ATLANTA — Typically voters in other states don't pay attention to elections in other states.
But that is not the case with the Jan. 5 Georgia runoff with control of the United States Senate on the line.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
Two Senate seats are up for grabs.
Currently, Republicans control both of them and if they win reelection in one of them they will control the Senate for the next two years.
If Democrats sweep both races, Democrats will control the Senate for two years.
The outcome will determine how much political power President-elect Joe Biden has.
Having control of the Senate would give Biden more ability to confirm nominees and pass progressive bills, which includes COVID economic relief.
On Monday, early voting got underway with thousands casting their ballot in Georgia.
Good morning from Atlanta. This is the line for first day of early voting in the state for the #georgia #runoff. Tonya is first in line at this location. She got here at 6:30AM. It’s a cold rainy day here and healthcare is most important to her. pic.twitter.com/8ROExU5ICN— Joe St. George (@JoeStGeorge) December 14, 2020
At the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Tonya got in line at 6:30 a.m. to be one of the first to cast a ballot in the state when polls opened.
"There are so many changes that can be made in the senate," Tonya said, underscoring the importance of the election.
"Health care, that’s the main one, when asked what issue was driving her vote."
REPUBLICANS HAVE A REASON TO VOTE
While Democrats like Tonya have a reason to vote, so do Republicans.
"I am here to vote against socialism," David Smith, a Republican in Cartersville, Georgia, said as he went to the polls.
Smith is terrified of Democrats controlling the Senate, House, and White House.
"I believe in the Second Amendment, I believe in the right to protect myself," Smith said, commenting on the importance of gun rights driving his vote.
One thing is for sure, many Georgians are thrilled to finally have the marathon of a 2020 election season nearly behind them.
After tens of millions were spent in the general election, hundreds of millions have been spent on the runoff election.