Making elections sporting again: Big crowd cheers Stacey Abrams launch of Georgia Fair Fight 2020

By Jonathan Grant @Brambleman Several hundred supporters packed the semi-sweltering auditorium at Gwinnett County’s Annistown Elementary School Saturday afternoon for the Georgia launch of Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight 2020. The venue—a poll location in 2018 that drew national attention, in a bad way—was chosen as a symbol of the brokenness of Georgia’s voting systems. “We know that even though Stacey Abrams is not our governor, we did win,” declared Gwinnett School Board member Everton Blair, Jr., an introductory speaker at the event. That Georgia’s election was stolen was an article of faith among the crowd. Not just faith. Reason. Brian Kemp didn’t fight fair, and the deck was stacked to begin with. Georgia’s voting system is filled with flaws, mistakes, and an unfortunate history…

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Brian Kemp’s stupid stunt: last-minute investigation of Democrats.

Kemp’s rips page from 2016: Last-minute investigations are fun!  Spoiler alert: This is some serious BS coming from the Georgia GOP. It reminds of the Josh McLaurin case, when the State GOP folded like a cheap tent after its false and malicious mailers drew a libel suit. It is late Sunday night–make that early Monday morning—and it’s more important at this crucial hour to get the truth out than to worry about niceties. Figuring it is better to ask forgiveness than permission at his critical hour, I am lifting Rep. Scott Holcomb’s response to a bizarre set of events stemming from the Georgia Secretary of State’s office’s transformation into an operational arm of Brian Kemp’s gubernatorial campaign. If there is any doubt…

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Brian Kemp takes credit for keeping Randolph Polls open

Jonathan Grant @Brambleman For the past couple of weeks, the Randolph County Election Board’s plan to close 7 of 9 polling places in the majority black county has been big news not just in Georgia but all over the U.S. and even internationally. The controversy built to a crescendo yesterday with the firing of the elections consultant who came up with this incredibly stupid idea. The Board’s 2-0 vote this morning was anticlimactic, especially since the county attorney had already said, “I would be the most surprised person in Georgia if this passed.” Dead, for this election cycle. Enter stage far-right: Georgia Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp, to claim credit for being a champion of democracy. I was the first…

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Georgia GOP candidate commits blasphemy by vowing to fight poverty

Georgia gubernatorial candidate Casey Cagle said in private conversation that he wanted to cut Georgia’s poverty rate in half. Apparently, conservatives think this is a bad thing, and runoff rival Brian Kemp’s allies are using a secret recording to smear him. Seriously. For the record, he is talking about decreasing poverty through economic growth and doesn’t mention new social programs. He actually sounded human and not horrible when he was talking about it, but the Kempites smell blood. (Former State Sen. Hunter Hill, who placed third in the GOP primary, has endorsed Kemp.) Here’s the covert audio, Here’s Cagle’s reaction, along with the piece 25% of Georgia’s kids live in poverty. 40 counties have 40% child poverty rates. I will NOT apologize for…

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Major Georgia voting snafu has robbed 100s of votes from Rep. Scott Holcomb for years

Jonathan Grant @Brambleman Going back at least to 2012, a major error by the DeKalb County Board of Elections has put nearly 700 voters who should be in Democratic Rep. Scott Holcomb’s House District 81 in (up until recently) safe Republican House District 79. Bear in mind, Doraville North is a reliably blue precinct, giving Democratic candidates hefty majorities. Jon Ossoff took Doraville North last year with 75 percent of the vote. These voters would have increased Holcomb’s victory margin in 2016 by about 200, and they are even more crucial in a mid-term election, when turnout is typically lower. Here’s what happened: A portion of Doraville North extends east past Buford Highway around Oakcliff Road near the Gwinnett County line; Buford Highway…

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HB 680: Georgia lawmakers make bipartisan push for paper ballots

By Jonathan Grant @Brambleman Six state representatives–three from each party–have cosponsored House Bill 680, which would abolish Georgia’s shaky electronic voting system and replace it with one utilizing more secure paper ballots. Recent security breaches, hacking threats, and a constant stream of news about Russian attempts to interfere with U.S. elections have made this move necessary, although Georgia’s hyperpartisan Secretary of State Brian Kemp–who happens to be running for Governor–has been reluctant to admit faults or make changes. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the bill’s effective date is January 1, 2019. I hope there’s a will and a way to push this measure forward to at least have an effect on November’s elections … but Nooooo. Damn. In…

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