New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman is encouraging non-Georgia residents to move to the state so they can register to vote in two January 5 U.S. Senate runoff elections.

“I hope everybody moves to Georgia, you know, in the next month or two, registers to vote, and votes for these two Democratic senators,” Friedman told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Tuesday.

The outcome of those runoff elections, one that pits incumbent Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) against Democratic challenger John Ossoff and the other in which incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) faces Democratic challenger Raphael Warnock,  will determine the balance of power in the Senate when the 117th Congress convenes in Washington in January.

With the results in all other general election contests in the U.S. Senate now known, the current balance of power in the upcoming 117th Congress stands at 50 Republicans and 48 Democrats. If both Democrats win in the January 5 special election, there would be 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats in the Senate, meaning the vice president would break any ties.

In a worst case scenario for Republicans, a 50-50 U.S. Senate with a Vice President Kamala Harris could end the filibuster in the “world’s most deliberative body” and result in Senate approval of schemes to pack the U.S. Supreme Court.

For that reason, the runoff elections for the two U.S. Senate seats in Georgia on January 5 are vitally important to both Democrats and Republicans.

While Friedman stopped short of calling on non-Georgia residents to move temporarily to the state solely for the purpose of voting in the January 5 runoff elections before returning to their homes outside of Georgia, other Democratic activists appear to have encouraged non-Georgia residents to move to the state temporarily only for the purpose of voting in those runoff elections.

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