UPDATE: Democrats win both Georgia Senate runoffs

The Associated Press on Wednesday declared challenger Jon Ossoff the winner in his quest to unseat GOP Sen. David Perdue, giving Democrats a sweep in Tuesday’s special elections in Georgia.

Earlier Wednesday morning the Associated Press called the first of Georgia’s two special elections, projecting Democrat Raphael Warnock would defeat incumbent Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler.

Warnock is set to become Democrats’ first African American senator from a southern state, while Ossoff will become the youngest member of the U.S. Senate since 1973. 

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Due to the tie-breaking vote from soon-to-be Vice President Kamala Harris, Tuesday’s wins give Democrats control of the Senate for the first time in six years. 

Our original report:

Georgia residents turned out in droves to vote Tuesday’s special election that will determine control of the U.S. Senate, but the races remained too close to call as Tuesday night turned into Wednesday morning in the Peach State. 

With 97 percent of results counted at 1 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., held a 1,322 vote lead over Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff, who at age 33 is attempting to become the youngest U.S. senator since Joe Biden was first elected to represent Delaware in 1973. 

In the other race, Democratic challenger Raphael Warnock led incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., by 35,649. Loeffler told supporters she believes she still has a pathway to win, but just after midnight Warnock gave what amounted to a virtual victory speech, saying he “proved that with hope, hard work and the people by our side, anything is possible.”

In both races, officials have counted nearly 4.4 million ballots, including 3 million cast early. Brad Raffensberger, Georgia’s secretary of state, told CNN that he expects the number to land around 4.5 million. 

While more vote totals are expected Wednesday, The Washington Post reported that thousands of military and overseas ballots remain outstanding—potentially causing the official outcome to remain unknown for days. 

Republicans currently hold a 50-48 advantage in the U.S. Senate. Democrats need to sweep both runoff elections in Georgia to secure a numeric tie that would allow Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to cast decisive votes. 

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