Georgia Senate election on knife-edge in vote count

Elections in the US state of Georgia that will decide control of the Senate are too close to call amid a nail-biting ballot count.

Republicans Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue are neck and neck with Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff.

Early on Wednesday, Mr Warnock claimed victory against Ms Loeffler, although some votes remain to be counted.

US President-elect Joe Biden’s Democrats need to win both seats to gain full control of Congress.

The Republican party of outgoing President Donald Trump needs only to win one in order to retain the Senate.

All four candidates were in a dead heat with 98% of ballots counted from Georgia’s 159 counties.

Mr Warnock has a wafer-thin lead over Ms Loeffler, while Mr Perdue is tied with Mr Ossoff.

Thousands of votes remain to be counted in the Atlanta suburbs such as DeKalb County, which is expected to go heavily for the Democrats. The BBC’s US partner CBS News still rates both races as toss-ups.

Georgia election official Gabriel Sterling told CNN that final results were expected by lunchtime on Wednesday.

More than three million votes – about 40% of the state’s registered voters – were cast before Tuesday. Early voting was a key benefit for Mr Biden in November’s White House election.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump – whose unsubstantiated claims that he was the victim of electoral fraud left Republican strategists worried about turnout in Tuesday’s Senate runoffs – continued to cast aspersions on the integrity of the vote in Georgia.

<<BBC>>