Related video: Georgia election official debunks one Trump conspiracy theory after another
Georgia election officials reported record-level turnout for the two crucial runoff elections that could shift the balance of power in the US Senate from a Republican to a Democratic majority, as GOP incumbents Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue take on challengers Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff.
More than 3 million early votes have been cast in an elections expected to see record turnout for a runoff races; as votes trickle in from across the state, Democrats benefitted from early voting gains and higher turnout, even surpassing votes in some counties for Joe Biden in Novembers election.
Georgia Secretary of state Brad Raffensperger does not expect final results to become clear until Wednesday morning, while the Loeffler campaign has found itself caught up in a late racism scandal over an attack ad that appeared on Facebook in which the skin colour of Reverend Warnock, who is Black, appeared to have been made artificially darker.
In an election eve rally and in radio interviews before polls closed, President-elect Joe Biden urged to Georgia voters that a Democratic majority in Congress could mean larger Covid-19 relief cheques for Americans, from the current $600 to $2,000, a move staunchly opposed by current Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell. 
The president has meanwhile continued to amplify election fraud conspiracies as he pushes for GOP candidates, telling his followers that emboldened Radical Left Democrats have sought to steal victory from Republican voters.
Check out The Independents live coverage and analysis below.
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Democrat Warnock beats Loeffler
Democrat Raphael Warnock has defeated incumbent Republican Kelly Loeffler in their battle for a Senate seat in Georgia, according to the Associated Press.
His victory is another sign of a major political shift in the longtime Republican stronghold, coming nearly two months after President-elect Joe Biden took the Peach State in November. Some Republican officials already were pointing blame at one man – Donald Trump.
Heres the full story from our team in Washington:
Democrat Raphael Warnock has defeated incumbent Republican Kelly Loeffler in their battle for a Senate seat in Georgia, according to the Associated Press.
Adam Withnall6 January 2021 07:13
US media calling Warnock victory
Its looking good for Democrat Raphael Warnock. Several major outlets – NBC, CBS and Edison Research – are now calling the result in his favour. The Associated Press is yet to do so, however.
Adam Withnall6 January 2021 06:59
Democrat Ossoff leading
After marginally trailing his Republican rival David Perdue for most of tonights count, Jon Ossoff has now taken the lead, according to the latest figures from Edison Research. With 98 per cent of votes counted, the Democrat is ahead by 3,500 votes. Neither race has yet been called.
Adam Withnall6 January 2021 06:52
Ossoff team: We fully expect to have won
Jon Ossoffs campaign manager Ellen Foster has just released this statement:
“When all the votes are counted we fully expect that Jon Ossoff will have won this election to represent Georgia in the United States Senate. The outstanding vote is squarely in parts of the state where Jon’s performance has been dominant.
We look forward to seeing the process through in the coming hours and moving ahead so Jon can start fighting for all Georgians in the US Senate.
Adam Withnall6 January 2021 06:41
Is Joe Manchin Americas most powerful senator? What really happens with 50-50 Senate tie?
With Democrats on the cusp of winning a pair of Senate runoff races in Georgia on Tuesday and taking back control of the chamber political commentators have already begun speculating on how much President-elect Joe Biden can do with a united government.
That could hinge on the decisions over the next several months of one man: West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin III.
Griffin Connolly reports:
West Virginia Democrat is one of the most conservative members of his party in Washington
Alex Woodward6 January 2021 06:20
Democrat Warnock claims victory
Democrat Raphael Warnock has claimed a historic victory in his Georgia senate race, saying he and his supporters have proved anything is possible.
Adam Withnall6 January 2021 06:01
Warnock: I will fight for you
In his election night address, Raphael Warnock said the results which analysts say will propel him into the US Senate as Georgias first Black Senator proved that with hope, hard work and the people by our side, anything is possible.
“We were told that we couldnt win this election,” he said. “May my story be an inspiration to some young person who is trying to grasp and grab hold to the American Dream.
He reached out to people who are struggling whether you voted for me or not.
I hear you, I see you, and every day I’m in the United States Senate, I will fight for you, he said. “I will fight for your family.”
Alex Woodward6 January 2021 05:45
This is a game of inches: Loeffler optimistic despite Warnocks projected victory
Kelly Loeffler, addressing the GOPs largely maskless election night party:
Meanwhile, Raphael Warnock is addressing Americans from home, via livestream:
Alex Woodward6 January 2021 05:41
What did turnout look like?
More than 4.3 million voters cast ballots in the Georgia Senate runoffs and nearly half of those ballots came from early voting.
Of the vote total, more than 1.2 million people voted on Election Day, and nearly 1 million people sent mail-in ballots, thus far.
Massive turnout among Black voters was crucial to Democrats performance; Republican candidates could not seize the same kind of enthusiasm and fell short of turnout from Novembers general election, when Donald Trump was also on the ballot.
Alex Woodward6 January 2021 05:35
Both Georgia Senate races too close to call but Democrats surge
In a repeat of Novembers presidential election there, both Georgia Senate runoff elections that will decide which political party controls the Senate were too close to call as Tuesday became Wednesday but late surges appeared to put both Democratic candidates in the drivers seat.
Heres the latest from Washingtons John T Bennett and Griffin Connolly: 
Remaining votes are in typically Democratic strongholds, putting Joe Bidens party within striking distance of controlling House, Senate and White House
Alex Woodward6 January 2021 05:15

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