidate with the highest number of votes the winner.

In the past two midterm election cycles, Georgia’s Senate races in November have gone to runoff elections that were key in determining the balance of the upper chamber.

In 2020, now-Sens. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) and Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) each headed to a runoff and won. In 2022, Warnock’s election against Republican opponent Herschel Walker also came down to a runoff in December, when he clinched more than 50 percent of the vote.

Thirty-eight percent of Georgia voters said they did not support eliminating runoff elections.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) called on the state legislature in December to abolish runoff elections, saying that the system places a heavy burden on voters and and election officials.

The survey also asked voters about abortion. Forty-nine percent of Georgia voters wanted to make it easier to access an abortion, 24 percent wanted to keep the current restrictions in place and 21 percent wanted to make it harder.

Georgia passed a bill in July to ban abortions after six weeks, but a state judge found the ban “plainly unconstitutional” in November, setting up a legal battle in the state’s Supreme Court.

About 48 percent of voters also supported legalizing sports gambling, and 48 percent supported using a state surplus on health care or education.

This survey was conducted from Jan. 9 to Jan. 20 and polled a total of 860 registered voters in Georgia. The margin of error is 3.3 points at a 95 percent confidence level.

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