Sunday Solutions – Nov. 6, 2022
Did you reset your clocks and claim your extra hour? Candidates for statewide offices are using their extra time to connect with the handful of undecided voters and those who haven’t yet voted. Check out what they are doing, early vote trends and what comes next. And yes, your second cup also may add even more time to your day.
The candidates battling in Georgia’s tight state and federal races have spent the last few days revving up their respective bases.
Gov. Brian Kemp on Friday traveled across middle and north Georgia on the last day to vote early. Saturday, Kemp was scheduled to be in and around Athens, where his No. 1-ranked University of Georgia Bulldog football team defeated the University of Tennessee.
Herschel Walker visited Richmond Hill on Thursday before also heading to Athens Saturday for a big pre-game tailgate event, where hundreds of the former football star’s fans showed up to support his bid to become Georgia’s next U.S. senator.
Sen. Raphael Warnock, meanwhile, was crisscrossing the state over the weekend before a scheduled homecoming in Savannah Sunday evening. Bethel AME Church in east Savannah off Bee Road will host a get-out-the-vote rally with Rev. Warnock and Hollywood director Spike Lee as a special guest.
Stacey Abrams, who is in a rematch against Kemp for the gubernatorial race, traveled through Coastal Georgia Friday and Saturday, stopping in Statesboro, Hinesville, Brunswick and Savannah – twice. Her campaign has stuck to its yearlong strategy: turning out Black voters across the state as well as appealing to first-time voters. Crowds at each of these events were dominated by both demographics.
At Savannah’s Daffin Park on Saturday morning, Abrams shared a rally stage with actor Natalie Portman, who plays Luke Skywalker’s mother in the Star Wars franchise. (She’s in town filming a movie.) Also giving last minute speeches: local Democrats including state Rep. Carl Gilliard and Rep. Edna Jackson and state legislative candidates Derrick Mallow and Ann Allen Westbrook.
Wade Herring, the Democrat looking to unseat incumbent Rep. Buddy Carter in the U.S. House of Representatives, also had a chance at the microphone. He made an impassioned plea for a vote for change in Georgia’s First Congressional District.
Rep. Carter, the four-time incumbent and former mayor of Pooler, appeared at Walker’s rally in Richmond Hill, where roughly 150 people turned out. However, Carter had no planned public campaign events over the weekend.
— Margaret Coker
Advertising, race and Georgia
Fear has been a campaign staple forever — crime, war, layoffs, higher taxes, fascism, socialism, you name it. Recent weeks have brought forward one that seems to appear when challenges get tight: Race. From accusations of bigotry toward whites and darkened skin tones on Black candidates in attack ads, it’s all back in Georgia. The Current’s Craig Nelson takes a look at some history of racial politics and what happens when they rise to the top of a nasty cauldron. Here’s a fact check of one spate of ads appearing in digital media across local and regional platforms that are bluntly pointed at white voters who believe they are abused victims of a system that favors minority citizens.
Considerable: Election roundup
Election Day brings a full moon and a lunar eclipse in the hour before the polls open at 7 a.m. That’s about all anyone can predict. Here’s a collection of links to data, stories and information to help you navigate the questions of the next few days.
- Expect quick totals from absentee and early voting. GPB’s Stephen Fowler wraps up how the changes in the state’s voting law will speed information but may not give us final results until about the same time as before.
- You and your vote can’t be challenged while you are voting. Here’s a clarification from Georgia Recorder on how that works under the new law.
- Be kind to your poll workers; they are doing a public service. A new survey shows 1 in 4 local elections officials received violent threats after 2020. Let’s do better this year.
- What to do if you have a problem voting: A legal scholar has advice and options for avoiding a challenge to make sure your vote counts.
So who’s voted so far…?
Because you all have plenty to chew on already, here are two groups that shouldn’t be overlooked: Women and New Voters. The latter term refers to those who didn’t vote in 2018. They may have moved here over the past few years, recently turned 18 or have decided to engage with democracy. The early turnout numbers came via the Georgia Secretary of State’s office and the New Voter and Women breakdowns lag a bit. Those come from Georgia Votes. We added Bulloch County. It’s not directly coastal, but the numbers are noteworthy.
Also of note, the early voting laggard in Coastal Georgia is Chatham County where 28.5% of voters arrived early; all other coastal counties passed the 30% mark.
Bottom line: At least half of regular voters — not registered voters — still have to vote, and there will be much more turnout data to consider after Tuesday.
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General Assembly leader steps back
On Friday, longtime Speaker of the Georgia House David Ralston announced he wouldn’t seek that leadership post in the next legislature. Ralston cited health challenges for the decision but said he intended to continue representing his north Georgia district for the next term. Ralston’s departure means both the House and the Senate will have new leadership in January. The speaker also represented a bridge between the more moderate and far-right divisions of the Republican-dominated body. While there are many contenders for the seat already working their colleagues, one southeast Georgia name keeps popping up: House majority leader and Newington’s own Rep. Jon Burns.
Butler Island Day melds present with past
On a recent Saturday, coastal residents converged on Butler Island in McIntosh County to remember those who came before. The island was the site of a large working rice plantation with more than 900 enslaved Black African workers. About half of those men, women and children were sold in the Weeping Time auction in Savannah, the largest sale of human beings recorded in the US. The second annual day renewed knowledge of history and heritage for some and reminded others of the loss of homeland and work their ancestors endured to enrich others. The Current’s Emma Bowen Foundation Fellow and Savannah State student visual journalist Jeffery Glover documented the day for all.
Your second cup: No day’s the same
If you’ve sensed over the years that days have been getting longer, then you are really attuned to the universe. In fact, scientists are finding that we never have the same day twice: It turns out a day is very rarely exactly the magic number of 86,400 seconds.
History repeats as groups bring racial fear into elections pitches
In the final days of the Kemp-Abrams gubernatorial campaign, a campaign ad appeals to white insecurity. It’s nothing new.
Fact check: Ads’ claims of ‘anti-white bigotry’
Digital website, radio and TV ads from a group headed by a Trump ally accuse President Joe Biden and the left of “racism against white people” and “anti-white bigotry.” In context, some of the claims about the alleged “anti-white” policies, statements don’t hold up.
What to expect on election night (and beyond) in Georgia
Counties can begin processing absentee ballots starting two weeks before the election instead of the morning of Election Day, but military and challenged votes still can arrive later.
Georgia elections chief clarifies that no, you can’t challenge another voter’s eligibility at the polls
Any voter challenge must be in writing, stating clearly the basis of the challenge, and must be filed with the board of registrars, which should review the claims to determine if enough probable cause exists to investigate further. Voter challenges cannot be filed with a poll manager or any poll worker, and Mike Hassinger, spokesman for the Secretary of State’s office, said challenging someone in person […]
What to do if your vote is challenged on Election Day
Here are several straightforward ways to ensure your vote is counted and two practical remedies for you to consider if your vote remains challenged.
1 in 4 local elections officials received violent threats after 2020 election, survey finds
Harassment was highest in the West, where nearly 40% of election officials said they were threatened. It was also more common in large jurisdictions, and nearly two-thirds of respondents said the attacks were politically motivated.
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Ga. House speaker will not seek post again for health reasons
A new speaker will be elected on the first day of the new legislative session set for Monday, Jan. 9, which means the Legislature will now convene with new leadership in both chambers.
Community day honors Butler Island’s story
Butler Island’s nearly 900 slaves grew rice in Coastal Georgia before being sold to pay off their master’s debts. Residents gathered to pay homage to this past.
YOUR GUIDE TO VOTING IN COASTAL GEORGIA
Resources to help Coastal Georgia voters make informed decisions. Page includes links to our nonpartisan election reporting and access to tools that voters can use to conduct your own research.
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