Georgia Code Title 21. Elections § 21-2-501

(a)(1) Except as otherwise provided in this Code section, no candidate shall be nominated for public office in any primary or special primary or elected to public office in any election or special election unless such candidate shall have received a majority of the votes cast to fill such nomination or public office.  In instances where no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast, a run-off primary, special primary runoff, run-off election, or special election runoff between the candidates receiving the two highest numbers of votes shall be held.  Unless such date is postponed by a court order, such run-off primary, special primary runoff, run-off election, or special election runoff shall be held as provided in this subsection.

(2) In the case of a runoff from a general primary or a special primary or special election held in conjunction with a general primary, the runoff shall be held on the Tuesday of the ninth week following such general primary.

(3) In the case of a runoff from a general election for a federal office or a runoff from a special primary or special election for a federal office held in conjunction with a general election, the runoff shall be held on the Tuesday of the ninth week following such general election.

(4) In the case of a runoff from a general election for an office other than a federal office or a runoff from a special primary or special election for an office other than a federal office held in conjunction with a general election, the runoff shall be held on the twenty-eighth day after the day of holding the preceding general election.

(5) In the case of a runoff from a special primary or special election for a federal office not held in conjunction with a general primary or general election, the runoff shall be held on the Tuesday of the ninth week following such special primary or special election.

(6) In the case of a runoff from a special primary or special election for an office other than a federal office not held in conjunction with a general primary or general election, the runoff shall be held on the twenty-eighth day after the day of holding the preceding special primary or special election;  provided, however, that, if such runoff is from a special primary or special election held in conjunction with a special primary or special election for a federal office and there is a runoff being conducted for such federal office, the runoff from the special primary or special election conducted for such other office may be held in conjunction with the runoff for the federal office.

(7) If any candidate eligible to be in a runoff withdraws, dies, or is found to be ineligible, the remaining candidates receiving the two highest numbers of votes shall be the candidates in the runoff.

(8) The candidate receiving the highest number of the votes cast in such run-off primary, special primary runoff, run-off election, or special election runoff to fill the nomination or public office sought shall be declared the winner.

(9) The name of a write-in candidate eligible for election in a runoff shall be printed on the election or special election run-off ballot in the independent column.

(10) The run-off primary, special primary runoff, run-off election, or special election runoff shall be a continuation of the primary, special primary, election, or special election for the particular office concerned.  Only the electors who were duly registered to vote and not subsequently deemed disqualified to vote in the primary, special primary, election, or special election for candidates for that particular office shall be entitled to vote therein, and only those votes cast for the persons designated as candidates in such run-off primary, special primary runoff, run-off election, or special election runoff shall be counted in the tabulation and canvass of the votes cast.  No elector shall vote in a run-off primary or special primary runoff in violation of Code Section 21-2-224 .

(b) For the purposes of this subsection, the word “plurality” shall mean the receiving by one candidate alone of the highest number of votes cast.  If the municipal charter or ordinances of a municipality as now existing or as amended subsequent to September 1, 1968, provide that a candidate may be nominated or elected by a plurality of the votes cast to fill such nomination or public office, such provision shall prevail.  Otherwise, no municipal candidate shall be nominated for public office in any primary or elected to public office in any election unless such candidate shall have received a majority of the votes cast to fill such nomination or public office.

(c) In instances in which no municipal candidate receives a majority of the votes cast and the municipal charter or ordinances do not provide for nomination or election by a plurality vote, a run-off primary or election shall be held between the candidates receiving the two highest numbers of votes.  Such runoff shall be held on the twenty-eighth day after the day of holding the first primary or election, unless such run-off date is postponed by court order;  provided, however, that, in the case of a runoff from a municipal special election that is held in conjunction with a special election for a federal office and not in conjunction with a general primary or general election, the municipality may conduct such runoff from such municipal special election on the date of the special election runoff for the federal office.  Only the electors entitled to vote in the first primary or election shall be entitled to vote in any run-off primary or election resulting therefrom;  provided, however, that no elector shall vote in a run-off primary in violation of Code Section 21-2-216 .  The run-off primary or election shall be a continuation of the first primary or election, and only those votes cast for the candidates receiving the two highest numbers of votes in the first primary or election shall be counted.  No write-in votes may be cast in such a primary, run-off primary, or run-off election.  If any candidate eligible to be in a runoff withdraws, dies, or is found to be ineligible, the remaining candidates receiving the two highest numbers of votes shall be the candidates in such runoff.  The municipal candidate receiving the highest number of the votes cast in such run-off primary or run-off election to fill the nomination or public office sought shall be declared the winner.  The municipality shall give written notice to the Secretary of State of such runoff as soon as such municipality certifies the preceding primary, special primary, election, or special election.

(d) The name of a municipal write-in candidate eligible for election in a municipal runoff shall be printed on the municipal run-off election ballot in the independent column.

(e) In all cities having a population in excess of 100,000 according to the United States decennial census of 1980 or any future such census, in order for a municipal candidate to be nominated for public office in any primary or elected to public office in any municipal election, he or she must receive a majority of the votes cast.

(f) Except for presidential electors, to be elected to public office in a general election, a candidate must receive a majority of the votes cast in an election to fill such public office.  To be elected to the office of presidential electors, no slate of candidates shall be required to receive a majority of the votes cast, but that slate of candidates shall be elected to such office which receives the highest number of votes cast.


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