Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 5, 2016


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 5, 2016

On October 5, 1864, the Battle of Allatoona Pass was fought in Bartow County, Georgia.

The first televised Presidential address from the White House was broadcast on October 5, 1947.

The Georgia Supreme Court outlawed use of the electric chair as “cruel and unusual punishment” on October 5, 2001.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Yesterday, Governor Nathan Deal declared an emergency in thirteen coastal Georgia counties in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew.

“Hurricane Matthew is forecast to potentially impact the Georgia coast within 72 hours,” said Deal. “While the exact effects are unknown at this time, I’ve issued an emergency declaration for coastal counties effective October 5 and extending for seven days. I’ve ordered the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMHSA) to work with appropriate state and local agencies to ensure all precautions are taken to protect residents and minimize risks to property and roads. The safety of Georgians is our first priority, and we urge residents in these areas to remain calm but vigilant as they prepare for potential impact.”

The state of emergency includes the following 13 counties: Brantley, Bryan, Bulloch, Camden, Charlton, Chatham, Effingham, Evans, Glynn, Liberty, Long, McIntosh and Wayne counties.

The impending storm also knocked-out a fundraising trip by North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory (R).

The fundraiser was organized by some of Georgia’s top conservatives, including Faith and Freedom Coalition founder Ralph Reed, ex-Gov. Sonny Perdue and state Sen. David Shafer, R-Duluth.

Coastal Georgia residents are watching and preparing for the possibility of the storm hitting the coast.

The storm — now 830 miles south, moving north at around 10 mph with winds at 140 mph as of 11 p.m. Tuesday — is expected to still be a large hurricane by the time it gets close to us, with the potential for major, destructive impacts from wind, storm surge and floods.

No hurricane watches or warning were issued for Chatham County on Tuesday. A state of emergency only means laws can be suspended and money can be freed up to help areas prepare and recover from disasters.

On Tybee Island, meanwhile, Mayor Jason Buelterman said his focus Tuesday was awareness. While Tybee was projected in the error cone around the hurricane’s path Tuesday, the mayor said the island could still feel the effects of the storm.

Buelterman said island residents should hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

“The worst case scenario would be a Category 3, direct hit,” Buelterman said. “That’s a distinct possibility at this point. The forecast right now is for like tropical storm force effects. … But that could change based on the speed of it. All it takes is a slight, slight change to the west for us to be severely impacted.”

Attorney General Sam Olens took a step closer to the presidency of Kennesaw State University yesterday, according to the Marietta Daily Journal.

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens has been officially recommended for the position of president of Kennesaw State University, [by the Board of Regents’ Executive and Compensation Committee,] with a vote by the Georgia Board of Regents the final step before getting the job.

The Board of Regents is set to vote on Olens’ hiring at their meeting Oct. 12.

“I am honored to be considered for the presidency of Kennesaw State University,” Olens said in a release by the University of System of Georgia. “Cobb County is my home, and I care deeply for Kennesaw State. If I’m fortunate enough to be selected by the Board of Regents, I will do everything I can to earn the trust and support of KSU’s faculty, staff and students.”

Wynn Resorts of Las Vegas is joining the push to bring casino gambling to Georgia next year, according to the AJC.

Wynn Resorts Development of Las Vegas has hired the Dentons law firm as its lobbying team head of the 2017 legislative session. The company is owned by Steve Wynn and has casinos in Vegas and the Macau region of China and is building a casino resort outside Boston.

Wynn and Dentons declined to comment but Dentons lobbyists Jeff Hamling, Ed Lindsey, Amy Odom and Ben Vinson have all registered to represent Wynn at the state and local level.

Latinos in Georgia are being urged by radio ads to register to vote in this year’s General Election.

[P]rogressive advocacy organization People For the American Way (PFAW) launched a bilingual voter registration ad campaign as part of the group’s Latinos Vote! program, urging Latinos to register in order to vote against Donald Trump and his campaign of bigotry on Election Day.

The campaign includes Spanish-language radio ads in North Carolina, Ohio, Arizona, Georgia, and Virginia sending the message that Trump—who has called immigrants “rapists” and “killers” and supports a mass deportation agenda—could be the next president if listeners don’t register to vote in time and to vote against him. You can listen to the ad here.

These ads will run on Facebook and Twitter in Nevada, Florida, Colorado, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin, Arizona, Georgia, Virginia.

Pedro Marin, Georgia State Representative: “The number of Georgia Latinos registered to vote has more than doubled over the last ten years. If more of us register to vote—and go vote—Hillary Clinton could defeat Trump in our state. With increased voter registrations and a candidate as hateful as Donald Trump at the top of the ticket, I’m confident that we can use our voting power to ensure Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and mass deportation policies never reaches the White House.”

Libertarian Vice Presidential candidate William Weld will appear tonight at an event in Atlanta.

DeKalb County homeowners will have the chance to extend a property tax assessment freeze in the General Election.

The measure extends for five more years an existing assessment freeze that has been in place since 2007.

By preventing the assessed value of homes from going up except when they’re sold or renovated, residents’ property taxes will stay the same each year unless elected officials raise rates.

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp‘s office says some online voter registration attempts were rejected because of a third-party provider.

A technology provider for the Department of Driver Services attempted unsuccessfully to update a security certificate on Friday causing some users of the Georgia Online Voter Registration System to receive error messages when submitting electronic applications over the weekend. However, the system backup for paper applications was successful in generating those applications, and our office observed a spike in those users over the weekend.

The failed update at roughly 6:30 p.m. on Friday, September 30, affected instant DDS verification of electronic voter registration applications.

On the morning of Monday, October 3, the Secretary of State’s Elections Division discovered the error. They immediately alerted DDS to describe the severity of the issue and worked with officials to correct the mistake. DDS was able to work with GTA and the technology provider to back out of the updated network certificate and fully restore OLVR connectivity at approximately 12:30 p.m.

Although we are not able to identify the number of affected users, any Georgian who attempted to register to vote using OLVR since September 30 should check their voter registration status using the “My Voter Page” (MVP) website and, if needed, update their voter registration before the October 11 voter registration deadline.

MVP can be accessed at

OLVR can be accessed at

Kemp’s office is also releasing videos in foreign language to explain the voter registration system.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp unveiled the first of four new video tutorials in English, Hindi, Korean, Mandarin, Spanish, and Vietnamese on voter registration, absentee voting by mail, advance in-person voting, and Election Day voting. Kemp encourages Georgians to take advantage of these tutorials with only seven days left until the voter registration deadline and absentee voting by mail already underway for the November General Election.

“I want every eligible Georgian to have the information they need to take part in the electoral process,” stated Secretary Kemp. “These new resources will help voters who are non-English speakers know how to register to vote and prepare to cast their ballot.”

Secretary Kemp initiated this project to ensure every Georgian is informed on Election Day. Individuals can view the voter registration tutorials by visiting Secretary Kemp’s YouTube channel or the Elections Division’s website. All four tutorials will be available to Georgians by week’s end. Kemp will also work with minority advocacy groups to promote the videos in various communities across the state.

“In the Secretary of State’s office, we are dedicated to ensuring every Georgian has the opportunity to register to vote and allow their voice to be heard at the polls,” said Kemp.

Gwinnett County Commissioners voted unanimously to take over the old Olympic Tennis Center near Stone Mountain and tear down the existing building.

“It’s got to come down, it’s got to be demolished,” County Commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash said. “It’s not in any kind of condition (to remain) … Demolishing it is cheaper than trying to fix it up. I’m sure that’s the case.”

Gainesville City Council members rejected a sober living home for men after neighboring homeowners raised safety issues.

The Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority will negotiate with a Denver architecture firm to design a replacement for the aging James Brown Arena.

Its proposed price tag is $110 million, and no funding source has been determined, although the authority received special purpose local option sales tax 7 funds with which it is starting the process.

The Effingham County Board of Education will pay $1.2 million to buy a farm for use as an agriculture center.

Shearouse said about 500 students are enrolled in high school ag classes out of about 3,400 students. The system also has three middle school programs that funnel children into the high school classes.

The number of students taking ag classes has been fairly steady in recent years.

“Agricultural education provides students with skills they can use for a lifetime, regardless of whether they work in an agricultural occupation or not,” Shearouse said.

The Cherokee Tribune & Ledger-News has endorsed the E-SPLOST on the November ballot.

Macon-Bibb County will seek bids to build a new senior center.


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