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Record number of ballots requested in Georgia runoff election

A record number of absentee ballots are reportedly being requested for Georgia's crucial Senate runoff races after the nation already broke records on mail-in voting for the Nov. 3 elections.

More than 762,000 absentee ballots have already been requested in the Peach State, according to WSB-TV, triple the amount of ballots requested in all of the state's elections in 2018. 

The two Senate contests on Jan. 5 will determine control over the upper chamber. Democrats would have to win both to take the majority.

Both parties are leaning into the race, with Democrats saying President-elect Joe Biden's agenda could be stalled by a Senate led by current Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Republicans argue that keeping the Senate in GOP hands is key as a last line of defense against Democrats, who will hold the White House and the House majority. 

Georgia has leaned red in Senate elections, but Biden's slim win in the state has given Democrats new hope. 

Former gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, whose efforts to register voters is credited with helping Biden flip the historically red state, celebrated the record number of absentee ballots on Twitter. 

Georgia Sens. Kelly Loeffler (R) and David Perdue (R) are facing off against Democrats the Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, respectively. Both of Georgia's Senate races were forced into runoffs after none of the candidates clinched 50 percent of the vote in the November election.

The GOP currently holds 50 seats compared to the Democrats' 48. If Democrats win both Georgia seats, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would be able to cast the deciding vote in the upper chamber.

A record number of Georgians voted by mail in the Nov. 3 election due to the coronavirus pandemic, WSB-TV noted.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) certified the state's election results after a hand recount of the state's 5 million ballots showed Biden leading by more than 12,000 votes. The Trump campaign filed for a new recount in the state on Saturday. 

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