Saturday, November 17, 2018

Electoral irregularities in Georgia leave a bad taste

Democrat Stacey Adams' bid for Georgia's governorship has finally ground to a halt, over a week after the election. Recounts were underway in this hard-fought and contentious race for governor amidst strong allegations of electoral misconduct and voter suppression and disenfranchisement by the sleazy pro-Trump Republican candidate, Brian Kemp, who also just happens to be the state's chief elections administrator.
Ms. Adams has admitted that Kemp will in fact be the next Governor of Georgia, although she deliberately avoided conceding, arguing that the election process was flawed and the result not representative of the democratic will: "This is not a speech of concession, because concession means to acknowledge an action is right, true or proper". Even given the irregularities, Ms. Adams managed to come very close to winning: hand counting continues, but the voting currently stands at 50.2% to 48.8% in Kemp's favour, not quite close enough to force a runoff (which occurs in the case where a winner does not achieve 50% of the vote).
But let's just have a look at those election irregularities. Some areas with typically Democrat-voting black-majority demographics were undersupplied with voting machines, and some machines appeared not to be working, leading ling lines and to three or even four hour waits to vote. At the time of the vote, some 53,000 voter registration applications were officially "on hold", many for undisclosed reasons but many due to the recently introduced "exact match" regulations whereby applications may be rejected for things like a missing accent or a dropped hyphen. 70% of these on-hold applications relate to black (and therefore probably Democrat) voters, despite an overall black population of about 35%. Thousands of absentee ballots were tossed out supposedly due to mismatched signatures, missing birthdays, etc. The very fact that Kemp, as Georgia's Secretary of State, is effectively overseeing his own election as Governor, without having recused himself on the grounds of conflict of interest, is bad enough.
The whole thing looks very suspect, but I suppose that Ms. Adams needs to call a halt somewhere and to get on with her life.

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