Georgia Runoff Election Card

Election SOS First Aid Kit: Covering Georgia Runoffs


Georgia may have already certified their presidential election results, but another election is already scheduled for next month. The Jan. 5 runoff election in the Peach State will decide which party controls the U.S. Senate.

Here’s what you and your newsroom need to be mindful of:

Key Dates

  • Besides Jan. 5, there are several other dates in the Georgia runoff election to monitor. For example, early voting for the runoff starts Dec. 14.

Runoffs 101 

  • Maybe you and/or your audience are a little unclear about the runoff election process. This handy guide from The Carter Center should clear that up.
  • Georgia voters will also decide who will replace Congressman John Lewis, twice (technically). That’s because the winner of the Dec. 1 runoff will only hold that spot in Congress until Jan. 3, before someone else takes the full, two-year term then. This Atlanta Journal-Constitution primer explains why.

Campaign Finance

  • Another election means more campaign spending and political ad buys. Here’s how to track spending in the Georgia runoff.
  • And, how to report on stories out of digital political ads on Facebook, once the social media platform lifts their temporary ban on those ads.

Boots on the Ground

  • Look at what some of the local news outlets are doing to cover the Jan. 5 Georgia runoff election. For example, 11Alive in Atlanta has already started fact-checking some of the political ads.

Trusted Elections Experts 

Looking for top Georgia experts to interview?

  • Aunna Dennis, an executive director from Common Cause Georgia, has expertise in election mobilization, issue advocacy, election security, voting rights, misinformation and more.
  • Jerry Gonzalez is the CEO of GALEO and GALEO Latino Community Development Fund. His work is focused on increasing civic engagement and leadership development of the Latino community across Georgia. He can also speak on misinformation.
  • Audrey Haynes, an associate professor of Political Science at the University of Georgia, can help with election results, misinformation, safe voting and voter behavior.
  • James Woodall, a state president of Georgia NAACP, is an expert on topics like civil unrest, election security, electoral college, in-person voting, mail-in voting, misinformation, voter suppression, redistricting and more.
  • Nathaniel Persily, a professor at Stanford Law School, is an expert in voting rights, political parties, campaign finance, redistricting, election administration, electoral college, misinformation, and more.
  • Charles Bullock, Richard B. Russell Chair in Political Science and a professor of Public and International Affairs from the University of Georgia, can help you with questions on the electoral college, in-person and mail-in voting.

Need a Breather?

Next Steps: