Third Party & Independents Archives

The Senate Race in Georgia and Voter Registration

The race in Georgia for the senate seat of retiring Sen R Saxby Chambliss is quite frankly, a little nasty. It’s a close race of course - why else would it have to get nasty? After earlier this week linking, or attempting to link, Democratic candidate Michelle Nunn’s participation in Points of Light - the NGO run by Neil Bush - with Hamas, a terrorist organization, they are now accusing another group with links to Democrats of voter fraud, a felony in Georgia. The New Georgia Project was founded by State House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams and is dedicated to registering minority voters in Georgia. Abrams is part of Michelle Nunn’s inner circle and Nunn’s campaign believes that registering minority voters in sufficient numbers will tip the balance in her favor in the closely contested race for senator between Nunn and Republican David Perdue. Every senate seat counts even more than usual in these midterms, so it is not impossible that the GOP in Georgia has decided to play a little rough. The question is, are they within their rights to ensure that voter registration is done properly?

Merely framing the question in that form suggests a resounding yes, but the mere possibility of intimidation of minority voters does not sit comfortably at all. So the question is, is this voter intimidation? Georgia's Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp, whose office has filed the subpoena, insists that it is not the case: the reports of fraud and forgery that are the substance of the subpoena, several dozen of them, were reported from various counties up to the Secretary of State's office. Given that there may be errors at the very least, should his office have ignored the reports? Is The Georgia Project an independent non-partisan organization merely doing civic work by registering voters? Technically speaking, one could and they do, make that argument. But they are clearly involved in a partisan rush to get out the vote and get Nunn elected. Which obviously is fine, but should they be held accountable if errors, or even fraud, has possibly been committed? The legal system will decide that of course, but right now the political theatre around an issue with nasty overtones will predominate. If they had to choose between a steady and well-run registration rather than a rush to the finish line, it is likely that The Georgia Project would have preferred the former. But what we will instead have is a shouting match across various media as the November election comes rushing down the turnpike. It will be interesting to see how this issue plays out on election night.

Posted by AllardK at September 25, 2014 2:33 PM
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