Jon Ossoff Has Never Bothered to Vote in a Runoff Election

Georgia Dem has skipped the polls in over half of statewide elections since 2008, records show

Jon Ossoff / Getty Images
April 25, 2017

Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff cannot vote for himself in June's runoff election because he lives in the wrong district, but based on his previous turnout for runoff elections it is unlikely he would vote in it even if he could.

Voting records reveal that the 30-year-old Ossoff, who has been an eligible Georgia voter for over a decade, has never voted in one of the state's many runoff elections, according to information obtained through the Georgia secretary of state.

The first opportunities for Ossoff to participate in runoffs came in 2008, the year he initially registered to vote.

Ossoff registered to vote nine days too late to participate in the 2008 presidential primary, according to his file, so his first vote came as a registered Democrat in the July 15 Georgia primary. No candidate received over 50 percent of the vote in the primary, sending the race to an August 5 runoff three weeks later. Ossoff did not vote in that runoff.

Ossoff returned to the polls that year for the November 4 general election. Incumbent Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss fell short of 50 percent in the general, sending the race to a December 2 runoff that Ossoff also neglected.

Ossoff next showed up to vote in 2010 for a July 20 primary, but was a no-show for the August 10 runoff. He did show up for the November 2 general election.

Ossoff has not been eligible to vote in any of the runoff elections that have occurred since 2010, but his record for turning out in other elections has been far from stellar.

In 2012, as CNN reported last week, Ossoff did not vote in any elections at all. His campaign says that Ossoff "was working on his Master's degree at the London School of Economics during the 2012 election and as a result did not vote."

In 2014, Ossoff failed to register a vote in the May 20 primary but did show up for the November 4 general election. (There was a July 22 runoff in 2014, but the statewide vote was for Republican candidates.)

In 2016, Ossoff voted in the March 1 presidential primary and, through an absentee ballot, the November 8 general election. Yet he did not vote in the May 24 primary in which Democrats selected Jim Barksdale to be their Senate candidate.

Ossoff, who failed to win over 50 percent of the vote despite getting the most votes in last week's special election, will face Republican Karen Handel in a runoff election on June 20.

Ossoff's campaign did not return a request for comment on his decision to ignore runoff elections in the past.