“A 1960s Lawsuit Against the KKK Can Help Protect Elections in 2020”

…ong with other federal courts considering similar cases in Terrell County, Georgia, and Dallas County, Alabama—recognized that federal judges can indeed compel local officials to protect voters from intimidating forces that deter voting. In this case, the court would be ordering election officials to provide communities with in-person and absentee voting options that are safe from a virus rather than from the Klan. There are plenty of ways the cou…

Continue reading
Share

“Georgia elections chief launches plan to avoid repeated problems”

AJC: Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger introduced proposals Wednesday to avoid another election debacle, calling for more voting locations, technical support and poll worker training. He also targeted Fulton County’s problems and asked state lawmakers to pass a bill that would give the State Election Board power to intervene in county elections management…. And Raffensperger said he won’t send absentee ballot request forms to 6…

Continue reading
Share

So It May Be Those ePollBooks (at Least Partially) to Blame for Long Lines in Los Angeles and Parts of Georgia (and Why We Need Paper Backups of Registration Records, as Recommended in “Fair Elections During a Crisis” Report)

…ogy that has also been implicated in this month’s meltdown at the polls in Georgia’s primary. Electronic poll books store a copy of the county’s voter registration list and automatically update that list as each voter checks in. Because Los Angeles County did not have backup paper copies of the voter list, poll workers were not able to check in voters when the devices failed, leading to long lines. The findings about the March primary, which Los A…

Continue reading
Share

Democratic NC Governor Signs New North Carolina Voting Law

…8230;. Supporters of the bill had cited the long lines to vote recently in Georgia and Wisconsin that have made national news, causing hours-long waits for people trying to vote in person, as one reason to increase election spending here — in addition to making it easier to request, use and track absentee mail-in ballots. The changes, however, will only apply to the 2020 elections . Officials believe that this year the state could see nearly half…

Continue reading
Share

“Activists cite tabulation flaw in mail-in ballots in Georgia”

…le counties tells me that it’s probably systemic,” said Richard DeMillo, a Georgia Tech computer scientist who has testified for the plaintiffs, because identical scanners and software were used to count all absentee ballots across the state. DeMillo said the only way to know for sure is through audits. A top Georgia voting official, voting implementation manager Gabriel Sterling, said Friday that he had seen no evidence yet of the issue and found…

Continue reading
Share

Bizarre Washington Examiner Article Posits Republican Fear That Democrats Will “Wield Voting Rights Like a Cudgel” After Georgia Primary Election Meltdown

…urnout this fall to defeat President Trump in the traditionally red state. Georgia Republicans blame problems that plagued Georgia’s primary on Democratic officials running Fulton County, a diverse enclave in metro Atlanta with a population that is nearly 44% black. But Republicans worry they are arguing in vain. Democratic turnout among white and black voters was high in this week’s elections, even in predominantly GOP precincts. They fear it cou…

Continue reading
Share

Must-Read Nate Persily: “It’s Not Too Late to Save the 2020 Election; Avoiding a debacle for U.S. democracy will require getting as many Americans as possible to vote by mail and ensuring that polling places are safe, convenient and plentiful”

…he Atlanta Journal Constitution called it “an ordeal for voters.” And with Georgia potentially in play between President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden, more than twice as many voters are expected in November, the paper noted. All of this suggests that the 2020 election could become a full-on crisis for American democracy. If the type of chaos that racked Georgia this week and Wisconsin’s primary last month recurs nationwide in N…

Continue reading
Share

“‘It’s broken’: Fears grow about strength of US voting system”

AP: The chaos that plagued Georgia’s primary this week is raising concerns about a potential broader failure of the nation’s patchwork election system that could undermine the November presidential contest, political leaders and elections experts say. With less than five months to go, fears are mounting that several battleground states are not prepared to administer problem-free elections during the pandemic. The increasingly urgent concerns are…

Continue reading
Share

“Georgia Havoc Raises New Doubts on Pricey Voting Machines”

…n appeared prescient. A cascade of problems caused block-long lines across Georgia, as primary voters stood for hours while poll workers waited for equipment to be delivered or struggled to activate the system’s components. Locations ran out of provisional ballots. Many people, seeing no possible option to exercise their right to vote, simply left the lines. With partisans on both sides hurling blame for the meltdown, elections experts said there…

Continue reading
Share

“How to avoid hours-long waits to cast ballots on Election Day”

…to the polls. Having to wait four hours in line, as many reportedly did in Georgia, does not qualify as an adequate opportunity to vote. What can be done to prevent this kind of functional disenfranchisement from recurring in the fall? Voting rights groups could, at their own expense, print provisional ballots that voters could rely on in an emergency if local election administrators fail to meet their statutory obligation to supply backup ballots…

Continue reading
Share

“Coronavirus chaos in Georgia, Wisconsin a ‘warning sign’ for Democrats”

…for the partisan split became clear during Tuesday’s troubled election in Georgia as well as Wisconsin’s controversial April 7 primary. It’s also playing out in federal court cases in battleground states where Democrats are demanding more mail-in voting opportunities while Republicans resist. The challenge of having an election during a pandemic — and the resulting partisan division over how to do it — poses particular problems for Democrats, how…

Continue reading
Share

“Georgia’s Election Mess: Many Problems, Plenty of Blame, Few Solutions for November”

…pandemic may pose to elections officials nationwide. As it seeks answers, Georgia is being roiled by a politically volatile debate over whether the problems were the result of mere bungling, or an intentional effort by Republican officials to inhibit voting. Brad Raffensperger, the Republican secretary of state, placed the blame on greater Atlanta’s liberal-leaning counties of Fulton and DeKalb, arguing that local officials had botched the rollou…

Continue reading
Share

Important NY Times Analysis: “Beyond Georgia: A Warning for November as States Scramble to Expand Vote-by-Mail”

…y elections held during the pandemic reached a glaring nadir on Tuesday as Georgia saw a full-scale meltdown of new voting systems compounded by the state’s rapid expansion of vote-by-mail. But around the country, elections that have been held over the past two months reveal a wildly mixed picture, dominated by different states’ experiences with a huge increase in voting by mail. Over all, turnout in the 15 states and Washington, D.C., which rapid…

Continue reading
Share

“‘Chaos in Georgia’: Is messy primary a November harbinger?”

…rat Joe Biden’s presidential campaign called it “completely unacceptable.” Georgia Republicans deflected responsibility to metro Atlanta’s heavily minority and Democratic-controlled counties, while President Donald Trump’s top campaign attorney decried “the chaos in Georgia.” It raised the specter of a worst-case November scenario: a decisive state, like Florida and its “hanging chads” and “butterfly ballots” in 2000, remaining in dispute long aft…

Continue reading
Share

“The Cybersecurity 202: Georgia’s primary debacle should sound alarm bells for November”

…officials trying to run a safe and trustworthy elections this year, though Georgia’s issues were known for some time and are more unique. In fact, the problems in Georgia were especially galling because the seeds of the failure were evident for months to technologists — since long before the novel coronavirus pandemic arrived and multiplied the obstacles facing election officials. They included an overly complex voting system designed to imp…

Continue reading
Share

“In Georgia, primary day snarled by long lines, problems with voting machines — a potential preview of November”

WaPo: The chaos in Georgia offered another example of election troubles as states adjust their procedures in response to the pandemic. The problems could foreshadow significant challenges in November at a time of deepening partisanship around voting, with President Trump and his GOP allies inaccurately attacking mail voting as prone to fraud. The widespread disruptions deepened tensions in Georgia, where a heated 2018 governor’s race fueled char…

Continue reading
Share

“Vote counting continues after problems in Georgia’s primary”

…g as they scanned hundreds of thousands of last-minute absentee ballots in Georgia’s primary, leaving the final result of races unsettled. The time it takes to count so many paper ballots was expected in an election where a record number of Georgians — over 1.1 million — voted from home during the coronavirus pandemic. But the uncertainty left voters and candidates waiting. It’s unclear whether counting would be completed Wednesday, but officials…

Continue reading
Share

“From Long Lines To Frustrated Voters, Georgia Election Plagued By Problems”

…t, pouring rain and waits as long as five hours Tuesday to cast ballots in Georgia, demonstrating a fierce desire to participate in the democratic process while raising questions about the emerging battleground state’s ability to manage elections in November when the White House is at stake… A confluence of events disrupted primary elections for president, U.S. Senate and dozens of other contests. There were problems with Georgia’s new votin…

Continue reading
Share

“In Georgia, primary day starts with long lines, broken machines — a potential preview of November”

…g voting machines in at least four counties in the first hour of voting in Georgia’s primary elections Tuesday, a potential preview of how new voting procedures brought on by the coronavirus pandemic could affect the presidential election in November. “This seems to be happening throughout Atlanta and perhaps throughout the county. People have been in line since before 7:00 am this morning,” Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms tweeted barely 30 minutes aft…

Continue reading
Share

“Absentee voting in Georgia embraced equally by voters of both parties”

AJC: No matter their political party, Georgia voters quickly adapted to voting by mail in a primary election hindered by the coronavirus pandemic. Over 1.2 million people have already voted — about three-quarters of them on absentee ballots — according to state elections data after early voting ended Friday. Voters were closely split between Democrats and Republicans heading into election day on Tuesday. Georgians embraced voting from home, avoi…

Continue reading
Share

Breaking: 5th Circuit Stays Lower Court Order on Challenge to Texas Absentee Voting Rules During a Pandemic, Creating Some Bad Law Along the Way

…ly rejects the argument, which was advanced by a federal district court in Georgia, that these cases raise nonjusticiable political questions. But on the merits, the opinion rejects a challenge to Texas’s absentee voting rules, which allow voters over 65 to vote by mail without an excuse but everyone else must present an excuse (and lack of immunity to Covid-19 does not count under Texas law) to do so. The court held the equal protection cha…

Continue reading
Share

“Law Enforcement Files Discredit Brian Kemp’s Accusation That Democrats Tried to Hack the Georgia Election; Kemp’s explosive allegation, just days before the closely contested 2018 election, drew wide attention. But newly released documents show that there was no such hack.”

…eport: It was a stunning accusation: Two days before the 2018 election for Georgia governor, Republican Brian Kemp used his power as secretary of state to open an investigation into what he called a “failed hacking attempt” of voter registration systems involving the Democratic Party. But newly released case files from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation reveal that there was no such hacking attempt. The evidence from the closed investigation indi…

Continue reading
Share

“The Trailer: The mail voting debate gets more confounding”

…rat, and former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge, a Republican, announced the formation of “VoteSafe,” a group that included both Michigan’s Democratic current secretary of state (whom Trump had picked a fight with) and Georgia’s Republican secretary of state (who Trump decidedly hadn’t). There was no talk of “universal” voting systems, just of “expanding absentee ballot options” with as little blue-on-red violence as possible….

Continue reading
Share

Plaintiffs in Case Challenging Georgia Election Procedures in Light of COVID-19 Ask Federal Court to Reconsider Decision Holding Case Raises Non-Justiciable Political Questions (Reconsideration is Warranted)

…ghts claims is especially worrying. The approach of the trial court in the Georgia case would essentially give states a free hand to pass legislation that favors incumbents or a political party and to discriminate against a voting minority in the state with no justification whatsoever. It would render existing constitutional protections of voting rights a nullity by depending upon state actors with the potential to manipulate election rules in the…

Continue reading
Share

“ACS Columbus: Balancing Public Health and Election Administration”

…emocratic institutions.Join the ACS Columbus, Austin, Chicago, Cincinnati, Georgia, Hoosier, Knoxville, Los Angeles, Madison, Michigan, and Northeast Ohio Chapters, as well as election experts, as we explore how states can best adapt to this new reality and what other COVID-impacted elections in the United States can teach us about the path forward.Featuring: Edward Foley, Charles W. Ebersold and Florence Whitcomb Ebersold Chair in Constitutional…

Continue reading
Share

“Ignoring Trump and Right-Wing Think Tanks, Red States Expand Vote by Mail”

…dvancing their shared goal of ensuring the integrity of the elections they administer in their home states,” records show. But now, even as Trump has joined these advocates in denouncing vote by mail, Republican election administrators are rejecting their concerns. In Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and West Virginia, GOP officials are expanding vote by mail. Even in Alabama, where Secretary of State John Merrill has long sp…

Continue reading
Share

“Virus concerns close churches, other voting sites for Georgia primary”

…ions are shutting their doors because of the coronavirus pandemic, leaving Georgia voters with fewer places to cast their ballots in the June 9 primary. Polling places have closed across Georgia, but especially in Fulton County, where more than 30 locations told election officials they’re unwilling to host voters on election day. The loss of precincts leaves fewer options for voters, increasing the danger of groups gathering to vote in fewer place…

Continue reading
Share

“Why We Need Postal Democracy”

…t fear of coronavirus infection was not a sufficient excuse.) In Missouri, Georgia, Virginia, and South Carolina, we are challenging various rules that make absentee voting unnecessarily burdensome in a pandemic, including requirements that an absentee ballot be notarized or witnessed, or that voters provide their own postage to return the ballot, a practice that requires people to pay to vote and will foreseeably reduce returns, especially at a t…

Continue reading
Share

New Federal Lawsuit Seeks 3-Week Delay in Georgia Primaries, and Other Measures to Protect Voters During Pandemic

…suffering from COVID-19. Despite options for voting by mail, thousands of Georgia citizens will still need to cast their votes in person. Stating that the health and safety of voters and election workers must be the inarguable top priority, Coalition for Good Governance and five Georgia voter plaintiffs seek to postpone the June 9 statewide primary to June 30. This three-week delay is intended to permit county election officials time to replace t…

Continue reading
Share

“Demand for absentee ballots delays delivery to Georgia voters”

…hat absentee ballots have been issued for the June 9 primary is incorrect. Georgia election officials mailed absentee ballot request forms to the state’s 6.9 million active voters last week in an effort to encourage people to vote from home rather than at precincts during the coronavirus outbreak. Many voters have already returned those absentee ballot requests. Normally, absentee voting is handled by county election offices, but this year Secreta…

Continue reading
Share

“Some Georgia absentee ballot request forms list wrong return address”

AJC: About 60,000 Georgia voters recently received absentee ballot request forms with the wrong return mailing or email address. Election officials said Wednesday that the absentee ballot requests will be delivered to their correct destinations, even if voters send them to the erroneous pre-printed addresses. The misprints occurred among absentee ballot request forms mailed to Georgia’s 6.9 million active voters by the secretary of state’s offic…

Continue reading
Share