COLORBEARER OF ATHENS, GEORGIA LOCALLY OWNED SINCE 1987

Blog Topic: Raging Election

  • In the Loop: Voting Machine Bill Passes on Party-Line Vote

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    Oconee County’s three legislators in the Georgia General Assembly last week voted in favor of House Bill 316, which selects new voting machines and responds to allegations that voters last year were denied access, absentee ballots were not counted and vote tallies were incomplete.

    The vote on the House bill was partisan, and Sen. Bill Cowsert from the 46th District, Rep. Houston Gaines from House District 117, and Rep. Marcus Wiedower from House District 119, all Republicans, sided with the Republican majority.

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  • In the Loop: Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement Kicks Off Voting Rights Tour Thursday

     

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    Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones/file

    Mokah-Jasmine Johnson.

    On Thursday, Feb. 28 from 6–9 p.m. at Hendershot’s, the Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement will launch a seven-city tour to promote voting.

    “The 2018 elections in Georgia left many people wondering if voter suppression played a role in the final outcome,” said AADM cofounder Mokah-Jasmine Johnson, who was featured recently on HBO’s “Vice News” for her work to get out the vote in Athens. “So, I wanted to do this tour to inform and encourage everyday citizens to stay engaged and get involved.”

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  • Homedrone: R.E.M. Tells Congress and Media to 'Ghost' Trump

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    When you're sure you've had enough/ of this president, well hang on.

    R.E.M. continued its long-running feud with Donald Trump over the weekend, firing back at the president after he tweeted a video featuring one of its songs to his 58 million Twitter followers.

    The video, originally posted by pro-Trump meme account @CarpeDonktum, consists of a series of images of Democrats looking sad at Trump's State of the Union Address, set to the 1993 R.E.M. hit "Everybody Hurts." The video was taken down for copyright violation, but Trump later posted the same video, this time set to Lee Greenwood's "Proud to Be an American."

    "World Leader PRETEND!!!" the band said in a statement referencing another one of its songs. "Congress, Media—ghost this faker!!! Love, R.E.M."

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  • In the Loop: Democrats Make Slight Gains in Oconee County

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    Public Service Commissioner Chuck Eaton.

    Republican Brad Raffensperger got 67.1 percent of the vote in Oconee County in the runoff for secretary of state on Tuesday, up just slightly from his 66.8 percent vote on Nov. 6.

    Democrat John Barrow received 32.9 percent of the vote in Oconee County on Tuesday, up from the 30.7 percent he received in the three-way contest on Nov. 6.

    In the Public Service Commission race, incumbent Republican Chuck Eaton received 68.1 percent of the vote in Oconee County on Tuesday, down from the 69.4 percent he received on Nov. 6.

    Democrat Lindy Miller received 31.9 percent, up from the 27.3 percent she received in the three-way race on Nov. 6.

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  • In the Loop: ACC Attorney Says Board of Elections Illegally Closed Meeting

     

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    Savannah Cole/file

    The Athens-Clarke County Board of Elections broke state law when it went into executive session in September to discuss opening an early voting site at Cedar Shoals High School, according to the ACC Attorney’s office.

    Tension continued in the Board of Elections on Tuesday as they discussed the closed-door meeting. The attorney’s office concluded the board was in violation of the Georgia Open Meetings act. Assistant county attorney John Hawkins provided the results of the review to board members.

    On Sept. 4, the BOE decided to go to executive session to discuss “personnel matters” since more poll workers would be needed for an additional early voting location. Under the Open Meetings Act, the board is permitted to go to executive session if it involved personnel matters. However, other topics were discussed, and the personnel exemption is meant to cover discussions about specific employees or candidates for positions, not hiring more personnel in general.

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  • In the Loop: Athens' John Barrow Loses Bid to Become Georgia Secretary of State

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    Republican Brad Raffensperger defeated Barrow in a runoff Tuesday.

    Democrat John Barrow lost his bid to become Georgia's secretary of state Tuesday to Republican Brad Raffensperger, and Republican incumbent Chuck Eaton kept his seat on the Public Service Commission, defeating Democrat Lindy Miller.

    Barrow's loss means that a Republican will be running Georgia's elections in 2020—when President Donald Trump and one of his staunchest supporters, GOP Sen. David Perdue, are on the ballot—and 2024, when Gov.-elect Brian Kemp will be up for re-election.

    It also comes amid widespread accusations among Democrats that voter suppression efforts under Kemp, the former secretary of state, cost Democrat Stacey Abrams the gubernatorial election.

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  • In the Loop: Barrow Urges Athens Democrats to Get Out the Vote in Runoff for Secretary of State

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    Photo Credit: Blake Aued

    "Whoever wants it more wins," Athens Democrat John Barrow told a small group of supporters during a last-minute campaign stop on Monday night, just hours before polls opened for a runoff election for secretary of state. "We need all the hay in the barn we can get."

    Barrow is running to be Georgia's top election official, and Stacey Abrams supporters need no reminder of how important that position can be after her narrow loss to Republican Brian Kemp last month amidst widespread accusations of voter suppression and irregularities at the polls.

    "Y'all know the stakes," Barrow said. "I'm running for an office nobody knew anything about. Now the whole country has gotten a crash course."

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  • In the Loop: Watch Secretary of State Candidate John Barrow Debate an Empty Podium

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    Republican Brad Raffensperger was a no-show for an Atlanta Press Club debate with Democrat John Barrow for the runoff for secretary of state.

    The debate aired Tuesday on Georgia Public Broadcasting. Raffensperger claimed he had a scheduling conflict, but the press club said it had been trying to negotiate a date and time for almost three weeks.

    His absence allowed Barrow—a former congressman and Harvard Law graduate—to run roughshod over an empty podium as he contrasted himself with both Raffensperger and Gov.-elect Brian Kemp, who was widely criticized for voter suppression as secretary of state while overseeing his own election.

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  • In the Loop: Early Voting for the Dec. 4 Runoff Is Now Open

     

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    John Barrow.

    Even though Stacey Abrams fell a bit short in her bid for governor, there will still be a runoff Dec. 4.

    Athens’ own John Barrow faces Republican Brad Raffensperger for secretary of state, so if you’re not happy with the way the election was conducted under Brian Kemp, you know what to do. Barrow may be a centrist white guy who doesn’t quite give you that tingly feeling Abrams did, but he wants to get rid of Georgia’s antiquated voting machines, and he’s certainly not going to go along with suppressing minority voters on behalf of the GOP. The importance of having a Democrat in this office come 2020 can’t be overstated.

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  • In the Loop: Oconee County Voters Cast Mostly Party-Line Ballots

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    Oconee County voting on Nov. 6 showed little variation by election contest, suggesting that most ballots were cast along party lines.

    No Republican got more than 74.6 percent of the vote or less than 66.8 percent in Oconee County, and no Democrat got more than 30.7 percent of the vote or less than 25.4 percent, an analysis of the certified results shows.

    Voting for the state as a whole showed that same pattern, with almost all contests being split, with about half of the vote going to Republicans and nearly half going to Democrats.

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