Sunday Solutions – Oct. 30, 2022

Halloween’s tomorrow. And if you aren’t scared enough, we’re 9 days from Election Day. Put away the fear: We have good info to empower your choices and other stories to fuel your dinner conversation for the next week or longer.

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The Chatham County Elections Board office on Eisenhower Drive checked in voters on the side of the building while accommodating those over 76 and others who need extra help at the main door.

First things first: Early voting

This is the final week of early voting. If you are in Chatham County, you can vote today (assuming you are reading this when it arrives in your email, of course). Early voting numbers are high across the state and judging from ballot-queue conversations over the course of 1 hour, 10 minutes on Friday, your Sunday Solutions editor confirmed what the experts are saying: The reasons vary. Here’s a sampling from more than a dozen people: 1) It’s convenient because family member needed help to get there; 2) Absentee ballots are too hard to get; 3) There are important issues and everyone should vote; 4) Absentee ballots may not get counted properly. No one expressed any discontent with voting machines, and not one minded the line. Stephen Fowler at Georgia Public Broadcasting is keeping up with the early voting stats by county, and his mapping by county helps us understand who is voting where in this record-making voting effort by more than 1.5 million Georgians.

Scan this QR code to check wait times at Chatham County early voting locations.

One more debate

Georgia governor candidates Republican Brian Kemp and Democrat Stacey Abrams will face off one more time at 7 p.m. Sunday (tonight for most of you) without Libertarian candidate Shane Hazel. You can watch the debate, sponsored by WSB-TV in Atlanta, at WSB Now at this link. If you are still studying your sample ballot, here’s a link to all the debate recordings for local and statewide races.

Social media as a source

On Thursday, The Current hosted a “Current Conversation,” an informal discussion event we’re planning to have regularly on timely topics. This one focused on disinformation and how we can all battle it by finding and sharing credible information. We had a great question from one participant about how social media has permeated the news landscape — how pervasive is it? Well, Pew Research has a fresh survey for that question. It tracks how readers receive their reading material and then where they get their news. 82% say they often or sometimes get news from a digital device, and 53% prefer that route, according to Pew. As for social media, 29% of those surveyed this summer say they never get news from social media, and that means most of us (71%) do get some news at some point from social sites. Why does this matter? Let’s admit it, we’ve all got one friend who constantly shares dubious conspiracies and doesn’t always recognize parody, and other sources aren’t so consistent or obvious. Credible online news sites have standards they follow for gathering and presenting their news, while social media is chaos for facts and verification so you don’t always know whom to trust. In short: Be sure to research your research.

Argentine black and white tegus, the largest of all tegus, can reach 4 feet long and weigh 10 pounds or more. Credit: Georgia Department of Natural Resources

In Georgia, your reptiles need a license

While it wasn’t an official event for Georgia-Florida game week, the state Department of Natural Resources announced Tuesday that it will take a lesson from Florida’s failure to control invasive reptiles. DNR officials don’t want to inherit the now-serious problems caused by abandoned pet pythons killing natural species throughout the Everglades. Starting next month, Georgia will restrict ownership and license various reptiles including voracious tegus, lizards, turtles and popular snake pets like Burmese pythons to those used only for scientific, educational or public exhibition. At the Tuesday meeting in Richmond Hill, critics of the ruling pled their cases, saying it would kill their snake-breeding businesses and pointed out that python pets help relieve stress for some people. Tegus have already established breeding populations in South Georgia. The Current’s Mary Landers explains the very serious problem and why experts say the move is overdue.

Research shows what most already knew: Moms added even more multitasking to their days during the pandemic.


A few stories worth your time this week:

  • Georgia Supreme Court rules on Confederate statues – with some caveats. Georgia Recorder’s Stanley Dunlap breaks down rulings in lawsuits stemming from Civil War statues in public areas. The justices upheld dismissals in suits in Newton and Henry counties, saying the Sons of Confederate Veterans didn’t have standing to sue since the complaints came from people who didn’t live there. However, the panel did agree that a Newton County resident could sue over the removal of a monument from Covington’s square.
  • Savannah Police adds new technology: A new video system will add cameras and software to search crowds for individuals based on clothing and cars by vehicle type, color and license plates. The Current’s Jake Shore explains what the system will and won’t do.
  • Moms multitasked more than ever during pandemic: And so did dads, but not quite as much, according to research from Pew. If you already were keenly aware of those additional 2.5 hours, now there’s time measurements and a breakdown of exactly how hard that time has been for most families. The increased time spent went to secondary care for children, also known as watching the kids while working, doing chores, or watching TV.

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Your second cup: Twitter, trolls and freedom

Billionaire Elon Musk now owns social media site, Twitter. For many, it’s a constant news feed, snark-sharing site and conspiracy machine. During his on-again, off-again, on-again pursuit of the powerful platform, he’s ridiculed attempts to moderate posts and said he’d make it an open field of free speech. Now that he actually has custody of it, we’re all curious to see exactly what he’ll do now. A new study finds that consistent moderation is the key to open participation and prompts us all to wonder what may work to preserve free speech, quick news, and sharing of expertise while discouraging disinformation and cruel trolling.


See who is voting early in Georgia’s 2022 election

early voting in Georgia has been marked by a higher share of older voters and Black voters than similar times in previous elections, as hotly contested races for governor and U.S. Senator have drawn unprecedented fundraising and interest in midterm elections here.


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.

Georgia restricts ownership of pythons, tegus, other reptiles

Georgia DNR votes to limit future ownership of large invasive reptiles; owners have 12 months to get pets registered and tagged.

Georgia Supreme Court hands supporters of Confederate statues in public squares partial setback

The presiding justice wrote that the case has far-reaching implications, and plaintiffs must prove that their injury is resolvable through a court process.

What to know: New Savannah Police technology can ID suspects by clothes, license plates

Savannah Police say the BriefCam software will speed up investigations by identifying suspects faster. An ACLU lawyer warns about implicit biases regarding technology potentially creating an overreliance by detectives on BriefCam.

Musk is wrong: Research shows content rules on Twitter help preserve free speech from bots, manipulation

Research provided evidence that Twitter has a conservative, rather than a liberal bias. On average, accounts are drawn toward the conservative side. Liberal accounts were exposed to moderate content, which shifted their experience toward the political center, while the interactions of right-leaning accounts were skewed toward posting conservative content.

Republicans say crime is on the rise – what is the crime rate and what does it mean?

With political rhetoric saying crime is rising, it’s important to define what U.S. crime rates actually are, specify what crimes politicians are referring to, and verify how accurate those numbers are.

In Georgia, Warnock’s climate activism contrasts sharply with Walker’s deep skepticism

Vying for a seat that could determine control of the Senate, Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock has a 100 percent score from the League of Conservation Voters, while GOP challenger Herschel Walker frames climate change as a liberal hoax.

Hyundai breaks ground on $5.5 billion, 8,100-job factory in north Bryan County

Hyundai held a groundbreaking ceremony in Bryan County for its planned electric vehicle and battery “Metaplant.”

Fact check: Buddy Carter, Wade Herring debates

Two debates between the Republican incumbent Earl L. “Buddy” Carter and Republican challenger Wade Herring reflected their campaign strategies.

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