ATLANTA — Both of Georgia's U.S. Senate runoff races have been called and the Democrats have taken two seats from the Republicans.
The Associated Press projected Rev. Raphael Warnock as the winner of the race against Republican incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler. The win will make Warnock the first Black senator elected in Georgia.
At around 4:15 p.m. on Wednesday, the Associated Press projected Democrat Jon Ossoff won his U.S. Senate race, beating incumbent Sen. David Perdue.
With the sweep of the two races, the Democrats will take control of the U.S. Senate, giving the party control of both houses of Congress.
Election officials said things ran smoothly in most Georgia counties, even throughout the day when voters went to the polls.
During the tabulation process, however, one of metro Atlanta's counties - DeKalb - reported they experienced technical issues, and that "the remaining 19,000 ballots must be manually scanned in order to be tabulated and added to the total vote count," said Erica Hamilton, the county's voter registration and elections director.
Just after 4 a.m., the county appeared to report its final results.
With that, only a handful of votes in some counties were believed to be waiting to be counted when work resumes on Wednesday.
11Alive monitored updates as they came in on Wednesday. (please note all times are Eastern)
11:55 p.m. | Fulton County officials said they expect to resume operations tomorrow.
11:50 p.m. | There was applause in House as Senators rescinded their rejection to the Georgia electoral vote count, following the riots at the US Capitol.
11:10 p.m. | Authorities in DC confirm four people are dead after violent riots broke out as Trump supporter sieged the US Capitol.
Washington, D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee said the dead on Wednesday included a woman who was shot by the U.S. Capitol Police, as well as three others who died in “medical emergencies.”
A total of 14 officers were hurt in the chaos.
Meanwhile, two pipe bombs were recovered, one outside the Democratic National Committee and one outside the Republican National Committee. Police found a cooler from a vehicle that had a long gun and Molotov cocktail on Capitol grounds.
10:20 p.m. | Although ballots are still being tallied in some Georgia counties, the Associated Press projects Warnock and Ossoff as winners of the U.S. Senate runoff races.
Below is a look at where the numbers stand.
9:30 p.m. | Former President Jimmy Carter issued a statement about the situation in D.C.
"Rosalynn and I are troubled by the violence at the U.S. Capitol today. This is a national tragedy and is not who we are as a nation. Having observed elections in troubled democracies worldwide, I know that we the people can unite to walk back from this precipice to peacefully uphold the laws of our nation, and we must. We join our fellow citizens in praying for a peaceful resolution so our nation can heal and complete the transfer of power as we have for more than two centuries."
8:50 p.m. | Georgia Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler has appeared to withdraw her plan to object to the certify the results of the election.
After Congress resumed its session, following massive riots by pro-Trump supporters, Loeffler said on the floor, in part:
"When I arrived in Washington this morning, I fully intended to object the certification of electoral votes. However the events that have transpired today have forced me to reconsider and I cannot now in good conscious object to the certification of these electors."
8:04 p.m. | Former President Barack Obama tweeted a statement about the violence in Washington.
7:40 p.m. | Rep. Lucy McBath released the following statement Wednesday evening:
“Tonight, I am asking Vice President Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and begin the process of removing President Trump from office.
The eyes of the world are upon us, and the President's incitement of violence, his inducement of chaos, and his inability to faithfully "discharge the powers and duties of his office" make it clear. The President has refused to protect our democracy and must be removed.”
7:30 p.m. | Bernice King, daughter of Civil Rights Leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., posted a series of tweets Wednesday addressing the situation in D.C.
"I encourage law enforcement to engage today’s “protestors” with the same humanity and discipline with which they should have engaged people who were outraged by a police officer kneeling on George Floyd’s neck," she tweeted.
She added that she didn't want law enforcement to violate the people who were at the Capitol, but "to stop violating people when they’re protesting racism and police brutality."
7:20 p.m. | Both of Georgia's incoming U.S. senators commented on the events in Washington this afternoon.
Rev. Raphael Warnock quoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., saying, in part, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."
Jon Ossoff said, "Today's insurrectionist attack on the U.S. Capitol was incited by Trump's poisonous lies & flagrant assault on our Constitution."
7 p.m. | 11Alive has continuing coverage on what is taking place in Washington D.C. You can watch it live below.
6:42 p.m. | Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued a statement about what happened in D.C. Out of an abundance of caution, she asked Atlantans to stay home Wednesday evening.
Read her remarks below:
“In response to the deadly riot in our nation’s capital today, the Atlanta Police Department will continue to monitor events and coordinate with our federal, state and local partners accordingly. While there is no curfew in our city, I ask all Atlantans, out of an abundance of caution, to please stay home this evening.
“Millions of Georgians cast their ballots on yesterday because of their belief in our democracy. While there are moments in our country’s history in which we may falter, we will not fail. America is stronger than any one man.”
6:15 p.m. | The woman who was shot inside the U.S. Capitol building by a member of law enforcement as Trump supporters stormed the building has since died, local police confirmed.
5:50 p.m. | In addition, a social media video from President Donald Trump has been removed from Facebook after company officials said, "we believe it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence."
Twitter had previously flagged the video, indicating that it could not be "replied to, Retweeted, or liked due to a risk of violence."
5:30 p.m. | Watch special coverage from 11Alive, after pro-Trump supporters staged a takeover of the US Capitol as Congress tried to certify the presidential election.
5:25 p.m. | Gov. Brian Kemp and Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan addressed the state and commented on the chaos happening in Washington D.C.
"It is not the way of our country," Kemp said.
The governor added that he will be extending his previous order regarding the National Guard.
"That will continue to be in place this coming Monday and they will be called up as needed.
4:48 p.m. | Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger was helped out of the Georgia State Capitol with assistance earlier this afternoon, according to a spokesperson from the secretary's office.
According to Raffensperger's office, the secretary would be working remotely as a precaution for any potential escalation, not due to any direct threats to him.
4:41 p.m. | Fulton County has stopped ballot processing and tabulation for the day after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol building in Washington.
Fulton County spokesperson Jessica Corbitt said that tabulation in Georgia's two U.S. Senate runoff races was halted “out of an abundance of caution.”
The county's elections director told the board of commissioners that the county had about 7,500 mail-in absentee ballots left to upload.
The Associated Press has called the runoff contests for Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.
4:14 p.m. | Democrat Jon Ossoff wins election to U.S. Senate from Georgia, beating incumbent Sen. David Perdue, according to the Associated Press. Democrats sweep Georgia Senate races, giving the party control of both houses of Congress and making it easier for Joe Biden to enact his agenda as president.
The twin victories Wednesday end nearly two decades in which Democrats have been shut out of statewide victories in Georgia. Biden became the first Democratic presidential candidate to carry the state since 1992.
4:10 p.m. | NBC projects Democrat Jon Ossoff the winner of the US Senate runoff election against Republican incumbent David Perdue. The Associated Press also has called the race for Ossoff.
3:05 p.m. | Two members of the Georgia Secretary of State's Office on the events unfolding:
3:00 p.m. | 11Alive has confirmed the Secretary of State's Office at the Georgia Capitol has closed, and Sec. Brad Raffensperger has evacuated for safety.
2:40 p.m. | Again, if you're wanting to watch the surreal events going on in Washington, we do have a live feed you can view at this link.
2:15 p.m. | Many are watching the dramatic images coming out of Capitol Hill in Washington as a very large pro-Trump rally has turned into a protest that has coalesced on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building.
A significantly smaller protest was staged outside the Georgia Capitol this afternoon, that has appeared to run its course peacefully.
1:35 p.m. | The Associated Press has called the third race that was on the Jan. 5 ballot, that for Public Service Commission. Republican incumbent Lauren "Bubba" McDonald has won re-election, according to the AP's projection.
1:25 p.m. | Obama's statement also frames Georgia as a model for the rest of the country:
"If we want to protect the gains we've made, achieve even more progress in the years to come, and reinforce the foundations of self-governance on which our country rests, there's no better path to follow than the one forged by the determined, organized, and confidently hopeful people of Georgia."
1:20 p.m. | Former President Barack Obama has issued a statement on the Georgia Senate runoffs.
"My friend John Lewis is surely smiling down on his beloved Georgia this morning, as people across the state carried forward the baton that he and so many others passed down to them," Obama states.
The statement goes on to praise "the resilient, visionary leadership of Stacey Abrams" and that Rev. Raphael Warnock's presumed election will make the Senate "more reflective of our country as a whole."
1:15 p.m. | That objection process will take about two hours.
1:15 p.m. | Georgia is eighth among remaining states alphabetically in the confirmation of the electoral votes, but a challenge has been raised to Arizona.
The Senate and House must now meet to debate the objection.
When they return, Georgia would likely be the next state objected to.
1:10 p.m. | The joint session of Congress has begun to count the Electoral College votes. You can watch proceedings here.
1:05 p.m. | Meanwhile back her in Georgia, the Senate results have been updated a little bit over at the Secretary of State's website. Where things stand:
- Raphael Warnock with a 50.62% to 49.38% edge, a lead of 54,729 votes.
- Jon Ossoff with a 50.20% to 49.80% edge, a lead of 17,567 votes.
1:00 p.m. | Vice President Mike Pence has issued a statement saying he will not attempt to block the Electoral College vote, following calls for him to try to do so under a fringe legal theory that has been pushed by allies of the president.
12:55 p.m. | Congress will soon meet to conduct the counting of the Electoral College votes. A number of Georgia Republicans have signaled they will be among those who object.
12:30 p.m. | President Trump, speaking at a rally ahead of the counting of the Electoral College votes, has again cast Georgia's election system as rigged.
He characterized the Senate runoffs, which Sen. Kelly Loeffler is projected to lose to Rev. Raphael Warnock and Sen. David Perdue is currently losing to Jon Ossoff, as "a setup."
He said the Republican incumbents "never had a shot."
Georgia's election officials said this morning they've seen "nothing widespread, nothing that seems real in any way, shape or form."
"The biggest thing we've seen is from the president's fertile mind of finding fraud where none exists," that official, Gabriel Sterling, said.
12:15 p.m. | Latest numbers:
11:30 a.m. | With the overwhelming bulk of outstanding absentee ballots coming from Democratic-leaning areas, and Jon Ossoff already holding a lead, Sterling said he believes he'll both win, and win by enough to avoid a recount.
11:25 a.m. | Sterling was asked about fraud, and said there was "nothing widespread, nothing that seems real in any way, shape or for."
He said the "biggest thing we've seen is from the president's fertile mind of finding fraud where none exists."
Sterling also referenced a viral tweet where someone posted a picture of what they alleged were shredded ballots, and indicated they were looking into it.
11:20 a.m. | Gabriel Sterling in the Secretary of State's Office has offered this breakdown of counties with remaining larger numbers of absentee ballots to count. He described these as absentee ballots that came in yesterday, were checked in, but have not been scanned and uploaded into the state voting totals.
- DeKalb with 17,902
- Henry 9,078
- Cobb 5,896
- Chatham 5,318
- Fulton 5,294
- Gwinnett 5,068
- Thomas 2,078
- Bryan 1,515
- Meriwether 1,325
- Dougherty 1,200
- Fayette 1,139
- Forsyth 752
- Clayton 528
- Lincoln 543
11:10 a.m. | President-elect Joe Biden has congratulated Raphael Warnock says he is "hopeful" that Jon Ossoff "will also be victorious."
11:05 a.m. | Rep. Jody Hice and Sen. Loeffler will lead the objection to Georgia when the Electoral College is counted later, the congressman tweets.
10:55 a.m. | President Trump is expected to speak shortly as his supporters mount a challenge today to the counting of the Electoral College votes in Washington. You can watch that and follow developments here.
Meanwhile we're expecting Sec. of State Brad Raffensperger to deliver remarks in about 20 minutes, which we will stream live in the video player at the top of this story.
10:25 am. | The latest on the numbers front, courtesy Christie Diez:
9:36 a.m. | Sterling also responded to a tweet by the president which said "they just happened to find 50,000 ballots late last night."
"They're not found ballots, they're cast ballots," Sterling said. He added they knew DeKalb's advance voting total as far back as Friday, after early voting ended.
"None of this is new, none of this is surprising. This is part of his intention to continue to create chaos around this as we go into his final act today, as they challenge the results from Georgia and other states," Sterling said.
9:33 a.m. | Sterling also told CNN there's about 65,000 votes out there left to be counted, mostly in Democratic-leaning areas.
9:30 a.m. | Gabriel Sterling was on CNN a few minutes ago, and gave a fairly scathing account of the president's role in the Georgia Senate elections.
The Georgia elections official said President Trump was "100%, four-square responsible" for the Republican results in the Senate runoffs.
9:00 a.m. | Gwinnett County has begun finishing up its counting, Maura Sirianni reports. Meanwhile in Fulton County, Jerry Carnes reports counting has not yet begun, though it was supposed to about a half hour ago.
8:55 a.m. | Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, who has been the minority leader throughout the Trump presidency, has also declared victory in the Georgia races.
In a statement, he said, "For the first time in six years, Democrats will operate a majority in the United States Senate - and that will be very good for the American people."
His statement referred to both Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff as senators-elect, though only Warnock has been projected as a winner by the Associated Press.
"I am so proud of both of their campaigns and excited to welcome them to the Senate," Schumer said.
8:10 a.m. | Jon Ossoff just spoke, phrasing his remarks in a way that did not explicitly declare victory over Sen. David Perdue, but certainly assumed victory:
8:00 a.m. | The Secretary of State's website updated just a short time ago with the official results. It hadn't shown any update in a few hours, but now shows these official numbers:
Raphael Warnock leading 50.61% to 49.39%, a raw lead of 53,430 votes out of 4,401,162 that were cast.
Jon Ossoff leads 50.19% to 49.81%, with a lead of 16,370 out of 4,401,064 votes.
7:50 a.m. | Raphael Warnock spoke to the TODAY Show this morning, and you can watch his interview below. Meanwhile, we'll be streaming Jon Ossoff's comments in the video player above in about 10 minutes.
7:35 a.m. | If you're just rousing yourself awake, here's the basic state of things:
Rev. Raphael Warnock has been projected the winner in the race against Sen. Kelly Loeffler. He leads by a bit more than 50,000 votes, around 1%.
Jon Ossoff leads Sen. David Perdue, but that race is considerably closer. His lead is about 16,000 votes, and falls within the less-than-.5% threshold that would allow Perdue to request a recount.
6:50 a.m. | 11Alive Anchor Shiba Russell highlights a really interesting dynamic that appears to have played out in these Senate races. The Republican with the most votes so far? Public Service Commission incumbent candidate Lauren "Bubba" McDonald.
It appears there was plenty of split ticket voting, with voters choosing the two Democrats and then McDonald, a Republican. Or even, with Warnock running ahead of Ossoff, potentially people who split their ticket Warnock-Perdue-McDonald.
It sounds obvious, but with millions of different people voting, you get lots of different kinds of votes.
6:15 a.m. | There was at least one point of contention overnight we know of that can be addressed, and that was the idea that Chatham County (Savannah) had stopped counting for some underhanded reason. That notion was echoed with a retweet by President Trump's press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany.
According to Gabriel Sterling in the Secretary of State's Office, they were simply done - only leaving mail-in ballots that had arrived yesterday to be counted today.
"They have continued to show a general ignorance and misunderstanding in how the systems work," Sterling told 11Alive's Jon Shirek last night. "In Chatham county they have two different boards - there's the registration board that deals with accepting the absentee ballots coming in and then there's a voting board that goes through and does the counting.
"So the elections board finished counting everything they have while the registration board was still working. There was a lag of about three hours. They basically said 'We're not going to make our staff sit around for three hours and wait for you, we'll come back and do it in the morning.'
"So there's nothing suspicious about it, this is the way it's done because they have a split board. I think they're the only county in the state that has that."
4:55 a.m. | There's not a lot left to count, but we do know there are 4,000 absentee ballots that will be counted starting at 8:30 a.m. in Fulton County, and at least some number of military and overseas ballots that can arrive by Friday as long as they were postmarked by yesterday.
4:40 a.m. | And here's the basic rundown of things:
4:30 a.m. | It appears DeKalb County is done with its counting. 11Alive's Christie Diez reports the numbers: