Мобильный 1 Add news
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010June 2010July 2010
August 2010
September 2010October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016July 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017June 2017July 2017August 2017September 2017October 2017November 2017December 2017January 2018February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018August 2018September 2018October 2018November 2018December 2018January 2019February 2019March 2019April 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020September 2020October 2020November 2020December 2020January 2021February 2021March 2021April 2021May 2021June 2021July 2021August 2021September 2021
News Every Day |

Georgia Republicans didn’t waste any time in using their new voter suppression law


President Donald Trump leaves a rally in December in Georgia, a state he lost in the 2020 election. | Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Republicans have begun a legal process that could allow them to disenfranchise much of Atlanta.

Late last month, 27 Republican members of the Georgia state Senate sent an ominous letter to the state elections board, touting a misleading claim about the 2020 election popularized by Fox News host Tucker Carlson. A few days later, several Republican members of the state House sent a similar letter seeking a “performance review” of election officials in the Democratic stronghold of Atlanta.

In a post-Trump GOP, it might seem unremarkable that elected officials are spouting off about some lie or half-truth broadcast by conservative media. But these letters set in motion a chain of events that could end in mass disenfranchisement of voters in the Democratic stronghold of Atlanta for the 2022 statewide and midterm elections.

In March, Georgia Republicans passed SB 202, a sweeping new election law that erects obstacles between Georgia voters and their right to cast a ballot. While some are relatively minor or even popular, the most ominous provisions of this new law allow the state election board, which is dominated by Republicans, to seize control of county election boards. Those boards can disqualify voters, move polling precincts, and potentially even refuse to certify an election count.

The letters from Republican lawmakers are the first step in the legal process Republicans may use to take over elections in Fulton County, the most populous county in the state, which encompasses most of Atlanta. In 2020, nearly 73 percent of Fulton County voters cast a ballot for President Joe Biden. Biden won the county by nearly a quarter-million votes, enough to push him ahead of former President Donald Trump in a state decided by 11,779 votes overall.

Both letters ask the state elections board to begin a “performance review” of the local officials who oversee elections in Fulton County. The senators claim that such a review is justified because “nearly 200 ballots were scanned twice last fall” during the initial vote count in Fulton — a claim that was previously featured on Tucker Carlson’s show.

The reality is much more nuanced, and it suggests that the state’s existing systems worked exactly as they were supposed to work. Although nearly 200 ballots were double-counted during the first count of Fulton County’s ballots, Georgia conducted both a machine recount and a hand recount of all its ballots, given how close the statewide result was. And there’s no evidence that any ballots were counted twice in the final tallies that showed Biden ahead of Trump.

It appears likely that a poll worker in Fulton County made a minor clerical error, and this error was corrected in the subsequent recounts.

Nevertheless, it is probably inevitable that the GOP-controlled state elections board will open an investigation into Fulton County. And once this investigation concludes, the state board can use it as a pretext to remove Fulton County’s local elections board and replace it with a temporary superintendent who can undermine voting within that county.

Georgia law provides, for example, that any voter in Fulton County “may challenge the right of any other elector of the county or municipality, whose name appears on the list of electors, to vote in an election.” If Republicans appoint a temporary superintendent in Fulton, that GOP official will adjudicate these challenges. That means that Republicans could potentially flood the zone with frivolous voting challenges — which could be sustained by a partisan superintendent.

The outcome of Georgia’s 2022 statewide elections, in other words, may not be determined by the state’s voters. It could hinge on a sham investigation into Fulton County’s election administration — and by a partisan board’s subsequent decision to place a partisan official in charge of counting most of the votes in Atlanta.

How Georgia’s new law allows Republicans to take over local election boards

If you were unaware of Trump’s failed efforts to overturn the 2020 election, or if you did not know that SB 202 is part of a wave of election bills introduced by Trump loyalists, then the process for state takeovers of local election boards might seem reasonable.

The relevant provisions of SB 202 appear to be outwardly neutral — they aren’t written to explicitly benefit Republicans over Democrats. Among other things, SB 202 removes Georgia’s elected secretary of state as the chair of the five-person State Elections Board, and replaces them with “a chairperson elected by the General Assembly.” It also allows certain state lawmakers to demand that the board conduct “an independent performance review” of a county’s top election officials.

After conducting such a review, the state board may appoint a temporary superintendent to oversee a county’s election administration if three members of the board determine that the county’s top election officials recently “committed at least three violations” the state’s election laws and regulations, or if these board members determine that the local officials “demonstrated nonfeasance, malfeasance, or gross negligence in the administration of the elections.”

Yet, while these provisions might be reasonable and nonpartisan if they were administered by reasonable and nonpartisan officials, they entrench Republican power in two ways. Firstly, SB 202 increases the Republican Party’s grip on the State Elections Board by bringing the total number of board members appointed by the legislature to three.

Before SB 202, the state board was chaired by Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican who refused Trump’s suggestion that Raffensperger “find 11,780 votes” and award them to Trump — thus giving the defeated president an illegitimate victory over Biden. SB 202 allows the Republican-controlled state legislature to appoint a more pliable chair (the seat is currently vacant).

GOP lawmakers already appointed two of the other board members: One of these seats is appointed by the state senate, and another by the state House, both of which have Republican majorities. (Theoretically, control of one or both houses could flip to the Democratic Party in the future, giving them more power over the board of elections, but that’s no reassurance for anyone worried about the administration of the 2022 elections and Republicans can use their current majorities to pass gerrymanders that could lock them into power.)

And Republicans actually have even more control of the board: The two remaining seats are filled by the state Democratic and Republican parties, meaning Republicans currently control four of the five slots.

This brings us to the second way SB 202 entrenches Republican control of the 2022 elections: A supermajority on the board enables the GOP to take over local election administration, even if a Republican member of the state elections board dissents. That’s because only three of the board’s five members need to support a state takeover of a local election board for that takeover to happen.

So what happens next?

Under SB 202, Republicans still need to jump through several procedural hoops before they can claim control Fulton County’s election administration. The process from here on out looks like this:

  1. After lawmakers formally request a review, the state board “shall appoint an independent performance review board within 30 days.” This review board will have three members — one state election official and two local officials from outside of Fulton County — and will produce a written report.
  2. After the performance review is complete, the state elections board may pursue “extraordinary relief,” which may include removing the county election board. Before voting on whether to remove Fulton County’s local board, the state board must conduct at least one “preliminary hearing,” within 30 to 90 days from when it formally decides to consider removing the local board.
  3. After this preliminary hearing has happened, the state board may vote to suspend the local board — it takes three state board members to do so. If that happens, the state board may also appoint a temporary superintendent who will take over election administration in Fulton.
  4. In theory, the ousted county officials may petition the same state board that just removed them from office for reinstatement. The more likely path to Fulton reasserting control of its elections, though, is that nine months later the county regains the power to remove the temporary superintendent and appoint its own election administrators.

Because Fulton is likely to remove a GOP-appointed superintendent as soon as it can, Republicans need to time this entire process carefully if their intent is to skew the 2022 election in their favor. To gain maximum advantage, Republicans need to ensure that the temporary superintendent’s nine months in office overlaps with the 2022 election and the post-election period when that election is being certified.

Once Republicans take over the Fulton County election board, they gain broad new powers to disenfranchise voters

In those nine months, the temporary superintendent gains all the powers that would normally be held by local election administrators — at least three of which could potentially be wielded to disenfranchise voters.

First, county election boards normally have the power to adjudicate claims that a particular voter is not lawfully allowed to vote, so this power would be transferred to a GOP-appointed superintendent. If a county board (or a temporary superintendent) determines that a particular voter is “not qualified to remain on the list of electors,” the voter will be disenfranchised and removed from the list of registered voters.

Moreover, because state law permits any Fulton County voter to challenge the right of any other Fulton County voter to cast a ballot, the temporary superintendent could potentially be inundated with requests to disenfranchise individual voters.

State law does permit a voter disenfranchised in this way to appeal to a state court, but that’s an onerous process that many voters will struggle to navigate. Imagine, for example, that a Republican superintendent declares thousands of Fulton County voters ineligible. These voters would need to find lawyers, file an appeal, and hope that the state’s GOP-dominated judiciary doesn’t uphold the superintendent’s actions.

Meanwhile, voters in other, less Democratic counties would be free to cast their ballots normally.

A temporary superintendent also has the power to relocate polling sites, and they have some authority to divide, reshape, or combine existing polling precincts. In the worst-case scenario, a Republican superintendent might attempt to shut down most of the polling places in Atlanta, forcing voters to wait in long lines to cast a ballot. At the very least, such a superintendent might move around many voters’ polling places, confusing voters who are accustomed to voting in a particular location.

Finally, county election boards (or a superintendent appointed to replace that board) must certify the results of an election once all the votes in that county are tallied. It’s not at all clear what happens if local election administrators refuse to certify an election because they don’t like the result. But the statewide bodies that could plausibly resolve such a dispute — including the State Elections Board, the state legislature, and the state supreme court — are currently controlled by Republicans.

So, while it remains to be seen what the state GOP will do with its authority if it does take over elections in Fulton County, the Republican Party could potentially gain the power to rig the 2022 election.

Read also

Towering new turbines spinning in the winds of Altamont Pass

Reading vs Middlesbrough: Match Preview 2021/22

Gabby Petito’s death is tragic. But I wish missing women of color got this much attention | Akin Olla

Слот 7

News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on Today24.pro

News Every Day

Giant WAHOO! Best RAW FISH Ever! Wahoo Homemade Sushi Catch Clean Cook

Today24.pro — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here


Опросы, проведённые в народе, выяснили: население в целом довольно...

Новости России
Game News

Twitch makes a deal with the music industry, but streamers still can't use copyrighted songs


Путин назвал примером для молодежи отмечающую юбилей школу «Самбо-70»

Губернаторы России

За сутки в России подтверждено 19 706 случаев COVID-19 в 85 регионах

Путин предложил подумать о проведении еще одного чемпионата мира по футболу в России

Киев обвинил Москву в нарушении воздушного пространства в Черном море

Профессиональные советы для продвинутых начинающих Youtube

«Яндекс.Облако» будет развиваться в Германии

Певец Юрий Лоза назвал безобразием глаголы «надевать» и «одевать»

Концерты отменяются: Родители подростков целого ряда российских городов взбунтовались против Моргенштерна

Моргенштерн выступит в Казани: протесты против концерта не помешали

Филармония имени Шостаковича открывает 101-й сезон

«Обидно, что не смог навязать достойную борьбу». Александр Бублик остановился в шаге от пятого финала на турнирах серии ATP

Лидер сборной России по теннису Медведев примет участие в Кубке Кремля

Бублик сделал 4 эйса подряд в матче на турнире Astana Open. ВИДЕО

Арина Соболенко впервые в карьере сыграет на итоговом турнире WTA

Экспериментальный состав вологодского «Динамо» выиграл у футболистов Ростова Великого

Очное участие Путина в саммите G20 будет зависеть от ситуации с коронавирусом

«Батя» в Каннах: комедийный сериал стал единственным российским проектом в конкурсе Canneseries в категории шорт-форм

Портал покупки лекарств

Россия впервые примет чемпионат мира по натурбану в 2023 году

Российские самолеты залетели в зону украинских учений ПВО

Назван недостаток нового iPhone 13 Pro

Что может быть дороже франко-англосаксонской дружбы?

Путин в России и мире

Персональные новости