Cooper: Despite rhetoric, race hasn't been problem in Georgia Senate, gubernatorial runoffs

Associated Press File Photo / U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Georgia, left, puts on a face mask as she walks with U.S. Sen. David Perdue, R-Georgia, at UPS Hapeville Airport Hub in Atlanta in July

One doesn't have to look very far to find articles that suggest our neighbors in the state of Georgia are racist for holding runoff elections in which it is required that the winner have a majority of the votes.

A November New York Times article calls runoffs a "vestige of segregationist efforts to dilute Black voting power." The Conversation quotes the man behind the early 1960s bill adopting them for primary elections saying they were designed to "prevent the Negro voting bloc from controlling the elections," the idea being that Blacks won't return for a runoff in numbers as they did in the general election but whites will.

However, runoffs were adopted for Georgia general elections only after the 1966 gubernatorial contest in which segregationist Democrat Lester Maddox was elected governor (but over a white Republican, who had won a plurality of votes, and not a Black candidate).