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Georgia’s runoff system was designed to lessen Black voters’ influence.

Georgia’s runoff system was pushed by a segregationist in the 1960s. Georgia and Louisiana are the only two states that use runoffs in general elections. The Senate race is the first time two Black men have competed for a U.S. Senate seat. System came amid a fierce national fight over voting rights and discrimination in the 1960s.

Past techniques used to politically disenfranchise Black Americans were now outlawed or less effective. System provides “a second chance for the majority group to consolidate support,” professor says. It stymies efforts by numerical minorities to build a winning coalition, expert says.