Issues: Elections

Kemp faces new voter security questions amid Russia probe

Kemp faces new voter security questions amid Russia probe

As evidence mounts that Russia is again trying to interfere in U.S. votes, Georgia’s top elections official faces new scrutiny of his oversight of the state’s voting system. Secretary of State Brian Kemp, a Republican candidate for governor, tells voters the state’s elections system is secure and that he doesn’t need additional help from Washington to defend against hackers...

Whoops: Georgia gov candidate slips up some endorsements

Stacey Abrams touted the endorsements of more than 100 local officials earlier this week. Now, a handful of them say they never backed her campaign for governor. Cairo Mayor Booker Gainor, fresh off a November election, told local media he was “shocked” to be on the list because he hasn’t endorsed either Abrams or her Democratic rival, former state Rep. Stacey Evans.  &ldquo...
Cagle is the Georgia Capitol crowd’s man for governor

Cagle is the Georgia Capitol crowd’s man for governor

In the months leading up to this year’s General Assembly session, the statehouse crowd made it clear Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle was their candidate for governor. Lobbyists, political action committees and legacy donors who traditionally side with the winners in governor’s races poured money into Cagle’s bid to replace Gov. Nathan Deal, according to a review of campaign filings by The Atlanta...
Capitol Recap: Ballots have positions open, so hunt on for candidates

Capitol Recap: Ballots have positions open, so hunt on for candidates

Help wanted: Republican legislative candidates in Gwinnett County. Normally, they shouldn’t be that hard to find. Gwinnett, like other suburban Atlanta counties, is traditionally a GOP stronghold. But this time around, Democrats sense an opportunity in the ‘burbs, thanks to a combination of President Donald Trump’s low approval ratings in some of those areas and changing...
Deal plan to reduce Georgia tax hike from fed plan gets cold reception

Deal plan to reduce Georgia tax hike from fed plan gets cold reception

Gov. Nathan Deal’s plan to reduce the revenue windfall the state will receive from federal tax changes approved by Congress in December is getting a frosty reception in the General Assembly. The measure, House Bill 918, aims to slice into the estimated $4.7 billion income tax windfall over the next five years that Georgia would receive if lawmakers don’t make changes to the state...
Around Georgia: GSU could be a funding winner

Around Georgia: GSU could be a funding winner

Report: Georgia State University could benefit from law rewrite A rewrite of the Higher Education Act could benefit Georgia State University, insidehighered.com reported Wednesday. Under the PROSPER Act — as House Republicans have deemed their bill — elite private colleges in the Northeast that were criticized as having an advantage under the work-study formula could be losing the most...
Abrams nonprofit faces liens; campaign blames clerical error

Abrams nonprofit faces liens; campaign blames clerical error

A nonprofit created by Democratic candidate for governor Stacey Abrams tallied four liens worth $13,000 from the Georgia Department of Labor for unpaid unemployment contributions between 2014 and 2016, according to state tax records. The records show the tax liens were filed against Third Sector Development, a nonprofit Abrams created in 1998 that was later expanded to oversee her New Georgia Project...
Republican John LaHood elected to south Georgia House seat

Republican John LaHood elected to south Georgia House seat

John LaHood won a special election Tuesday for a south Georgia seat in the state House of Representatives. LaHood, a Republican and the CEO of Fellowship Senior Living, defeated three opponents to represent House District 175 on the Georgia-Florida border. LaHood received about 71 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results. He will replace former Rep. Amy Carter, R-Valdosta...

Abrams pledges to eliminate cash bail system, decriminalize some marijuana offenses 

Stacey Abrams pledged to eliminate the use of cash bail for poor defendants accused of low-level offenses, reduce criminal penalties for Georgians charged with possession of small amounts of marijuana and pour more funding into accountability courts if elected governor. The ex-Democratic lawmaker said Tuesday her criminal justice plan would also expand the “ban the box” program designed...
Georgia 2018: Abrams lands mayoral backers

Georgia 2018: Abrams lands mayoral backers

Stacey Abrams landed the endorsements of more than 100 local officials Monday as she raced for the Democratic nomination for governor.  Abrams, once the Georgia House’s top Democrat, lined up endorsements from ex-Savannah Mayor Edna Jackson, Atlanta School Board President Jason Esteves and dozens of other city council members, school board officials and county commissioners.  She faces...
Capitol Recap: Georgia governor concerned but on fence about drilling

Capitol Recap: Georgia governor concerned but on fence about drilling

Gov. Nathan Deal’s oil pressure is running high. The governor has yet to say whether he will back or oppose the Trump administration’s plan to open nearly all the nation's coastal waters to offshore oil and gas drilling. That makes Deal the lone governor of a coastal state who is still on the fence. He has said the proposal concerns him. Others feel more strongly. The Atlanta City...
Around Georgia: Democrats fear Staceys may bruise each other too badly

Around Georgia: Democrats fear Staceys may bruise each other too badly

BuzzFeed reports that the two Staceys in the governor’s race — former state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams and former state Rep. Stacey Evans — could be hurt by a contentious and costly Democratic primary. Democrats, the news site reports, feel that a bitter primary could leave the eventual nominee at a disadvantage heading into what they believe is a winnable election, given...
Why Abrams is spending so much cash so early in Georgia governor’s race

Why Abrams is spending so much cash so early in Georgia governor’s race

At house after house, the volunteers for Democrat Stacey Abrams’ campaign were met with confusion, excitement, indifference or a combination of the three. Many didn’t know there was a governor’s race at the end of the year — or a primary competition looming in May. And knocking on many of those doors was Patricia Fulton, who gamely handled each annoyed look and intense question...
The race for Georgia governor is a $20 million contest

The race for Georgia governor is a $20 million contest

Candidates have amassed more than $20 million as they intensified their battle to succeed Gov. Nathan Deal — and they’ve begun to dig deep into their campaign coffers to win over voters ahead of the May primaries. Reports posted on Wednesday’s deadline show the campaigns have spent millions of dollars hiring staff, opening offices across the state and preparing volleys of TV ads...
Georgia legislators take up anti-gerrymandering proposal

Georgia legislators take up anti-gerrymandering proposal

A crowd of Georgia voters asked state legislators Tuesday to amend the state Constitution to remove partisanship from the process of redrawing the state’s political maps. The House Reapportionment Committee listened to concerns that partisan gerrymandering could hinder fair representation but didn’t vote on the proposal, House Resolution 2. Committee Chairman Johnnie Caldwell, R-Thomaston...
Media Roundup: Effort to rename Savannah bridge takes sweet approach

Media Roundup: Effort to rename Savannah bridge takes sweet approach

Hundreds of pint-size lobbyists will be doling out cookies and milk at the Georgia Capitol on Tuesday as they push to strike a segregationist’s name from a major gateway bridge, The New York Times reported Sunday.The Times piece tracks the fight by the Girl Scouts to have the Eugene Talmadge Memorial Bridge in Savannah renamed for Juliette Gordon Low, the Girl Scouts founder. Savannah residents...
Georgia voter letter lawsuit settled by ACLU and Secretary of State

Georgia voter letter lawsuit settled by ACLU and Secretary of State

Voters in Georgia will no longer be declared inactive when they fail to confirm their addresses after moving within the same county, according to a settlement announced Friday. The settlement Friday resolves a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia alleging that the state wasn’t complying with laws requiring election officials to automatically update voters’ addresses...
Why Georgia Democrats are zeroing in on Atlanta’s suburbs

Why Georgia Democrats are zeroing in on Atlanta’s suburbs

Georgia Democrats are trying to ignite a revolt against Republicans in a swath of diverse suburbs across metro Atlanta and other bedroom communities in the state. The party hopes to capitalize on President Donald Trump’s low approval ratings in areas that once were conservative strongholds but are fast becoming prime political battlegrounds because of changing demographics and the increasing...

Georgia 7th: Woodall ramps up fundraising as Dems seek foothold

With no fewer than seven challengers trying to knock off U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall this year, it’s no surprise the Lawrenceville Republican has begun ramping up his fundraising ahead of the March qualifying deadline. Woodall bolstered his fundraising in the final three months of 2017 by 50 percent above his third-quarter haul, new campaign finance records show. The four-term congressman...
Georgia Senate condemns NFL ahead of Atlanta’s Super Bowl date

Georgia Senate condemns NFL ahead of Atlanta’s Super Bowl date

The Georgia Senate unanimously approved a resolution Thursday condemning the National Football League’s “hypocritical actions” a year before Atlanta hosts the Super Bowl. The measure, proposed by Republican state Sen. David Shafer, urged Georgians to stand during the national anthem and denounced the league’s decision to deny a veterans group advertising space in the official...
Election-year sniping hits the state Senate

Election-year sniping hits the state Senate

State Sen. Michael Williams has repeatedly taken the Senate floor to criticize the lieutenant governor this legislative session — both men are running for governor this year — and on Wednesday one of his colleagues had heard enough. Williams, a Cumming Republican, has addressed the Senate pretty much every day this session, often denouncing Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, who also serves as...
A cutting new fight over paper ballots erupts in Georgia gov race

A cutting new fight over paper ballots erupts in Georgia gov race

Two of the most prominent Republicans in the race for governor locked in a war of words Thursday over a proposal that would replace the state’s aging voting system with paper ballots. It was the most public rift yet between Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, the two candidates in the governor’s race with statewide victories under their belts. And their feud...
Candidates say transportation a top priority for Georgia

Candidates say transportation a top priority for Georgia

From transit expansion to road improvements, six candidates to become Georgia’s next governor pledged Wednesday to ease the pain of commuters and speed the shipping of freight across the Peach State if elected. Addressing the Georgia Transportation Alliance in Atlanta, the candidates said Georgia should build on the billions of dollars it has invested in roads and bridges in recent years...
Georgia’s bid for Amazon becomes a prime issue in governor’s race

Georgia’s bid for Amazon becomes a prime issue in governor’s race

Georgia’s aggressive maneuvering for Amazon’s second headquarters — and the $1 billion or more in incentives it will likely require — has fast become a dividing line in the race for governor. Republican candidates are under pressure from grass-roots activists to reject juicy pot-sweeteners to land the $5 billion project — and one conservative is making his opposition...
Lawmakers propose switching Georgia from digital to paper ballots

Lawmakers propose switching Georgia from digital to paper ballots

Elections in Georgia could return to paper ballots. A bill recently introduced in the Georgia General Assembly calls for the state to scrap its 16-year-old touch-screen voting system and replace it with a paper-based system. Paper ballots, used by about 70 percent of the nation, are more secure than electronic machines because they can’t be hacked, said state Rep. Scot Turner, the...
4 candidates join race for south Georgia House seat

4 candidates join race for south Georgia House seat

Three Republicans and a Democrat are running in a Feb. 13 special election for a state House seat representing a district on the Georgia-Florida border. The candidates are competing to replace former Rep. Amy Carter, R-Valdosta, who resigned from House District 175 in November to take a position with the Technical College System of Georgia. Candidate qualifying for the race...
8 candidates file to run for vacant Ga. House and Senate seats

8 candidates file to run for vacant Ga. House and Senate seats

Four candidates are running in each of the two special elections Jan. 9 to fill vacancies in the Georgia Senate and House of Representatives. The elections are being held to fill the seats of former Sen. Rick Jeffares and former Rep. Brian Strickland. Jeffares, R-McDonough, resigned to run for lieutenant governor, and Strickland, R-McDonough, stepped down to seek Jeffares’ Senate position...
Georgia General Assembly gets first Vietnamese-American member

Georgia General Assembly gets first Vietnamese-American member

Bee Nguyen on Tuesday became the first Vietnamese-American to win a state House seat in Georgia as she took a closely contested runoff in DeKalb County. Nguyen, a nonprofit founder, beat Sachin Varghese, an attorney, to become the new representative for House District 89, a seat vacated when Stacey Abrams, the former House Democratic leader, quit to run for governor. The district includes...
More elections scheduled for January to fill state Senate and House seats

More elections scheduled for January to fill state Senate and House seats

Two special elections will be held Jan. 9 to fill the seats in the Georgia General Assembly left vacant by former Sen. Rick Jeffares and former Rep. Brian Strickland. Jeffares, R-McDonough, resigned to compete in a crowded field for Georgia lieutenant governor to replace Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, who is running for governor. Besides Jeffares, other Republican candidates for lieutenant governor include ...
Two Democrats face off to replace Republican in Georgia Senate

Two Democrats face off to replace Republican in Georgia Senate

Democrats in Fulton and Cobb counties are celebrating the fact that they flipped Georgia’s 6th Senate District, forcing a runoff election between two members of their party to replace former Sen. Hunter Hill. Now they are trying to attract Republican voters to their cause. Strategists expected the runoff to feature one Democrat and one Republican, matching what candidates say is the political...
Bottoms begins to distance herself from Reed in Atlanta mayoral race

Bottoms begins to distance herself from Reed in Atlanta mayoral race

It seemed the perfect opportunity for Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed to slam a bitter rival. Days earlier, he had called Atlanta mayoral contender Mary Norwood and City Council President Ceasar Mitchell “losers” after they appeared together at a joint press conference. And just as he was wrapping up an event Monday, news broke that former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin also backed...
Why does it take so long to get election results in Georgia?

Why does it take so long to get election results in Georgia?

In many states, voters find out who will win and lose on election night soon after the polls close. Not in Georgia. Georgia voters must wait and wait and wait — often until the wee hours of the morning. The bigger the county, the longer it takes to count votes, with Fulton County earning a reputation for getting its results in well after midnight. That likely won’t change Tuesday...
Metro Atlanta’s LGBT voters flex muscle, see power grow in new ways

Metro Atlanta’s LGBT voters flex muscle, see power grow in new ways

Cathy Woolard’s forum was so packed that some of the voters who hoped she would be Atlanta’s first openly gay mayor were turned away. Inside, a rapt audience erupted into laughter when she interrupted a long-winded answer about the Atlanta electorate to note one group that can’t be overlooked. “Gay people,” she said, “are really different.” Metro Atlanta&rsquo...
Georgia tosses challenge to candidacy of state Senate hopeful

Georgia tosses challenge to candidacy of state Senate hopeful

Linda Pritchett, a Democratic candidate in next week’s runoff election, is eligible to appear on the ballot Tuesday. The Secretary of State’s Office on Wednesday evening responded to a request from a Senate District 39 voter who asked Secretary of State Brian Kemp to challenge Pritchett’s qualifications, alleging she had lied on her declaration of candidacy. In a letter to Erin Glynn...
Georgia Democrats divided over party’s role in Atlanta mayoral race

Georgia Democrats divided over party’s role in Atlanta mayoral race

The Democratic Party of Georgia’s decision to plunge headlong into the nonpartisan race for Atlanta mayor has infuriated several leading Democrats. The party has come under fire for six-figure buys for TV and radio ads depicting Councilwoman Mary Norwood as a Trump-like figure and warning that she could be the first leader of Atlanta since the 1880s not to identify as a Democrat. State Democrats...
Runoffs will decide next generation of Atlanta Democrats in Ga. House

Runoffs will decide next generation of Atlanta Democrats in Ga. House

Both candidates in a runoff for a seat in the Georgia House of Representatives were often told by their immigrant parents to keep their heads down and stay out of trouble. But no matter who wins Tuesday, they’ll make waves by becoming either Georgia’s first Vietnamese-American or Indian-American state representative. Bee Nguyen, the founder of an education nonprofit, faces Sachin Varghese...
Voter challenges legitimacy of Georgia Senate candidate

Voter challenges legitimacy of Georgia Senate candidate

A Fulton County lawyer is asking the Secretary of State’s Office to challenge the right of a candidate in next week’s 39th Georgia Senate District runoff to be on the ballot. Linda Pritchett is one of two Democrats vying for the seat Vincent Fort vacated to make an unsuccessful run for Atlanta mayor. Pritchett, a paralegal, faces off against Nikema Williams, who works for Planned Parenthood...
Early voting begins Monday in runoff races

Early voting begins Monday in runoff races

Early voting in local and state runoffs begins Monday, including races for Atlanta mayor and council seats, the Fulton County Commission chairmanship and a series of legislative races and municipal elections across the metro area. Early voting runs daily though Friday before the races conclude with the runoffs on Tuesday, Dec. 5. There will be no voting over the weekend. Friday is also the last day...
Paper ballots pass Election Day test in Georgia

Paper ballots pass Election Day test in Georgia

The results are in from this month’s test run of a voting system that could bring paper ballots back to Georgia: It was easy to use and fast, but it would come with a high cost to taxpayers. The trial of the touch screen-plus-paper ballot voting system “came off without a hitch” when it was tried during the Nov. 7 election for Conyers’ mayor and City Council, Georgia...
Lawsuit seeks to end Georgia’s restrictions on third-party candidates

Lawsuit seeks to end Georgia’s restrictions on third-party candidates

Georgia’s restrictions on third-party candidates trying to run for the U.S. House of Representatives should be declared unconstitutional, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court Tuesday by the Libertarian Party of Georgia. No third-party candidate in Georgia has ever collected enough signatures to appear on the ballot for the U.S. House since the state passed an election qualifying...
Democrats aim for suburbs in Alabama ahead of Deep South votes

Democrats aim for suburbs in Alabama ahead of Deep South votes

Amanda Wilson has watched with a mix of glee and uncertainty as the imposing homes along this wealthy suburban town’s zigzagging streets has suddenly sprouted Democratic signs. “I’m a blue dot in a big red state,” said Wilson, a 64-year-old retiree. “But I don’t feel as lonely anymore.” Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore’s struggles have transformed...
The Week: A Moore win in Alabama could thrust Isakson into spotlight

The Week: A Moore win in Alabama could thrust Isakson into spotlight

If Republican Roy Moore wins Alabama’s special election to the U.S. Senate next month, and if fellow senators choose to expel him from the chamber over accusations of sexual misconduct involving the candidate and teenagers when he was in his 30s — so a couple of huge “ifs” — Georgia U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson could be a key cog in the process. As chairman of the Senate...
Abrams proposes ‘bold’ scholarship to boost early child care in Georgia

Abrams proposes ‘bold’ scholarship to boost early child care in Georgia

Democrat Stacey Abrams unveiled a program Wednesday that she proposed as a way to make quality child care more affordable through a new scholarship, tax credits for teachers in early childhood jobs and an initiative to expand child care options to more rural areas. Abrams said the proposals will be central to her run for governor, and she portrayed them as essential for Georgians struggling with high...
Republicans race for attention early in Georgia governor race

Republicans race for attention early in Georgia governor race

Republican candidates in Georgia routinely race to the party’s right flank, but the leading contenders in next year’s GOP race for governor have set a new pace as they try to outdo each other with attention-grabbing moves a year from the vote. Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle opened a nasty feud with the liberal stronghold of Decatur, and he relayed every twist and turn of the fight to his supporters...
A GOP proposal would change voting process after Senate stunner

A GOP proposal would change voting process after Senate stunner

The surprising all-Democratic runoff for a state Senate seat long held by Republicans would never have happened under legislation set to be introduced before next year’s legislative session. State Sen. Josh McKoon, a Republican candidate for secretary of state, said he’ll file legislation next week that would require both parties to nominate their own candidates in a special election....
Georgia Democrats think Tuesday’s wins point to greater gains in 2018

Georgia Democrats think Tuesday’s wins point to greater gains in 2018

Georgia Democrats strung together seemingly improbable victories Tuesday night, emboldening partisans who hope the strong performance is a prelude to next year’s statewide vote — and the beginning of a forceful rebuke of President Donald Trump. Democratic newcomers flipped two state House seats in northeast Georgia considered so conservative the party hadn’t contested them since...
New Georgia lawmakers may have to fight bid to redraw voter lines

New Georgia lawmakers may have to fight bid to redraw voter lines

Democrats euphoric over flipping three state legislative seats Tuesday may have to spend the 2018 General Assembly session making sure they have a shot at winning re-election next fall. Majority parties — in Georgia that’s the Republicans — don’t like losing seats, and they could file legislation during the session to redraw the district boundaries of at least some of the new...
Democrats pick up three seats in Georgia legislative races

Democrats pick up three seats in Georgia legislative races

Democrats picked up three state legislative seats Tuesday in special elections set up by lawmakers leaving office to take new jobs. Deborah Gonzalez bested Houston Gaines to represent the Athens area, replacing Athens Republican Regina Quick, who was appointed to a judgeship in August. A four-way race to replace Republican Chuck Williams in the House went to first-time Democratic candidate Jonathan...
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