June 7, 2022

A Dominion ballot scanner sits at the polls during early voting in May. Credit: File/The Current

Dekalb County vote troubles reverberate in Chatham

In a hint of possible election crises to come in November and beyond, skeptics about the voting process in Chatham County and elsewhere in Georgia have mounted an array of challenges to the outcome of the May 24 primary election.

The cause? A programming mistake caused an inaccurate vote count in a DeKalb County Commission race.

The speed with which individuals and groups in Chatham have invoked a technical problem with the tally in one Georgia county to dispute the results in their own shows the extent to which voting systems themselves have become fodder for partisan controversy.

Bryan County gunmaker gets Congressional scrutiny after Uvalde massacre

Daniel Defense, a gun manufacturer located some 30 minutes west of Savannah, is on the hot seat.

In a five-page letter to Martin Daniel, the firm’s chief executive officer and namesake, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform — the principal oversight committee of the House of Representatives — asks him to provide sales and tracking data, marketing information and public relations material to the committee in preparation for committee hearings scheduled to start Wednesday.

The subject of the hearings and the committee’s investigation: “the sale and marketing of your company’s AR-15-style semiautomatic rifles and similar firearms to inform legislative efforts to achieve common-sense gun safety reform to save Americans’ lives.”

Using an AR-15 assault rifle purchased from Daniel’s firm, the shooter killed 19 children and two teachers before being killed by law enforcement officers. The teen had legally purchased two AR-15 style rifles from Daniel Defense just days after his 18th birthday, according to the letter, citing news reports.

The letter is signed by the committee’s chairwoman, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). It notes that the panel is “the principal oversight committee of the House of Representatives and has broad authority to investigate “any matter” at “any time” under House rules.

A collection of ads from some of the top Facebook political Georgia ad buyers for May, and likely a preview of what Georgians’ feeds will look like until November. Ads from Facebook Ad Library Credit: Georgia Recorder

Money, money, money

“Counting only the ads that cost at least $100, Facebook took in more than $3.8 million last month from candidates and political committees who want their message in front of Georgia eyeballs, according to Facebook’s ad library.”

That finding is just one of the, well, eye-opening, revelations in an article by Georgia Recorder’s Ross Williams about social media spending in the current campaign cycle.

Topping the list of big spenders, Williams says, is Fair Fight, the voting rights organization founded by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams

Between May 1 and May 30, it spent more than $451,000 for social media. The affiliated group Fair Fight Action spent more than $68,000 during the same period.

Georgia’s high-dollar election campaigns now waged in your social media feeds

Over 7,000 groups ranging from political parties to environmentalists and anti-union coalitions spent money to beam Facebook ads to Georgians’ screens last month during the buildup to the May 24 primary election.

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DeKalb County vote system problems spark challenges in Chatham

The speed with which individuals and groups in Chatham have invoked a technical problem with the tally in one Georgia county to dispute the results on their own shows the extent to which voting systems themselves have become fodder for partisan controversy.

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U.S. Army Corps revokes approval of mining near Okefenokee

A proposal to mine near the Okefenokee gets a setback with requirement to consult with Muscogee Nation.

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Kemp taps retired U.S. judge to chair State Elections Board

William Duffey succeeds Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who was removed as board chairman by a provision in a comprehensive election reform law the Republican-controlled General Assembly passed last year in the aftermath of unproven claims of widespread voter fraud in Georgia’s 2020 presidential […]

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Ga. federal judge rules against employer that denied transgender health coverage

Judge ruled that the county’s policy is discriminatory because it only affects transgender employees, and it specifically discriminates against Lange because she is the county’s only openly transgender worker.

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Raffensperger testifies before grand jury probe of 2020 Trump election meddling

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger testified in front of a special grand jury in Fulton County on Thursday. It’s part of a wide-ranging investigation into attempts to meddle with the 2020 election results.

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Hundreds of birds euthanized after avian flu outbreak on south Georgia farm

The avian flu has wiped out millions of birds in other states, particularly hard-hit Iowa, but it has mostly spared Georgia where poultry is big business.

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Craig Nelson is a former international correspondent for The Associated Press, the Sydney (Australia) Morning-Herald, Cox Newspapers and The Wall Street Journal. He also served as foreign editor for The...