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Selma 1963 was ancient history. Everything's much better now.


Well, Jesus. H. Jumped-Up Christ Marching Across The Edmund Pettus Bridge Into Tear Gas, they're at it again. Fine, not in Selma, but in Georgia, where the state is doing what it can to reduce the turnout for the June 20 runoff election for the 6th Congressional District seat formerly held by Secretary of Destroying Healthcare Tom Price. Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff may have been the top vote-getter in the primary Tuesday, with 48% of the vote, but that was just short of the 50% plus one to win outright, so Ossoff will face the next-highest candidate, Republican Karen Handel, in the runoff. Great! May the best candidate who can garner the support of the most voters win! Only there's a little catch: If Georgians want to vote in this election, which has suddenly become one of the hottest political stories in the country, they had to have registered by March 20, a full three months before the runoff.

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s office insists the runoff is simply an extension of the primary held Tuesday, so obviously the registration cutoff for that primary is the final cutoff. Letting new voters register for the runoff would taint the purity of the vote, don't you know. The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is suing in federal court to have registration available until May 22, 30 days before the runoff, citing the National Voter Registration Act (aka the "Motor Voter" Law), which requires voters be allowed to register to vote in any federal election 30 days beforehand. Ezra Rosenberg, the co-director of the Lawyers' Committee voting rights project, says this is a no-brainer:

“The case is actually a very, very simple case,” Rosenberg told reporters on a conference call Thursday. “Federal law specifically defines elections as including runoff elections.”

The National Voter Registration Act, passed in 1993, defines the word “election” based on the Federal Election Campaign Act. That 1971 statute defines an election as “a general, special, primary, or runoff election.”

Slam dunk, easy-peasy, get on with the registration and campaigning, and may the best candidate win, right? Oh, but there's a catch, and it's a beaut: A spokesperson for Kemp, Candice Broce, Georgiasplained in an email to Huffington Post that under Georgia law, voters must be registered for the primary election in order to vote in a runoff resulting from that primary. She also said the U.S. Constitution allows states to set restrictions on voter eligibility in federal elections as long as those same restrictions apply to state elections.

Phooey to that, says Ira Feinberg, an attorney assisting with the Lawyers' Committee lawsuit; on the conference call, he said the Motor Voter law "clearly pre-empts state law."

Phooey to your phooey, replied Broce at the Georgia AG's office, because "integrity of the elections" and stuff:

“The election system, which includes the voter registration database and electronic poll books, was set up in such a way that it necessarily depends on the runoff being connected to the underlying election,” she said. “Attempting to make a change to the election system this late in the process could result in serious complications to normal election operations.”

Kemp's chief of staff, David Dove, said the lawsuit is nothing but a "completely political effort to attack Secretary Kemp,” although those crazies at the Lawyers' Committee seem to think it might have more to do with allowing voters in Georgia the right to vote in a very important election that's getting national attention and generating far more public interest than the initial primary election, regardless of Secretary Kemp's reputation or feelings. Yr Wonkette is not an elections lawyer, but it seems to us that since the runoff is, in effect, the equivalent of a general election, and since federal law specifically defines runoffs as one form of election that can't have a registration cutoff farther out than 30 days, it doesn't make a bit of sense for registration for an election in June to have a cutoff date three months in advance.

Oh, sorry. We were using logic that assumes "letting people vote" is a good thing. Georgia's logic is clearly predicated on keeping too many people from voting, because what if the wrong kind of people decide they want to vote?

Yr Wonkette is supported by reader contributions, and we have no cutoff on when you can throw us money. Just click the little "Donate" clicky down below the article.

[HuffPo / Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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Republicans are devouring each other's carcasses, and we are here for it! Especially when one of those Republicans is King Kris of the Kansas Votefucker Klan ... errr, Clan! It's been a week since Kansans cast their votes in the gubernatorial primary, and the GOP looks to be rolling up its sleeves for a slugfest.

As we type, Kobach leads by 298 votes out of more than 314,000 cast -- a whopping 0.00095 percent, if you round up! The Kansas GOP begged Donald Trump to stay out of the race and leave the field clear for sitting governor Jeff Colyer, who took over when Sam Brownback wandered off to bring Jesus to the Hottentots on behalf of the US government. Safe bet that Colyer would be gearing up for the general election now if President Twitterthumbs hadn't flapped his yap. So thanks for that, Donny!

No, really, THANKS!

Remember the hanging chad debacle in Florida? Now picture it in a landlocked state with more cows than people. It's like fantasy island for Devin Nunes, ALLEGEDLY.

Oh, but we are to kid!

After first insisting he wasn't going to recuse from the counting, Secretary of State Kris Kobach (one and the same!) wrote Colyer a fabulously bitchy letter agreeing to hand off the tabulation to his deputy, Eric Rucker. Colyer had made the shocking suggestion that Kobach delegate responsibility to the Kansas attorney general, rather than his own political appointee, and Kobach was stretched out on the settee with a fit of the vapors at the gross impropriety of it all!

I will not breach the public trust and arbitrarily assign my responsibilities to another office that is not granted such authority by the laws of Kansas.

After several anguished paragraphs, Kobach closed by remonstrating that Colyer was betraying his office by destroying the faith of Kansans in the sacred integrity of their electoral process.

As governor of Kansas, your unrestrained rhetoric has the potential to undermine the public's confidence in the election process. May I suggest that you trust the people of Kansas have made the right decision at the polls and that our election officials will properly determine the result as they do in every election.

Said the guy whose entire adult life has been dedicated to whipping up panic about millions of imaginary illegal alien voters.

So now these two princes can kick the crap out of each other WITH VOTES, specifically, provisional ballots cast by unaffiliated voters under the supervision of poorly trained poll workers. Kansas holds closed primaries, meaning only registered Republicans can vote to select the GOP candidate, BUT an unaffiliated voter can cast a vote by checking a box identifying as a Democrat or a Republican at the polling place. This was news to some poll workers, who mistakenly directed over one thousand unaffiliated voters to use provisional ballots without checking the box indicating party preference. Whoops!

So, will those provisional ballots be counted based on voter intent? Or tossed based on strict interpretation of the statute? And does Kansas law mandate tossing mail-in ballots that arrive without a postmark on Wednesday, since there's no forensic proof that they were mailed before midnight on Tuesday? And how disgusted will the Kansas electorate be when one of these assholes emerges from the melée holding the other one's scalp? And how many millions of dollars are going to be spent on litigating the Republican primary while this nice lady Laura Kelly, the Democratic minority whip of the Kansas Senate, is out campaigning for November?

Even before this debacle, Kobach looked significantly weaker against Kelly than Colyer, with self-funded Libertarian Jeff Orman threatening to throw a wrench in the works. The Wichita Eagle reports on a Remington Research Poll conducted in July:

In a Kelly-Orman-Kobach race, the poll puts Kelly and Kobach effectively in a dead heat — 36 percent for Kelly and 35 percent for Kobach, with Kelly's lead within the margin of error. Orman has 12 percent.

Colyer leads in a three-way race with Kelly and Orman, according to the poll. In that scenario, Colyer receives 38 percent of the vote, while Kelly gets 28 percent and Orman receives 10 percent.

Which is ONE POLL, in a deeply red state, but ... Kobach is a crap candidate who's likely to emerge from this fight with two black eyes and a pissed off base. If there's anyone who can blow this election, it's Kris Kobach.

Keep fighting, Kris! You can do it! (And now we need a shower.)

And YOU need an OPEN THREAD!

Follow your FDF on Twitter!

Money us, PLEASE! Throw a tip in the jar, or click here to keep your Wonkette snarking forever.

[Kobach letter / Wichita Eagle / Mother Jones / Kansas City Star]

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While most people spent this weekend telling Nazi punks to fuck off, a couple 11-year-olds were in Las Vegas hacking into voting machines. Why? BECAUSE IT'S FUN!

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