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Nation Waits On Results Of Big Georgia Public Service Commission Vote, Also Senate Runoff
Take a breath now and then, OK?
We hear there's an election in Georgia today, so we thought we should probably get you up to date on where things stand right now. The state's early voting, both in-person and by mail, has set a big whopping record for a runoff election, with more than three million ballots cast before the polls opened this morning. That's roughly 38.8 percent of all registered voters in the state.
Oh! And here's a little-known fact that you may not have heard: If Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock, the Democrats in the runoff for US Senate, win today, that would mean Democrats would take over control of the Senate. Gosh, we sure hope someone has let Georgia voters know that, because it sounds important.
Donald Trump marked the occasion with some baldfaced lying, because he wanted to help. After a minor issue with voting machines in Columbia County required voters to use paper ballots for a short time, Trump took to Twitter to claim that "Dominion Machines are not working in certain Republican Strongholds for over an hour," adding he sure hoped the Republican votes would be counted. Local TV reported that the issue had actually been resolved for hours by the time Trump sent out his tweet, not that that would be any reason not to stoke fears of a rigged election. You know, another rigged election.
Gabriel Sterling, the "voter system implementation manager" for the Georgia Secretary of State's office, tweeted that Trump was far behind reality, which would be very on-brand.
And this issue in Columbia Co. was resolved hours ago and our office informed the public about it in real time. The… https: //t.co/haofoSwtjY
— Gabriel Sterling (@Gabriel Sterling) 1609872023.0
And compared to both the 2020 primary and general elections, there were very few lines to vote; Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said in the early afternoon that average wait times to vote were about a minute statewide, with the longest waits reported only about 30 minutes. All that early voting helped!
The New York Times notes ,
Kristen Clarke, executive director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said the most common complaint reported to a hotline run by her organization was that some voters failed to receive mail ballots before the Election Day deadline.
"Many voters across the state availed themselves of the opportunity to participate in early voting," said Ms. Clarke. "We are not surprised that we are not seeing poll sites flooded with large overwhelming numbers of voters today."
So that's good! Just remember: Raffensperger wants to be seen as running a tight electoral ship for the sake of saying he does his job well. He's not especially committed to democracy.
Also probably good, the Times reports that, with just two Senate races (and the all-important runoff for the state Public Service Commission, the board that regulates utilities), the vote is likely to be tabulated more quickly than in November, though it might be a stretch to expect final results tonight. Also too, in a change from the fall, the state Elections Board ordered counties after the November general election to start processing absentee and early ballots a week before election day, so a lot of the most time-intensive work like verifying signatures and such will be already done once the polls close.
If the Democrats win, of course, that will be cited as a horrifying irregularity that throws the results into doubt.
Our advice for this evening: Don't stay glued to the TV all night, because even if there is a call tonight, it's not going to come in prime time.
We will, of course, be completely unable to follow our own advice. Good luck, Georgia! OPEN THREAD!
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