Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 19, 2020

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 19, 2020

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President Abraham Lincoln delivered an 87-word speech at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on November 19, 1863.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

On November 19, 1864, as Sherman marched toward Savannah, the Georgia delegation to the Confederate Congress in Richmond, Virginia, sent a message to the state,

“Let every man fly to arms! Remove your negroes, horses, cattle, and provisions from Sherman’s army, and burn what you cannot carry. Burn all bridges and block up the roads in his route. Assail the invader in front, flank, and rear, by night and by day. Let him have no rest.”

The first issue of National Review magazine was published on November 19, 1955.

Apollo 12 landed on the moon on November 19, 1969.

Reagan Gorbachev 11191985

President Ronald Reagan met for the first time with Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev on November 19, 1985.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Vice President Mike Pence visits Georgia tomorrow. From the GAGOP:

On Friday, November 20th, Vice President Mike Pence will travel to Georgia for a bus tour. Beginning in Canton, Georgia, the Vice President will deliver remarks on the importance of fighting for conservative legislators at a Defend the Majority Rally with Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler. Following, the Vice President will travel to Gainesville, Georgia. There, the Vice President will highlight the historic accomplishments of the Trump Administration at a Defend the Majority Rally with Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler.

Friday, November 20, 2020

12:30 pm
Cherokee County Rally with Vice President Mike Pence – TICKETS HERE
Cherokee Conference Center (The Bluffs)
1130 Bluffs Parkway
Canton, GA 30114

3:15 pm
Hall County Rally with Vice President Mike Pence – TICKETS HERE
Chicopee Woods Agricultural Center
1855 Calvary Church Road
Gainesville, GA 30507

From AccessWDUN:

The Hall County Sheriff’s Office is alerting motorists that they may encounter traffic delays on Friday, Nov. 20 as Vice President Mike Pence arrives in the county for a campaign event for Georgia Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler.

The sheriff’s office said motorists should expect road closures between 2:30 and 5 p.m. on Calvary Church Road between Barber Road and Chicopee Woods Elementary School. Drivers who typically use Calvary Church Road at that time of day will need to plan alternate routes.

Early voting in the December 1, 2020 Runoff Election for District Attorney of the Western Judicial Circuit (Clarke and Oconee Counties) will open November 23d, according to The Oconee Enterprise.

The race is between Athens attorney Deborah Gonzalez, a Democrat, and Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney James Chafin, who is running without a party label.

All of Oconee’s polling places will be open on the day of the election. To locate one’s assigned precinct, visit mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do. To request an absentee ballot for the special runoff, voters will need to submit a paper absentee ballot application from ballotrequest.sos.ga.gov/. Be sure to print, sign and scan back to absentee@oconee.ga.usor fax to (706) 310-3486 or mail to P.O. Box 958 Watkinsville, GA 30677.

Early voting for the Dec. 1 runoff is from Nov. 23 to Nov. 25 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Oconee County Civic Center.

The next election will be Jan. 5 to decide the fate of two U.S. Senate seats and the Georgia Public Service Commissioner. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced last week that the statewide race was moved from Dec. 1 to Jan. 5. However, the state is unable to move the local DA election because it’s a runoff of a special election.

Candidates for the Georgia Public Service Commissioner are Republican Lauren “Bubba” McDonaldand Democrat Daniel Blackman.

Note Clarke County will have different locations for early voting than Oconee County, and may have different dates and times.

Gwinnett County runoff voters will have 23 absentee ballot drop boxes in which to deposit their ballots, according to the Patch.

An additional 285 previously uncounted ballots were found in Walton County, according to the Walton Tribune.

Walton was one of three counties where it was discovered that a processing error revealed some votes weren’t counted on election night. Locally, it was 284 ballots found at the Between precinct.

Lori Wood, chairwoman of the Walton County Board of Elections, said a memory card from one of two scanners at the polling place didn’t get uploaded, causing those votes not to be added to the tabulation.

Those votes netted 176 votes to President Donald Trump’s edge in Walton County, a Republican stronghold the Republican carried easily. Final numbers show Trump at 37,842 votes locally, or 74.06% of the 51,095 votes cast for president.

“The American people deserve to have honesty, transparency and full confidence in their elections, which is why President Trump and Georgia Republicans will not rest until every legal vote is counted,” Savannah Viar, the Georgia press secretary for Trump Victory, said in a statement.

From the Dalton Daily Citizen News:

Additional ballots were discovered in Douglas, Fayette, Floyd and Walton counties. The Secretary of State’s office has noted the uncovered votes were a result of “human error” on the part of county elections workers using the new voting system.

Aside from the four counties with issues, 112 counties were within single-digit deviations of their original machine counts and 58 counties found no difference at all, according to the Secretary of State’s office.

As of Wednesday morning, 4,968,000 of Georgia’s nearly 5 million ballots cast had been hand counted so far — a 12,781 vote margin now separating the two presidential candidates.

Election officials said Tuesday the state’s manual recount will not replace original machine results as the official tally of the race in Georgia. Douglas, Fayette, Floyd and Walton counties counties will rectify their results after the recount unearthed missing ballots which will be included in the final count.

Legal counsel for the Secretary of State’s office confirmed the full hand recount cannot replace the original machine count, Sterling said, while the audit is used to confirm the winner and not necessarily solidify the exact vote count.

The Trump campaign has been vocal that it will likely request another recount and have used the unearthed votes to back up unfounded claims of voter fraud.

From the Savannah Morning News:

Chatham County’s hand audit of the 2020 Presidential Election finished around noon on Wednesday.

Board of Elections Supervisor Russell Bridges said the results were “very close” to the original certified count. Some discrepancies in the count were expected, but not enough to change the outcome of the election.

In Georgia, a recount only happens when there is a close margin in an election — half a percentage point or less. Audits after an election are routine and often used by states to ensure that equipment and procedures counting the vote all worked properly.

In Georgia, a candidate can request a recount if the margin of victory is less than 0.5%.

A recount, if one is requested, would be conducted using the same scanners that read and tallied the unofficial results already released.

From the Macon Telegraph:

Douglas is one of four counties where election errors forced local officials to fix their final tally. The audit in Walton County found that a memory card of nearly 284 votes had not been uploaded. Floyd County workers had to rescan early and provisional ballots after 2,600 uncounted votes were found. Fayette County election officials found a memory card of nearly 2,800 votes that they had to upload to its final tally.

The errors in these counties cut Biden’s lead by more than 1,000 votes statewide. Barring issues like these, the scanned totals from counties will not change. The purpose of Georgia’s audit under current law is to confirm the outcome of the election, not the exact margins.

The Trump campaign could request a formal recount if Biden’s margin of victory is within 0.5% after the state certifies its election results. Counties will pay for both the cost of the audit and a recount if Trump requests it, Sterling said.

From the Augusta Chronicle:

By late Tuesday afternoon, the boards of election in [Richmond and Columbia] counties had submitted their official ballot retabulations to the Georgia secretary of state’s office, and compared the vote totals to the totals first submitted shortly after the election.

In Richmond County, the original vote total of 87,530 dropped during the audit to 87,525, owing to five unaccounted-for ballots, said Board of Elections Executive Director Lynn Bailey.

“Our strongest suspicion” of how it happened, she said, was the audit team’s failure to report every write-in vote. But with 668 batches of ballots still in her office’s custody, “we’re sure they’re still in there somewhere,” Bailey said.

Candidates’ totals also changed slightly. In Richmond County, which went for Biden, the president-elect lost 61 votes, giving him an audit total of 59,063. Trump picked up 65 more votes for an audit total of 26,846.

Columbia County candidate totals also changed during the audit. Trump, who won the county, picked up 31 votes for an audit total of 50,044. Biden lost 40 votes for a new total of 29,196.

The total number of ballots, however, stayed the same. Every one of Columbia County’s 80,973 ballots was accounted for, Gay said.

One ballot that was briefly unaccounted for during the audit was found stuck to the back of another ballot, said Larry Wiggins, the chairman of the Columbia County Board of Elections.

Later, one box came up a ballot short and another box showed one ballot extra in its previously reported contents, but the totals reconciled after the last batch of ballots was counted early Monday afternoon.

Savannah’s Board of Aldermen and city staff will discuss the FY 2021 budget, according to the Savannah Morning News.

In a Nov.16 letter presenting the proposed 2021 budget and capital improvement plan, Acting City Manager Michael Brown said the city is facing two crises: A public health emergency and the resulting economic recession affecting residents, visitors and businesses.

“We are faced with dramatic increases in unemployment, food insecurity, housing insecurity, and economic distress,” Brown wrote. “These crises directly and negatively affect city services, revenues and expenditures.”

Brown wrote that the budget has been balanced with a combination of actions including expenditure reductions, use of fund balance reserves, minimal fee changes and using $10.5 million from a capital fund holding account.

“As we saw in 2020, our revenue options are limited, often not covering costs to provide basic municipal services and cannot be the total solution to dealing with this gap,” Brown wrote.

Republican U.S. Senators David Perdue (R-Glynn County) and Kelly Loeffler hold a $28 million dollar fundraising advantage over their Democratic opponents, according to CNN.

Political groups have already spent or reserved more than $126 million to advertise for the 63-day campaign, with Republicans exceeding Democrats $77.2 million to $49.3 million, according to Kantar’s Campaign Media Analysis Group.

Loeffler leads the pack, spending or reserving nearly $42 million in ads for her runoff race, far more than the $19 million she spent up until the general election November 3. Warnock has booked $24.4 million for ads in the runoff race, Perdue has set aside $19.3 million and Ossoff has marked $13.7 million.

“The outpouring of support for Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue has been tremendous, but we have the fight of our lives on our hands,” said Loeffler spokesman Stephen Lawson. “We need every single dollar, every single supporter, every single Republican vote because Chuck Schumer, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff are stopping at nothing to radically transform our country into a socialist state.”

Republicans led the advertising battle in the general election with the aid of the Senate Leadership Fund, a Super PAC aligned to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Loeffler, the co-owner of the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream who is married to New York Stock Exchange chairman Jeffrey Sprecher, also spent $23 million of her own money in the general election, but she does not plan on spending any more in the runoff race, according to Lawson.

Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-Atlanta) repeated her demand that Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger resign, according to Fox News.

“We have to make sure that every legal vote is counted, and I also believe that we also have to hold officials accountable. Look, I came out of the private sector. People held me accountable as an executive,” Loeffler told “America’s Newsroom.”

When host Sandra Smith asked Loeffler whether she is calling for the resignation of the Georgia secretary of state, Loeffler replied, “Yes, I am.”

More than 3,000 uncounted ballots turned up in Georgia as the state is conducting an audit of the 2020 presidential election. As the hand-tallying continues, officials in Fayette County unearthed 2,755 ballots that had not been included in the original count.

Chatham County Democrats rallied to get out the vote for runoff elections, according to WSAV.

Chatham County Commission Chairman-elect Chester Ellis, joined by other elected Democrats, voiced their support for Jon Ossoff and Savannah native Rev. Raphael Warnock in the Senate runoffs at a rally outside of the Savannah Civic Center on Wednesday.

“Health care is on the ballot and we must make sure that [for] everyone in Chatham County, their health is taken care of,” said Ellis. “The best candidates for that are Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.”

Ellis also said social security and infrastructure are other important issues he hopes can be addressed if Ossoff and Warnock are elected into office.

“National attention will come back to Chatham County in January because we will play an utmost important part in this election of the senators who will work with the president to get the agenda done for the people,” Ellis said.

Athens-Clarke County Commissioners voted to create a historic district encompassing western downtown Athens, according to the Athens Banner Herald.

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