Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 13, 2018

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 13, 2018

President George Washington returned to the City of Washington on November 13, 1789, ending the first Presidential tour.

On the same day, Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter to his friend Jean-Baptiste LeRoy, in which he said,

“Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

On November 13, 1865, the United States government issued the first Gold Certificates.

The Georgia General Assembly adopted a resolution against ratifying the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution on November 13, 1866.

In deciding not to ratify the 14th Amendment, the General Assembly adopted a committee report explaining that: “1. If Georgia is not a State composing part of the Federal Government known as the Government of the United States, amendments to the Constitution of the United States are not properly before this body. 2. If Georgia is a State composing part of the Federal Government … , these these amendments are not proposed according to the requirements of the Federal Constitution, and are proposed in such a manner as to forbid the legislature from discussing the merits of the amendments without an implied surrender of the rights of the State.”

Excavation began for a new Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta on the site of the former City Hall/Fulton County Courthouse on November 13, 1884.

Walt Disney released “Fantasia” on November 13, 1940.

Georgia Governor and Constitutional Commission Chair Ellis Arnall moved that a home rule provision be included in the new draft of the state Constitution and his motion passed 8-7 on November 13, 1944.

On November 13, 1956, the United States Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that struck down a law requiring segregation on buses in Montgomery, Alabama.

Ronald Reagan announced his campaign for the Republican nomination for President of the United States on November 13, 1979.

“The people have not created this disaster in our economy; the federal government has. It has overspent, overestimated, and over regulated. It has failed to deliver services within the revenues it should be allowed to raise from taxes. In the thirty-four years since the end of World War II, it has spent 448 billion dollars more than it has collection in taxes – 448 billion dollars of printing press money, which has made every dollar you earn worth less and less. At the same time, the federal government has cynically told us that high taxes on business will in some way “solve” the problem and allow the average taxpayer to pay less. Well, business is not a taxpayer it is a tax collector. Business has to pass its tax burden on to the customer as part of the cost of doing business. You and I pay the taxes imposed on business every time we go to the store. Only people pay taxes and it is political demagoguery or economic illiteracy to try and tell us otherwise.”

“The key to restoring the health of the economy lies in cutting taxes. At the same time, we need to get the waste out of federal spending. This does not mean sacrificing essential services, nor do we need to destroy the system of benefits which flow to the poor, the elderly, the sick and the handicapped. We have long since committed ourselves, as a people, to help those among us who cannot take care of themselves. But the federal government has proven to be the costliest and most inefficient provider of such help we could possibly have.”

“I believe this nation hungers for a spiritual revival; hungers to once again see honor placed above political expediency; to see government once again the protector of our liberties, not the distributor of gifts and privilege. Government should uphold and not undermine those institutions which are custodians of the very values upon which civilization is founded—religion, education and, above all, family. Government cannot be clergyman, teacher and parent. It is our servant, beholden to us.”

“We who are privileged to be Americans have had a rendezvous with destiny since the moment in 1630 when John Winthrop, standing on the deck of the tiny Arbella off the coast of Massachusetts, told the little band of pilgrims, “We shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us so that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword throughout the world.”

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated on November 13, 1982 in Washington, DC.

On November 13, 2006, groundbreaking began for a memorial to Martin Luther King, Jr. on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

Three astronauts with connections to Georgia – Eric Boe, Robert Kimbrough, and Sandra Magnus – were aboard the space shuttle Endeavor when it lifted off on November 14, 2008.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The State House of Representatives convenes in Special Session today at 1:30 PM. I believe the Senate will convene earlier, but have not heard formally.

United States District Court Judge Amy Totenberg has ordered a delay in the deadline for counties to certify election results, according to the AJC.

A federal judge on Monday ordered election officials to review thousands of provisional ballots that haven’t been counted in Georgia’s close election for governor.

U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg’s order calls for a hotline for voters to check if their provisional ballots were counted, a review of voter registrations, and updated reports from the state government about why many voters were required to use provisional ballots.

Totenberg said she’s providing “limited, modest” relief to help protect voters. The order preserves Tuesday’s deadline for county election offices to certify results and the Nov. 20 deadline for Secretary of State Robyn Crittenden to certify the election. The ruling enjoins Crittenden from certifying the election before Friday at 5 p.m.

Her ruling applies to provisional ballots, which were issued to as many as 27,000 Georgia voters because their registration or identification couldn’t be verified. Provisional ballots are usually only counted if voters prove their eligibility within three days of the election, a deadline that passed Friday.

The decision doesn’t say whether additional provisional ballots could be counted after election results are certified at the county level Tuesday.

From AccessWDUN:

And, for counties with 100 or more provisional ballots, she ordered the secretary of state’s office to review, or have county election officials review, the eligibility of voters who had to cast a provisional ballot because of registration issues.

Totenberg also ruled that Georgia must not certify the election results before Friday at 5 p.m., which falls before the Nov. 20 deadline set by state law.

Secretary of State Robyn Crittenden earlier provided guidance to local boards of elections in dealing with some provisional ballots, according to the AJC.

Georgia Secretary of State Robyn Crittenden instructed county election officials Monday to count absentee ballots even if they lack a voter’s date of birth, as long as the voter’s identity can be verified.

Crittenden issued the guidance for county election officials as they face a Tuesday deadline to certify the results of the Nov. 6 election.

Crittenden’s instructions could affect vote-counting in Gwinnett County, where election officials rejected 1,587 mailed absentee ballots. Gwinnett has the largest number of potential uncounted absentee ballots for Abrams in the state.

Many absentee ballots were rejected in Gwinnett because voters filled out incorrect direct dates of birth or provided insufficient information on the return envelope.

“What is required is the signature of the voter and any additional information needed for the county election official to verify the identity of the voter,” Crittenden wrote. “Therefore, an election official does not violate [state law] when they accept an absentee ballot despite the omission of a day and month of birth … if the election official can verify the identity of the voter.”

The Macon Telegraph looks at the polarization of Georgia’s electorate between rural, suburban, and urban counties.

Analysis of this year’s gubernatorial election results reveals a growing division between rural and suburban counties and a surprising decrease in Democratic votes outside of metropolitan Atlanta compared to recent presidential elections.

For her part, Abrams received more votes in Georgia than any Democratic candidate at any level and has come closer to winning the governorship than any Democrat since Roy Barnes won in 1996.

The remarkable turnout for both candidates, aided by the state’s population growth, reflects the increasing nationalization of state politics. The days of Blue Dog Democrats, liberal Republicans and widespread ticket splitting are dwindling, if not gone.

The margins between Republican and Democratic candidates have diverged over the past few elections, showing an increasingly divided state. The average margin for Kemp across all rural counties was 38 percent, which improved upon Trump’s rural margin of 36 percent and Romney’s of 29 percent. The margin for Abrams across all suburban counties was 17 percent, which improved up Clinton’s 11 percent suburban margin and Obama’s 5 percent.

That growing divide is well distributed across the suburban and rural counties. Compared with 2016, Kemp increased Republican margins in 116 of the 139 rural counties he carried, while Abrams increased Democratic margins in all of the suburban counties, including the five she did not carry.

Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson will join the Hall Booth Smith law firm after she leaves office, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson plans to private law practice again when her second term ends early next year. But she said the move will not impact future political considerations.

Hall Booth Smith, P.C., which has six offices across the South, announced Tuesday morning that Tomlinson, 53, will join its firm as a partner specializing in complex litigation, crisis management and strategic solutions. She will work out of

Though the mayor of Columbus is elected in a non-partisan election, Tomlinson has worked hard for a number of Democratic candidates in the recent election cycle, including gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. Tomlinson, 53 and an Atlanta native, has been exploring a possible run for U.S. Senate in 2020 against Republican incumbent David Perdue.

“I chose to join Hall Booth Smith because they have a deep commitment to public service,” Tomlinson said. “The firm is supportive of my pursuing future public service should that opportunity present itself.”

The leadership at Hall Booth understands her interest in another political office and has been supportive during the employment talks, she said. Hall Booth Smith Chairman and co-founder John Hall said the growing firm, which now has more than 200 attorneys, is personality-driven and Tomlinson is a perfect fit.

 Floyd County has certified its election results, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

Floyd County Elections Board Chair Steve Miller said Monday there were 173 provisional ballots cast in the Nov. 6 general election, compared to 16 during the May primaries. Clerks spent the week reviewing the voters’ eligibility and, in the end, 116 of them passed muster.

Miller said a few provisional voters never returned with their required identification, and some weren’t registered by the Oct. 9 deadline to vote in this election. Most of the 57 rejected ballots, however, were from voters registered in another county.

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