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Georgia secretary of state certifies Warnock, Ossoff victories in Senate runoffs

Georgia secretary of state certifies Warnock, Ossoff victories in Senate runoffs

Georgia’s top election official on Tuesday certified Raphael WarnockRaphael WarnockAdvocates warn restrictive voting bills could end Georgia's record turnout 'Bloody Sunday' to be commemorated for first time without John Lewis LeBron James's More Than A Vote ad campaign focuses on defending voting rights MORE and Jon OssoffJon OssoffAdvocates warn restrictive voting bills could end Georgia's record turnout Klain on Harris breaking tie: 'Every time she votes, we win' Georgia Gov. Kemp says he'd 'absolutely' back Trump as 2024 nominee MORE as the winners of two closely watched Senate runoffs, affirming a pair of Democratic victories that will effectively hand the party control of the upper chamber. 

The certification of the runoff results by Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) comes as Democrats prepare to take power in Washington. President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenLawmakers, activists remember civil rights icons to mark 'Bloody Sunday' Fauci predicts high schoolers will receive coronavirus vaccinations this fall Biden nominates female generals whose promotions were reportedly delayed under Trump MORE and Vice President-elect Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisWhite House says Biden would prefer to not end filibuster Biden takes victory lap after Senate passes coronavirus relief package It will be Vice (or) President Harris against Gov. DeSantis in 2024 — bet on it MORE are slated to be sworn in Wednesday. 

Warnock ousted Sen. Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerAdvocates warn restrictive voting bills could end Georgia's record turnout Georgia Gov. Kemp says he'd 'absolutely' back Trump as 2024 nominee Bipartisan bill would ban lawmakers from buying, selling stocks MORE (R-Ga.) in a hotly contested runoff election on Jan. 6, while Ossoff defeated former Sen. David PerdueDavid PerdueAdvocates warn restrictive voting bills could end Georgia's record turnout Georgia Gov. Kemp says he'd 'absolutely' back Trump as 2024 nominee Bipartisan bill would ban lawmakers from buying, selling stocks MORE (R-Ga.) in a simultaneous contest. 

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With the election results certified, Warnock and Ossoff could be sworn in to their new roles in Washington as soon as Wednesday.

Prior to the runoffs, Republicans held a 50-to-48-seat advantage in the Senate. The dual victories in Georgia, however, will allow Democrats to effectively control the chamber; in the event of a 50-50 vote, Harris will be the tie-breaker.

Georgia has long been a Republican stronghold. But it has emerged as a key battleground state as its population has grown and demographics have shifted.

In November, Biden became the first Democratic presidential candidate to carry the state in nearly three decades.

With their victories earlier this month, Warnock and Ossoff became the first Democrats in more than 20 years to win Senate contests in Georgia. 

Warnock, the senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, will be only the second Black senator from the South since Reconstruction.