Georgia Politics, Campaigns & Elections for November 6, 2012

28510 is a yellow lab adult male, who is friendly and available for adoption from the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter beginning Thursday.

28452 is a young male Flat-Coated Retriever who is available for adoption today from Gwinnett County.

28477 is a female border collie mix puppy who is available today from Gwinnett County.

28453 is a female Shepherd mix who is friendly, playful and available for adoption today.

Finally, 28511 is a female Pointer mix puppy who might grow up to be a great bird dog or companion; she is available for adoption beginning Thursday.

Help save another yellow dog, this one Democrat Daniel Fullerton, who received a kidney transplant last year and will very soon start receiving healthcare bills with many, many zeros as well as a lifetime of anti-rejection meds. Please consider making a donation online or by check today. Let them know I sent you.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns & Elections

Today is election day, but if you need the reminder, you’re probably not smart enough to actually cast a vote.

For people with disabilities, and those who might encounter such fellow citizens, here are a couple of notes about voting today:

1.  People with a disability and/or older than 75 years may go to the front of the line at polling places between 9:30 AM and 4:30 PM.  Simply consult with a poll worker.
2.  A voter who is unable to sign his or her name, unable to see or mark the ballot, operate the voting equipment, or enter the voting booth without assistance, can receive assistance in casting their vote. The individual assisting a voter with a disability must record his or her name on the disabled elector’s voter certificate.
3.  Every polling place must have at least one voting unit accessible from a wheelchair.  Audio ballots are also available for the blind and visually impaired.

Should you have the opportunity to assist someone in voting today by giving them a ride to the polls or ensuring that they are able to receive the lawful assistance outlined above, you will be performing a profoundly patriotic act.

If you witness or suspect voter fraud, consult the Secretary of State’s anti-fraud page and call the Voter Fraud Hotline at 877-725-9797.

Why do we vote on Tuesday? Here’s one answer.

When voters traveled to the polls by horse, Tuesday was an ideal day because it allows people to worship on Sunday, ride to their county seat on Monday and vote on Tuesday – all before market day, Wednesday.

And here are the reasons some Americans don’t love America bother to vote.

[A]pathy was a big reason — roughly 4 million registered voters either weren’t interested or didn’t like the candidates. But polling place access was a major factor, too. Nearly a million Americans had “registration problems” while 750,000 found the polling location either too inconvenient or had transportation problems. And some 2.6 million voters said they were “too busy” to vote.

Early voting did not hit the two million mark as it did in 2008, with Metro Atlanta showing the largest dropoff.

Georgia early voting picked up in the final days, but it looks like turnout will fall just short of the 2 million ballots cast before the 2008 election.

Early voting in metro Atlanta was down by a larger margin, however, suggesting that Georgians in the rest of the state are picking up the slack.

As of Friday, almost 1.9 million people had either voted in person or mailed in ballots. That’s more than a third of all registered Georgia voters. The total is not final, as elections officials expect more mail-in ballots to arrive through Election Day. About 73,000 requested absentee ballots had yet to be returned by Monday, according to Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s office.

Most demographic groups are down slightly from their 2008 totals. Hispanic men and women are exceptions. Combined, they have cast 15,666 ballots, up from 14,914 four years ago.

Asian-Americans are also up slightly, casting 12,159 ballots compared to the previous 12,017.

African-American voters made up about a third of the early ballots received so far this year, more than their 30 percent share of all registered voters. Their 653,070 early ballots are about 93 percent of their 2008 total.

White voters’ have cast about 59 percent of the early ballots, essentially even with their proportion of the registered voter list.

As occurred four years ago, early balloting has been heaviest in the most populous counties of metro Atlanta, but several of those counties have produced fewer early votes than in 2008. DeKalb’s 160,820 – the highest total so far this year – lags behind its 2008 total by about 13 percent. Fulton County is about 19 percent off of its 2008 turnout. Both are majority Democratic counties, though it is difficult to draw absolute conclusions about partisan counts since Georgia does not require voters to register by party.

Cobb and Gwinnett, two more conservative counties around Atlanta, are also down this year.

Also expected to vote in lower numbers this year: college students. That’s probably a good thing.

A lot of students also said they don’t like the candidates, but one student said he doesn’t like voting at all. “It don’t really count as nothin’, because we don’t really decide who wins,” said Central Georgia Technical College student Michael Smith. “They already know, you know? They pick who wins.”

We asked Smith, “who’s they?” “The government,” he replied.

Many of the students we talked to didn’t seem very engaged, even those who preferred one candidate over the other. At Wesleyan, 19-year-old Artishea Tripp told us she missed the registration deadline, though if she hadn’t, she’d be voting for Obama. “I like the changes he wants to make as far as getting the deficit up, or whatever,” she said.

After work and voting, you might head over to the Grand Hyatt Buckhead on Peachtree Road near Piedmont, where Lt. Governor Casey Cagle is holding an Election Night Results Party.

The Microsoft search engine Bing changes its background image every day and today has a great photo of our nation’s capitol.

If you had any question about who to vote for in the election for Public Service Commission, District 3, this should help you make up your mind. Democrat Steve Oppenheimer wrote yesterday in the Rock Hill [SC] Herald:

Three years ago with the expansion project was first proposed, cost estimates were around $6.4 billion –– now we are at $14 billion with looming multi billion dollar cost overruns on the horizon. See a trend?

The problem with that statement is that it simply is not true. Oppenheimer confused the difference between the $14 billion total cost of the project and Georgia Power’s share of the cost, which is $6.1 billion dollars with a massive cost overrun that the media would surely report on.

The certified budget for the two new Vogtle units is $14 billion with Georgia Power’s share being $6.1 billion.

In 2008, when John McCain received more than 2,040,000 votes, one of the Republican nominees for Public Service Commission received just over 1,700,000, which means that roughly 15 percent of Republicans who took the time to show up at the polls didn’t even get past the first page of their ballot. As a result, the Democrat came in first and the election went to a December runoff. Don’t let that be you or your friends and family. Vote for Chuck Eaton for PSC in the second item on your ballot.

Congressman John Barrow and his Republican opponent Lee Anderson traveled the district yesterday in a last push for votes.

“How about them Falcons?” Anderson asked one customer at Evans Diner. “I could eat cornbread, butterbeans and tomatoes every day of the week,” he told another at Goolsby’s restaurant down the road.

While some Republican voters in the district have said they support Barrow, Anderson insists most see the congressman as two-faced rather than independent. Anderson and the Republican Party have sought to persuade voters that Barrow is a bigger ally of Obama than he’ll admit. In a fundraising email last week, Anderson’s campaign described Barrow and Obama as sharing a “bromance.”

“People are fed up with John Barrow being the biggest flip-flopper,” said Anderson, a state lawmaker and hay farmer from Grovetown. “They’re ready for someone to go to Washington who’s struggling just like they are.”

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