Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 12, 2018

12
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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 12, 2018

General William Tecumseh Sherman ordered the destruction of railroad and telegraph lines between Atlanta and Northwest Georgia on November 12, 1864. Sherman also burned the railroad bridge over the Chattahoochee, cutting his own supply line from Chattanooga.

In what looks to me like a surprisingly progressive move for the 19th century, Governor John B. Gordon signed legislation on November 12, 1889 opening the University of Georgia to white women.

On November 12, 1918, Atlanta held a victory parade to celebrate the Armistice with Germany.

On November 12, 1944, the Atlanta Constitution released a poll of Georgia legislators indicating that most wanted more local rule for cities and counties in the new Constitution being drafted.

President Jimmy Carter ordered an end to oil imports from Iran on November 12, 1979.

Tim Berners-Lee published a Proposal for a HyperText Project, laying the foundation for the World Wide Web, on November 12, 1990.

HyperText is a way to link and access information of various kinds as a web of nodes in which the user can browse at will. Potentially, HyperText provides a single user-interface to many large classes of stored information such as reports, notes, data-bases, computer documentation and on-line systems help.

A program which provides access to the hypertext world we call a browser. A hypertext page has pieces of text which refer to other texts. Such references are highlighted and can be selected with a mouse. When you select a reference, the browser presents you with the text which is referenced.

The texts are linked together in a way that one can go from one concept to another to find the information one wants. The network of links is called a web.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The Ledger-Enquirer writes about runoff elections on the statewide ballot.

▪ Republican Brad Raffensberger and Democrat John Barrow will face off for the Secretary of State office Brian Kemp just vacated.

▪ Incumbent Republican Chuck Eaton and Democrat Lindy Miller will vie for the 3rd District Public Service Commission seat.

Early voting starts Nov. 26 – the Monday after a four-day Thanksgiving weekend, for some people – and it lasts just five days, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Nov. 30 in the City Services Center, 3111 Citizens Way, off Macon Road by the Columbus Public Library.

“That’s if everything goes as planned,” cautioned Nancy Boren, executive director of the Muscogee County Board of Elections and Registrations.

Tuesday’s vote still has to be certified, to document the tallies needed for runoffs. Legal maneuvers in the governor’s race could affect that.

Only people who were eligible to vote in the General Election may vote in the runoff, but they do not have to have voted, they just have to have been registered to.

Governor Deal on Friday issued the call for a Special Session of the Georgia General Assembly.

Gov. Nathan Deal today issued the call to convene a special legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly, to begin on Tuesday, Nov. 13.

“Many of Georgia’s communities were severely impacted by Hurricane Michael as families, businesses and farmers sustained significant financial losses,” said Deal. “In response, I have asked the General Assembly to reconvene and take immediate action to provide relief funding and spur economic recovery for the affected areas. Our state appropriations need to be amended to minimize financial losses following the storm and to ensure Georgia’s continued prosperity in the coming months. I look forward to working with the General Assembly and the leadership of both chambers to provide much-needed support for those affected by Hurricane Michael.”

The special session will be convened for the limited purposes of providing emergency funding to state agencies and local governments following Hurricane Michael and ratifying Deal’s executive order dated July 30, 2018. The special session will also include providing for general law regarding taxation related to recovery and rebuilding from the impact of Hurricane Michael and taxation related to the subjects of that executive order.

The regular session of the 2018 General Assembly adjourned sine die on March 29, 2018. Article V, Section II, Paragraph VII of the Constitution of the State of Georgia grants the governor the power to convene a special session of the General Assembly by proclamation.

The call for the special legislative session is available below or viewable here.

From the Newnan Times-Herald:

Under state law, when the legislature is called into special session, only those issues specially included in the “call” can be taken up.

“South Georgia desperately needs relief from the major hurricane that destroyed houses, businesses and large sections of our agricultural community,” State Rep. David Stover, R-Palmetto, said after the initial announcement. “I expect the session will relieve much of the financial pressure that the people of our state in the affected areas are currently facing.”

“I applaud Governor Deal’s call for a special session to address the devastation in South Georgia,” said State Rep. Josh Bonner, R-Peachtree City. “The impact on the communities hit by Hurricane Michael is not only felt by Georgia, but resonates across our country. As elected officials, we owe it to our citizens to do whatever possible to help recover, rebuild and re-establish normalcy as soon as possible.”

The session is expected to last five days. State Rep. Lynn Smith, R-Newnan, said she has heard that the legislature might meet next Saturday for the final day, instead of taking the weekend off and finishing up the session the Monday before Thanksgiving.

The amendment to the budget will have to go through the same process as any other bill in the legislature. It will be “dropped” and first read, then taken up by the House Appropriations Committee and the House Rules Committee, then go to the House floor. After passage by the House, it will head over to the Senate for the same process.

Democrat Stacey Abrams has filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to delay the certification of votes in last Tuesday’s election, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

If successful, the suit would prevent officials from certifying county vote totals until Wednesday and could restore at least 1,095 votes that weren’t counted. The campaign said thousands more ballots could be affected.

Abrams’ campaign manager, Lauren Groh-Wargo, said the state’s numbers can’t be trusted and that 5,000 votes came in Saturday that previously were unknown.

“This race is not over,” she said on a conference call with reporters. “It’s still too close to call.”

Abrams campaign leaders said she needs to get the margin down to about 22,000 votes to force a runoff, and they sent a fundraising email to supporters Sunday saying at least 30,823 votes remain to be counted.

The Kemp campaign contends far fewer votes remain, less than 18,000, and that Abrams mathematically can’t force a runoff.

Each of Georgia’s 159 counties must certify final returns by Tuesday, and many have done so already. The state must certify a statewide result by Nov. 20.

Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux has also filed suit in federal court, seeking to delay certification of vote totals, according to the AJC.

The 7th District candidate effectively joined in on a lawsuit filed by a handful of voting and civil rights groups during the early voting period that preceded Election Day. Those groups sued Gwinnett County and then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp, homing in on Gwinnett’s disproportionately high reporting of signature-related absentee ballot rejections.

Bourdeaux argued that the county’s rejection of those ballots violates federal law since those voters were already previously determined to be eligible to vote. She said the county should accept and count those ballots.

“We are taking this legal action to ensure that every eligible vote is counted in this election. We will not stop fighting until that goal is accomplished,” Bourdeaux spokesman Jake Best said in a statement.

The suit is seeking to block Gwinnett from certifying its election results as initially planned on Tuesday afternoon in order to give the county time to count the absentee ballots.

A hair separates Bourdeaux from incumbent Republican Rob Woodall in the 7th Congressional District, which also includes major swaths of Forsyth County. Woodall leads by roughly 900 votes, putting the race within recount territory, but Bourdeaux’s campaign is mining for as many votes as possible in the meantime.

The Gwinnett County Board of Elections met privately to discuss litigation, according to the AJC.

A handful of voting and civil rights groups sued Gwinnett County and then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp during the early voting period that preceded Election Day, homing in on Gwinnett’s disproportionately high reporting of signature-related absentee ballot rejections. A judge ultimately issued an injunction ordering Gwinnett — and every other county in Georgia — to allow voters rejected on such basis new opportunities to have their ballots counted.

The American Civil Liberties Union issued a new press release Thursday afternoon, taking issue with Gwinnett’s rejection of absentee ballots on the basis of missing birth date information.

Darryl Joachim was one voter rejected due to such an issue. At the elections office Friday, he said he cast an absentee ballot but was rejected because he did not include his date of birth on the ballot envelope.

“There are definitely different political points of view” on the elections board, which is made up of two Democrats, two Republicans and an independent, Day said. “But we do agree that our staff has acted in the way that the law stated they should act.”

County officials have said there are somewhere between 2,400 and 2,500 provisional ballots — which are issued to voters who had registration questions that must later be resolved — in Gwinnett. But aside from the fact that about 1,500 of the provisionals were believed to have been issued in Georgia’s 7th Congressional District, they have not released further information.

Curt Yeomans of the Gwinnett Daily Post writes about Democratic gains in the suburban county.

[Gwinnett County Democratic Party Chair Gabe] Okoye and other speakers said Gwinnett County was no longer the Republican stronghold it had once been.

“They may have a Trump in the White House, but we trumped them here in Gwinnett County,” Okoye told the applauding crowd.

Democratic candidates defeated longtime Republican Solicitor General Rosanna Szabo, beat two incumbent Republican county commissioners and took one school board seat, with another school board race still too close to call.

Democratic candidates for statewide offices won the county, as well. Carolyn Bourdeaux is neck and neck with incumbent Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Ga., in a 7th Congressional District race that remains too close to call with provision ballots left to be factored in.

The party also flipped seven seats in the Gwinnett legislative delegation — five in the Georgia House of Representatives and two in the state Senate. That means Democrats will make up the majority in the 25-seat delegation by a margin of 17-8 in January.

“It is simply a hard fact that Gwinnett is blue, period,” said state Rep. Brenda Lopez, D-Norcross.

Leslie Jarchow has been elected to the Flowery Branch City Council, according to the Gainesville Times.

She is set to be sworn in to the Post 3 seat at the council’s meeting on Thursday, Nov. 15, after defeating Christine Worl in the Nov. 6 special election. She fills a seat held by [Fred] Richards, who died June 14.

“My No. 1 priority is to establish open lines of communication. I was really surprised to find that a lot of people felt like they weren’t getting heard. I genuinely want to hear all the different voices, and I’m going to do my due diligence and research on any issue that arises.”

Savannah City Council is considering spending $2.8 million dollars to renovate City Hall, according to the Savannah Morning News.

During the 112 years the gold-domed building fronting the Savannah River at Bull Street has served as the Savannah’s government center there has never been any interior restoration of city hall, and the signs of neglect, deferred maintenance and inappropriate alterations are evident, said Luciana Spracher, Savannah’s Research Library and Municipal Archives director.

“Previously we have considered city hall just a government building, but we really now realize it straddles the world of being a building for our modern city government and being a museum quality building,” Spracher said. “We need to start treating it that way.”

In total, nine quotes from contractors were obtained to address 48 items found to be in need of restoration at an estimated cost of almost $2.8 million.

“When they built this building, city council said they were building a building for a century to come,” Spracher said. “We have passed that point. We kind of need to figure out how to get through the next century.”

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