The vote: Updates from the Secretary of State’s news conference. Also, a quick summary on the latest updates, from Thursday’s elections board meeting to more vote count problems in other counties — and did Trump cost Trump votes?

The vote: Updates from the Secretary of State’s news conference. Also, a quick summary on the latest updates, from Thursday’s elections board meeting to more vote count problems in other counties — and did Trump cost Trump votes?

 

The scene from the Oct. 15 elections board meeting with Robert Brady on the lower left, chair Dr. Tom Rees, middle, and board member Dr. Melanie Conrad and John Husser at the other end of the table. Among those signing in: Alvin Jackson. Hometown photo.

Wednesday’s updates:

  • Incredible story about early conflict attempts by the Trump campaign with the secretary of state. Click Probublica
  • The Floyd County Board of Elections will meet on Thursday, Nov. 19, at noon in the Community Room at the Floyd County Administration Building at 12 E. Fourth Ave., Rome. “The purpose of this meeting is to go into executive session to discuss personnel matters. The meetings are open to the public. Everyone in attendance is asked to wear a mask and to practice social distancing.” This won’t be the first time the board has done so if you remember the reprimand given Elections Chief Robert Brady following a clash with community leader Larry Morrow during a previous meeting. Also, Brady has been in quarantine because of COVID exposure; will he attend Thursday’s meeting in person or by Zoom?
  • More issues found in Georgia audit/recount: From the Secretary of State’s Gabriel Sterling: “The votes that were found through our audit process here in Georgia in Floyd, Fayette, and Walton counties will be added to all races where votes were cast on those ballots. Both Senator Perdue  and Bubba McDonald are still in runoffs even with these vote additions.” Perdue faces Democrat Jon Ossoff in the Jan. 5 runoff; McDonald faces Daniel Blackman in the Public Service Commission runoff that day.
  • Speaking of runoff; this from Stacey Abrams:  More than 600,000 Georgians have requested their mail ballots for the January 5 runoff elections.
  • End of an era: The AJC’s political insider, Jim Galloway, will retire following the runoffs after more than 41 years in the business. Personal note: Jim is the best in the state at what he does and was our favorite guest on the former radio edition for more than eight years. Always in touch, always factual and wicked sense of humor. His retirement is a huge loss for voters in Georgia.
  • From WSB TV’s Justin Gray: Trump cost Trump votes?: “In an interview with me, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger  says 24,000 GOPs who voted absentee in primary did not vote in general (election);  says Donald Trump cost himself the election by sowing distrust in absentee: “He would have won by 10,000 votes he actually suppressed, depressed his own voting base.” Those who attended the Armuchee airport rally Nov. 1 also heard Trump open his nearly hour-long speech by saying his advisers told him he didn’t need to come to Georgia as he already had the votes to win it.” President-elect Joe Biden won the state by more than 13,000 votes (at last count).
  • MTV — as in Luke Martin TV: The chairman of the Floyd County Republican Party has gotten some airtime on Fox News in the wake of the Floyd County vote discovery during the audit recount. Also, on Twitter, he sums up the impact of those votes: “President Donald Trump gained 968 votes today in Floyd County. There are still 145 provisional ballots to adjudicate tomorrow which will affect the total slightly.” Trump scored nearly 70.3 percent of all Floyd votes in the original count.
  • So about those missing votes: They ran them all again on Tuesday — the votes overall in question as well as the ones that weren’t included on Nov. 3 — and the final count was 8,043 — or 8,042. There was a one-vote difference from that particular batch of ballots.
  • So what’s for lunch? The Rome News-Tribune reports that “an investigator with the Secretary of State’s office arrived at the Floyd County administration building at around 11:30 a.m. (Tuesday) to help determine what happened to throw the presidential election count off by over 2,500 ballots.” Maybe it was the I-75 traffic…?
  • Our previous update: Click here.

The Secretary of State’s Office had a media briefing at 11 a.m. Wednesday: Gabriel Sterling leads the briefing, saying the lead by President-elect Joe Biden now sits at 12,781 but the count is far from over. The latest wrinkle is a Douglas County precinct that basically gave Biden a net gain of 28 (precinct had 128 votes for Trump, 156 for Biden and two of Jorgenson and two undercounts).

  • About the Floyd undercount: Sterling says the votes couldn’t be scanned on Oct. 24. Those voters were taken to the elections office with the intent of scanning them there on another device. “No one ever scanned them,” says Sterling and they were discovered during the audit recount. The issue was “a big management problem,” he says. Three other counties had different issues, he says. Floyd also had a director quarantined (Robert Brady) and another employee fell and broke a hip, he says.
  • Audit recount is scheduled to end tonight at midnight. Georgia will certify the election on Friday.
  • Investigations: Sterling says numerous calls for investigations have been received. They’re being triaged, he said, adding, “They’re all kinds of different things… It’s like drinking water from a fire hose.”)
  • Recount: Sterling says the losing candidate can, after the election is certified, request a statewide recount if the margin is 0.5 percent or less. Sterling says the hand recount should negate the need for that but that option is open to the “second-place candidate.” Also, the expense for the recount would be the burden of the counties and the state. Sterling says there are some federal funds that might be available to share with the state and counties. He’s also noting that the merger of the Dec. 1 Public Service and Jan. 5 U.S. Senate runoffs will save millions of dollars across the state.

Georgia U.S. Senate debates set for Dec. 6. Who’s in?

  • The Kelly Loeffler-Raphael Warnock U.S. Senate debate is scheduled to air live from 7 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 6 on GPB, according to the Atlanta Press Club.
  • Also scheduled for that day is a debate between Republican incumbent David Perdue and Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff. But, according to the Atlanta Press Club’s Loudermilk-Young Debate Series, Perdue has decided to not participate in his debate. Ossoff has confirmed his participation, so according to our rules, we will proceed with the debate and Perdue will be represented by an empty podium. That is not our preference. The Atlanta Press Club works hard to provide a platform for all candidates running for public office. We believe it is an essential part of the democratic process for voters to have an opportunity to hear an exchange of ideas from the candidates so they can be better informed when they cast their ballots. In that spirit, we hope Sen. Perdue will change his mind.  We will leave the door open for him to participate in our Dec. 6 debate.” It is set for 5 until 6 p.m. that day.
  • The runoff is Jan. 5; details on that race below.

 

Key dates for Jan. 5 runoff:

  • Nov. 18: Earliest date elections officials can make absentee ballots.
  • Dec. 7: Deadline to register to vote in runoff.
  • Dec. 14: Advance in-person voting begins.
  • Jan. 5: Runoff election day.

Latest vote totals: Click here to see the latest updates on the presidential, Senate and Public Service Commission races.

 

 

 

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