Blog Topic: Raging Election

  • In the Loop: Where Do Brian Kemp and Stacey Abrams Stand on Health Care?

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    With issues like Medicaid expansion on the table, health care has been a major factor in the governor's race. Graduate students at the University of Georgia College of Public Health created this handy-dandy graphic to help voters understand the candidates' stances.

    "We felt there was a need for concise information without any political rhetoric," student Megan Bramlett said. "These issues are complicated and layered, and our goal was to provide a clear and objective visual to assist Georgia voters as they get ready to head to the polls."

    Students divided into two teams, one for Democrat Stacey Abrams and one for Republican Brian Kemp. They were led by Bramlett and Seth Riggle, under the watch of professor Grace Bagwell Adams.


  • In the Loop: Early Voting Nears All-Time High in Athens


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    Photo Credit: Savannah Cole/file

    Early voting at the Athens-Clarke County Board of Elections.

    The number of Georgians who've voted early passed the 1.6 million mark on Wednesday.

    At this time during the last midterm election in 2014, the early voter count had almost reached 700,000, according to Georgia Votes.

    Record early voting is also happening in Clarke County. So far, 17,576 people have cast their ballot in the county. While that's fewer than the number who voted early in 2016—a presidential year when turnout is usually substantially higher—it's a 155 percent increase compared to 2014. And there is still a day and a half to go before early voting ends.


  • In the Loop: Hice Boasts About Strong Economy in Athens Visit

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    Photo Credit: Lee Becker

    Hice at the NEGARC meeting.

    Congressman Jody Hice’s presentation to the Council of the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission last month was not billed as a campaign event, but it would have been hard to miss the political implications of the message.

    In just “two quick years,” Hice told government and civic leaders from the region, the country has gone from having a “stagnant” economy to one in which there is “great economic news.”

    Hice said that “tax cuts played a huge role, relief of regulations have played a huge role.” He also said “local public and private partnership has played a huge role” in stimulating the economy.

    Hice didn’t mention President Donald Trump, the Republican-controlled Congress, or even his own re-election bid.


  • In the Loop: Abrams, Kemp Campaigning in Athens

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    As the gubernatorial campaign enters its last stretch, both candidates—Republican Brian Kemp and Democrat Stacey Abrams—will be campaigning in the Athens area in the coming days.

    Both candidates are currently on bus tours around th state.

    After a press conference on Medicaid expansion in Atlanta and a tour of a Hoschton clinic on today, Abrams will stop at the Morton Theatre at 3 p.m. with Sarah Riggs Amico, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor. If you missed her packed-out appearance at Hendershot's, this may be your last chance to catch her before Nov. 6. RSVP here.

    Kemp will be at Oconee Veteran's Park off Hog Mountain Road in Watkinsville from 10–11 a.m. on Monday. 


  • In the Loop: Vote Early This Saturday or at Expanded Locations Next Week



    Photo Credit: Savannah Cole

    Early voting at the Board of Elections.

    The Athens-Clarke County Board of Elections will be open for early voting from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Saturday, and three other early voting locations will open next week.

    Voting machines will be set up at the Athens-Clarke County Library from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and until 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday; at the Tate Center on campus from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday; and in the basement of City Hall from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Thursday and Friday.

    That's in addition to early voting at the Board of Elections office, 155 E. Washington St., from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. weekdays through Nov. 2.


  • In the Loop: Wiedower Raises Most Funds Among Athens Legislative Candidates

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    Marcus Wiedower, Republican candidate for the 119th House District seat, raised more than $80,000 from July 1–Sept. 30, topping all six candidates for Clarke and Oconee counties' seats in the General Assembly.

    Rep. Jonathan Wallace, the incumbent Democrat in House District 119, raised 

    Rep. Deborah Gonzalez, the Democrat incumbent in House District 117, raised $68,381—more than $20,000 above the $47,987 raised by her Republican challenger, Houston Gaines.

    Incumbent Republican Sen. Bill Cowsert raised $61,575, while his Democratic challenger, Marisue Hilliard, raised $33,459.


  • In the Loop: Deal Endorses Houston Gaines for State House

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    Gov. Nathan Deal endorsed Republican Houston Gaines for state House District 117 today, saying "Gaines is the only candidate in the race who can deliver results for northeast Georgia and maintain our strong business climate."

    Gaines is running against state Rep. Deborah Gonzalez (D-Athens), who beat him in a special election last year. The seat had previously been held by Republicans since it was redrawn in 2012 but is now a swing district.

    From the Gaines campaign:


  • In the Loop: Abrams Accuses Kemp of Voter Suppression in Packed Athens Appearance


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    Photo Credit: Savannah Cole

    Stacey Abrams speaks at Hendershot's Coffee and Bar Thursday evening.

    Democrat Stacey Abrams accused her Republican opponent, Secretary of State Brian Kemp, of trying to suppress minority turnout to win the governor’s race during a recent appearance in Athens.

    Abrams spoke at two local bars, Hendershot’s and Wayward Lounge, on Thursday, Oct. 11, the day after the Associated Press reported that Kemp’s office had not processed 53,000 voter registration applications because of minor discrepancies, such as accents in names, between the applications and other documents. Seventy percent of those would-be voters are black.

    Abrams, the former House minority leader who’s been running voter registration drives for Democrats for years, is no stranger to sparring with Kemp. Her organization, the New Georgia Project, previously filed a lawsuit against the secretary of state’s office over a similar issue.

    “I know what his tricks are,” Abrams said. “He’s a one-trick pony when it comes to voter suppression. It’s not going to work this time.”


  • In the Loop: Voters Asked to Resubmit Mail-in Ballots Due to Error

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    Athens-Clarke County has asked about 300 voters to fill out new absentee ballots after an error was discovered in the ones they'd already they'd already been sent.

    According to ACC, those 300 voters received ballots that included a candidate for state Senate District 46 who should not have been included.

    The ballot listed Republican incumbent Bill Cowsert, Democrat Marisue Hilliard and independent John Fortuin. However, Fortuin did not qualify as an independent candidate. He is a write-in candidate, and write-in candidates' names do not appear on the ballot.


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