Vice President Kamala Harris, sworn into office herself just hours prior, swore in two new Senators from Georgia Wednesday afternoon.
Democat Sens. Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, who edged out former Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, respectively, in a runoff election on January 5, became the newest members of the U.S. Senate, flipping control of the higher chamber of Congress the Democratic Party.
Harris also swore in former California Secretary of State Alex Padilla (D-CA) to the U.S. Senate, filling the seat that she vacated upon her election as Vice President. Padilla was appointed to the role by California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D).
There are now 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats in the Senate. But in the role of vice president, Harris, also a Democrat, holds the potential tie-breaking vote in the event that the Senate is gridlocked on passing a piece of legislation.
Just before President Joe Biden’s inauguration, Ossoff posted a photo of he and Warnock, promising change.
“Change has come to Georgia. Change is coming to America,” he said.
Change has come to Georgia.
Change is coming to America. pic.twitter.com/m8CLAbkPPp
— Jon Ossoff (@ossoff) January 20, 2021
Warnock promised to represent all of the citizens of Georgia in a Twitter post just before he was sworn into office.
“As I’m sworn in today, know that I will be a senator for all Georgians. Whether or not you voted for me, I’ll carry your hopes and concerns to Washington,” he said.
As I'm sworn in today, know that I will be a senator for all Georgians. Whether or not you voted for me, I'll carry your hopes and concerns to Washington. pic.twitter.com/t0yxodr9ll
— Senator-Elect Reverend Raphael Warnock (@ReverendWarnock) January 20, 2021
Georgia’s general election was bitterly contested after November 3, when Biden was declared the winner by just fewer than 12,000 votes.
After a historic election featuring more absentee ballots cast than ever before in American history, questions linger in the Peach State.
As reported by The Georgia Star News, chain-of-custody documents for 500,000 absentee ballots, required to be submitted by law, were never produced.
State Election Board Emergency Rule 183-1-14-0.8-.14 mandates that “ballots from the drop box shall be immediately transported to the county registrar and processed and stored in the same manner as absentee ballots returned by mail are processed and stored.” But despite that rule, a sampling of 89,000 drop box ballots in Cobb County were not delivered “immediately” to election officials, as reported by The Star News. Some took days to reach their intended destination.
An audit of votes in Cobb County was conducted, but the process was less than transparent, despite The Star News’ multiple inquiries to the Georgia Secretary of State’s office.
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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Georgia Star News and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo “Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock” by Jon Ossoff.