Things That Matter

Georgia Suffered An Election Day Meltdown And Minority Communities Were Hit The Hardest

On Tuesday, voters in both Georgia and West Virginia went to the polls to cast their votes in the state’s primaries. However, the process was so chaotic and unorganized in Georgia, that many are rightfully worried for what the state could look like come November’s presidential election.

The state’s election woes are already being investigated by both Republican and Democratic state officials, as the latter points out that the irregularities were overwhelmingly in predominantly Black communities. Georgia has a history of voter suppression and many worry that this could be a sign to come for the upcoming election, as Democrats hope to turn the state blue.

Voting delays across Georgia led officials to call for investigations into why voters spent hours standing in lines on a hot June day. 

Voters went to the polls in Georgia and West Virginia to cast their votes in the 2020 primary. However, things didn’t go as they should have in Georgia and it could be a sign of voter suppression in action. What happened was an infuriatingly frustrating breakdown in the voting process that appeared to disproportionately affect majority-black precincts in metro Atlanta.

From hours long waits to malfunctioning voting machines and even missing equipment, Tuesday’s Georgia primary was an absolute disaster. Add to that the state had shut down dozens of polling places and you had people waiting in line for more than four hours in some instances.

Many admirably waited in long lines through downpours and searing heat, and some stayed beyond midnight to exercise their right to vote. But untold numbers were dissuaded from voting by the lengthy lines and other issues that plagued the primary.

The primary was such a disaster that it drew the attention of both the state’s Democratic and Republican leadership, who have both called for investigations into the failures.

The state’s Republican Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, said “in certain precincts” in Fulton and DeKalb counties, the failures were “unacceptable. My office has opened an investigation to determine what these counties need to do to resolve these issues before November’s election,” he said in a statement.

The voting issues appeared to be happening in counties with large Black and Latino populations.

The glaring differences between predominantly white communities and those of color even forced LeBron James to weigh in.

“Everyone talking about ‘how do we fix this?’ They say ‘go out and vote?’ What about asking if how we vote is also structurally racist?” he tweeted.

Election workers said that their office had been flooded with calls from “voters who encountered barriers from polling sites that are not open on time, malfunctioning equipment, long lines with several hours’ wait time, insufficient backup paper ballots and more.”

Three-quarters of voters who called with problems identified as African American.

Meanwhile in Roswell, a mostly white Atlanta suburb, there were far fewer problems. Brian Takahashi voted there and told NBC News “it went well,” and that he was in and out in less than 20 minutes.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Georgia has had issues with its voting.

Credit: Elijah Nouvelage / Getty Images

During the 2018 midterm elections, several counties across Georgia saw voting irregularities – including Fulton County, home to Atlanta. There the election was so chaotic that several Democrats alleged voter suppression. The secretary of state at the time was Brian Kemp, a Republican, who wound up winning the governorship by a thin margin against Democrat Stacey Abrams. Abrams at the time called the election “rotten and rigged.”

She tweeted Tuesday that “Georgians deserve better.”

“From Jasper to Fulton to Coffee & Chatham, long lines, inoperable machines & under-resourced communities are being hurt,” Abrams wrote, adding that Raffensperger “owns this disaster.”

Aside from making sure everyone’s vote is counted, Georgia is especially important in 2020 because it could be in play for the Democrats.

Experts agree that having such critical voting issues in a state that has been plagued by similar issues for years, doesn’t bode well for the November presidential election – especially as many Democrats consider the state to be in play.

Democrats have targeted Georgia — which has added 700,000 registered voters to the rolls since 2018 — as a possible swing state in November. Rachana Desai Martin, the national director of voter protection for Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, said that what happened Tuesday is “unacceptable” and noted that many voters reported asking for — and never receiving — absentee ballots.

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Georgia Delivers Control Of Congress To Democrats Thanks To This Incredible Coalition Of Voters

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Georgia Delivers Control Of Congress To Democrats Thanks To This Incredible Coalition Of Voters

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

In what seems like the never ending 2020 election cycle, we can finally say that the votes are in. And the results out of Georgia are truly worth celebrating as a diverse coalition of Georgian voters helped deliver both U.S. senate seats to Democrats.

Thanks to a well organized voting apparatus, a record-breaking number of voters hit the polls and helped elect the state’s first Black senator along with the youngest senator in nearly sixty years.

The results out of Georgia help put the Senate under control of the Democrats, handing President-Elect Joe Biden a major tool in helping to implement a progressive agenda once he is inaugurated on January 20.

Georgia elects two Democrats to the U.S. Senate with history-making votes.

Democrats have swept both seats in Georgia’s critical runoff elections, giving the party control of the Senate and removing a major roadblock for President-elect Joe Biden.

Democrat Jon Ossoff defeated Republican David Perdue in Tuesday’s election, while networks had earlier called Georgia’s other race for Democrat Raphael Warnock over GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler.

The results are a rebuke of President Donald Trump, whose supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol Wednesday to try to stop Congress from counting the Electoral College results.

The Senate will now be split 50-50, but Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris will be able to cast tie-breaking votes, putting Democrats in charge of the legislative agenda, committee chairmanships and Congress’ confirmation and investigative powers.

Black and Latino voters deserve recognition for their hard work in making this possible.

Senator-Elect Warnock is the pastor of Martin Luther King Jr.’s former church in Atlanta. He will be the first Black senator from Georgia and only the 11th Black senator in American history. He won, in part, thanks to astronomical Black turnout.

Many are praising the work of Stacey Abrams and groups like Mijente, who helped register a record-breaking number of new voters. In fact, Mijente helped knock on the doors or call every single Latino resident in the state of Georgia to help get out the vote.

Meanwhile, Stacey Abrams – who had already done so much work in helping turn Georgia blue for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in November – continued her trailblazing mission in the state. Her organization, Fair Fight 2020, helped register more voters than ever before and helped make sure they understood their rights and responsibilities as a voter.

Joe Biden will now have full control of government.

Biden will now enter the White House on Jan. 20 with his party in control of both chambers of Congress, allowing him to confirm his Cabinet and judicial nominees and giving him and a chance to advance his legislative agenda, which would have gone nowhere as long as Sen. Mitch McConnell remained in charge.

Biden and Senate Democratic leaders agree their top priority will be a new round of Covid-19 relief, especially after the president-elect promised Georgia voters this week that $2,000 stimulus checks would “go out the door immediately” if Democrats won the Senate.

Many in the community are hopeful that with control of both the Senate and House, Biden will be able to push through comprehensive immigration reform and undo many of the cruel and inhumane policies put into place by the Trump administration. However, given the legislative filibuster remains in place (requiring a two thirds majority), many question just how much will be accomplished.

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President Trump Caught On Tape Begging Georgia Secretary Of State To Change Election Results

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President Trump Caught On Tape Begging Georgia Secretary Of State To Change Election Results

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President Donald Trump continues on his campaign to overturn the election results after losing to President-elect Joe Biden. In recently leaked audio, President Trump was recorded begging the Georgia secretary of state to change the results to give him the presidency.

President Donald Trump is still begging states to overturn election results.

President Trump lost the 2020 presidential election after President-elect Joe Biden managed to flip Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, Georgia, and Pennsylvania. For two months, President Trump has done everything possible to invalidate votes and change the election results.

“The people of Georgia are angry, the people of the country are angry,” President Trump said during his hour-long call with Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. “And there’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, that you’ve recalculated.”

Legislators are calling the phone call a clear impeachable offense.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has unequivocally called President Trump’s call an impeachable offense. It is similar to the phone call with Ukrainian officials that led to President Trump’s impeachment earlier in his terms. President Trump’s Ukraine call caused problems because he was begging Ukrainian officials to dig up dirt on his political opponent.

“I absolutely think it’s an impeachable offense, and if it was up to me, there would be articles on the floor quite quickly, but he, I mean, he is trying to — he is attacking our very election. He’s attacking our very election,” Rep. AOC told reporters at the start of Congress’ new session.

Politicians are calling the phone call an abuse of power.

Vice Preisdent-elect Kamala Harris called the phone call a “bald-faced, bold abuse of power by the President of the United States.” President Trump lost Georgia by 11,779 votes and he asked Secretary Raffensperger to claim he recalculated and give him 11,780 votes to flip Georgia.

An intern monitoring the phone lines for Secretary Raffensperger first thought that the phone calls were pranks calls. The White House attempted to contact Secretary Raffensperger 18 times before the call was finally patched through.

A coalition of representatives is joining together to censure President Trump because of the call.

Rep. Hank Johnson, a Democrat representing Georgia, has filed a resolution censuring President Trump because of his call attempting to overturn the Georgia election results.

GOP leadership and politicians are torn over the issue. Some GOP senators are looking to vote against the certification of votes in the Senate. Others are calling on their colleagues to do the right thing and uphold our democracy.

“I plan on honoring that oath by supporting the state certifications and the will of the people. I will vote to certify in accordance with my duty under the Constitution,” Ohio GOP Sen. Rob Portman, who faces reelection in 2022, said in a statement. “I cannot support allowing Congress to thwart the will of the voters.”

READ: Here’s What You Can Expect Now That President Trump Has Been Impeached By The House Of Representatives

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