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People, People, People.

I hate to go all tin-foiled hattish here, truly I do, but Damn!

Karen Handel, the Georgia Secretary of State, is a Republican.

A Republican Secretary of State.

And not only that, an award-winning Republican Secretary of State.

Yep, she  was the ignonimious loser of the 2008 Katherine Harris Award, duly conferred by none other than our election reform activist in residence, the incomparable georgia10.

To sum it up, short and sweet, Handel is a political hack at best and for all we know, is engaged in active criminal fraud at this very minute.

Oh, and because Georgia is a red state, the election officials in most of the 159 counties are Republicans and the officials at the State Board of Elections are Republicans.

And the Republicans really, really, really want to send Saxby Chambliss back to the United States Senate.

Flop the flip with me, please.

Okay, so, here is the deal: Everyone is now apparently assuming Democratic candidate Jim Martin will be proceeding to a run-off against the odious and vile Republican incumbant Saxby (ChickenHawk) Chambliss.

Jim Martin is apparently assuming it, given this email to supporters, such as me:

Subject: We're in a Runoff!

Dear David,

We now know that there will be a runoff on December 2nd between Saxby Chambliss and me. With your continued support, I am confident that we will prevail.

America has elected Barack Obama President, and now is the time for all of us to help him succeed. In the Senate, I'll do what's best for Georgia, what's best for our country, and what's best for the middle class folks who've been ignored the past eight years.  

I think that starts with helping Barack Obama succeed, not undercutting him for partisan advantage or to protect special interests. And that's the difference in this runoff election. I will do everything I can to help Barack Obama change Washington and get our economy moving again. Saxby Chambliss will do just the opposite.

This runoff will be over in the blink of an eye. We can return this Senate seat to someone who will follow in the traditions of Russell, Nunn, and Cleland, rather than someone who, for the past six years, has been a rubber stamp for George Bush and Dick Cheney. But we will only be able to do so with the support of friends like you.

snip

Our excellent frontpager, brownsox, is apparently assuming it, boldly announcing just a few hours ago: "Georgia Senate is "definitely" going to a runoff ..."

Multiple others are apparently assuming it. Here. here. here.  and here. For example.

Let us please consider some facts:

The official website of the Georgia Secretary of State has not been updated the actual vote count on this race since early this morning, which was (as I recall) the first and only update since sometime around 10:30 last night, and presently reflects the following:

96% of precincts reporting

 
 Saxby Chambliss    Republican     1,838,908   49.9%    
 Jim Martin               Democratic     1,721,098   46.7%    
 Allen Buckley          Libertarian        126,003     3.4%    
                       
                                      Totals     3,686,009    

Now, if you have been following this story, you probably have already heard that for some strange and totally unexplained reason, there seems to be a small problem having to do with the issue of actually, you know, Counting the Freakin' Votes.

The esteemed AP - November 5, 2008 12:14 AM ET - said:

But vote counting hit a snag late last night as early voting numbers were slow to trickle in. Secretary of State Karen Handel's office said early voting totals from Fulton and Gwinnett counties had yet to be counted. Early voting numbers in those two counties alone totaled more than 275,000 votes.

In this morning's print edition, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported:

With nearly 90 percent of the state’s precincts reporting, McCain had a huge lead: 56 percent to 44 percent for Obama and less than 1 percent for Libertarian Party nominee Bob Barr, the former Georgia congressman. But those figures included few results from metro Atlanta and apparently none of the ballots cast in metro Atlanta during massive early and advance voting. As many as 600,000 ballots cast before Tuesday in Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett were to be counted after the live Tuesday votes.

A full day has now passed.

So, surely, by now, this small problem has been fully addressed, remedied and all is well, fair and square, and just dandy fine.

Right?

Well, I dunno. Maybe.

But where is the evidence?

The Gray Lady has just posted an article, reporting:

Elections officials were racing on Wednesday to count thousands of mail-in ballots in Fulton County and hundreds of military, overseas and provisional votes across the state in the razor-thin election. By 3 p.m. on Wednesday, county officials said, 14,000 absentee ballots had still not been counted and more than 40,000 votes had not been announced.

Odd, I thought the problem was early votes having not been counted in Metro Atlanta.

Now, admittedly, it is possible that maybe I'm missing something here, slightly, but I truly do not think so.

The liberal voters in Metro Atlanta early voted in astounding, record numbers.

So, where the hell exactly are those votes?

Have they been counted or not?

If yes, why have the votes not been reported to the SOS?

Or, if reported to the SOS, why has the SOS not posted the updated vote totals?

In all seriousness, I smell a big stinkin' rat.

Please, people, wake up.

Originally posted to attydave on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 04:08 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Fulton County is metro Atlanta nt (0+ / 0-)
  •  Metro Atlanta includes a 10 county area (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    One Pissed Off Liberal, TDreamer

    "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

    by Goldie Taylor on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 04:15:08 PM PST

  •  I smell that same rat dave. (8+ / 0-)

    "The truth shall set you free - but first it'll piss you off." Gloria Steinem

    Iraq Moratorium

    by One Pissed Off Liberal on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 04:17:23 PM PST

    •  Hey, OPOL, How is it, man? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurious, One Pissed Off Liberal

      Glad you weighed in here.

      O man needs to send in the legal troops, in my opinion.

      I am also thinking I should call Jim Martin tomorrow and discuss options.

      •  I hope you do. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kurious

        Please keep me posted.

        "The truth shall set you free - but first it'll piss you off." Gloria Steinem

        Iraq Moratorium

        by One Pissed Off Liberal on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 06:08:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Just emailed the reporter at the AJC (6+ / 0-)

          with copies to Cynthia Tucker and Jay Bookman, as follows:

          Subject: "STATE REMAINS RED: Candidates’ strategies put to test"

          Aaron:

          Your above-referenced article this morning included the following:

          "With nearly 90 percent of the state’s precincts reporting, McCain had a huge lead: 56 percent to 44 percent for Obama and less than 1 percent for Libertarian Party nominee Bob Barr, the former Georgia congressman. But those figures included few results from metro Atlanta and apparently none of the ballots cast in metro Atlanta during massive early and advance voting. As many as 600,000 ballots cast before Tuesday in Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett were to be counted after the live Tuesday votes. "

          I assume you must have had good, reliable information from someone at the Secretary of State's office to justify reporting it and that you and your editors stand by this article.

          Actually, the AP - http://www.live5news.com/... - shortly after midnight issued an article that contained this similar statement:

          "But vote counting hit a snag late last night as early voting numbers were slow to trickle in. Secretary of State Karen Handel's office said early voting totals from Fulton and Gwinnett counties had yet to be counted. Early voting numbers in those two counties alone totaled more than 275,000 votes."

          Because I was actively monitoring the SOS website non-stop last night from the time NBC's called GA for McCain around 8:30 pm until after midnight and looked at it again this morning at 8:00 am, I can state with certainty that the site's actual vote count on the Martin v Chambliss race was updated once around 10 or 10:30 last night and then once more early this morning between 9 and 10:00 am, and there have been no further updates all day today.

          So, a full day has passed and where exactly are the hundreds of thousands of votes you and the AP wrote about? Have they been counted or not? If yes, why have the votes not been reported to the SOS? Or, if reported to the SOS, why has the SOS not posted the updated vote totals?

          The numbers obviously do not add up and are instead far out of line. Compare the 2004 and 2008 presidential numbers, adjusted for increased population, increased registered voters, and hugely increased voter interest as shown by the massive early voting turnout.

          Have we had hundreds of thousands of early votes just simply vanish?

          I suggest some seriously aggressive investigative journalism is needed here.

          Thank you.

          David etc

  •  HELP MARTIN HERE! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    L0kI, NotGeorgeWill, Lujane, DrFitz

    Jim Martin's going to need all the help he can get in the coming days and weeks.  We've had a tough fight on our hands, and in a runoff it'll only get tougher!

    So dig deeper if you at all can!

    DROP SOME DOUGH FOR JIM HERE!

  •  Georgia.....ummmmmmm (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    L0kI, TerribleTom, Lujane

    Isn't Georgia where the Carter Institute works to insure fair and accurate electons in Latin America and other places around the world?
    Does the Carter Center take any notice of elections in Metro Atlanta?
    I have long been puzzled that Metro Atlanta, which includes now for several generations, a large influx of non-Southern people, from NYC and elsewhere, that Metro Atlanta does not swing the state into a more liberal column.
    Where is Jimmy Carter when we need him?
    Somebody give the old dork a poke in the butt!
    jim
    santa fe

    •  Yes, Carter has more influence in other.... (0+ / 0-)

      countries than in certain parts of the republican governed US.  Thank God for Carter and the example he gave us for an honest presidency, real energy and foreign policies and the example for all former presidents to help the world and all humanity.  But really...Carter should fix this!  What about the law of the land?  How about the media or the outrage of the people?  Nah, let's blame Carter...

      Moreover,  people from all parts of the US have moved to Atlanta and the Southeast since the 1980s.  Twenty-eight years of Reagan republicanism cannot be removed in one election cycle.  Progressives are making remarkable gains in Georgia and other red state strongholds.  Rather than make rather silly stereotypical statements about an area you obviously know little about, why not congratulate fellow progressive hard-fought gains and join in to defeat a common foe?  After all aren't we all on the same side?

      Congratulations on your victories in NM.  We are working hard to get the same in GA...

      Plebus estis asinus

      by HelenBack on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 05:53:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, Helen, that is what I said..... (0+ / 0-)

        I pointed out that Atlanta has become over the last half century or more, a rather cosmopolitan city with a population of diverse origin -- which I would have expected to break the "stereotypical statements" we've all heard about know-nothng southern crackers etc. I know that is not true. So, naturally I would have expected more enlightened voting -- THUS your suggestion that some hanky panky is afoot to supress liberal urban votes, and specifically to mis-count votes, strikes a chord with me!!!  I thought that is what I had said.
         Blame Carter? For what -- I just said, if local government cannot run a clean electon, ask the nearby Carter center to do it. I find it odd that they have always seemed more involved overseas than domestically.
         I find you exceptionally defensive -- way beyond what I would have expected from the rather mild comments I made. I do know Atlanta and admire it as an urban center, arts center, education, medical training - and all those good things. So, really, what's your beef? And why is the vote not accurately counted by now? Bit thin-skinned are you, my Georgia Peach? :)
        JIM
        santa fe

        •  Thin-skinned? No... (0+ / 0-)

          Progressives in GA are fighting a tough campaign against an ingrained enemy as Florida battled in 2000 and Ohio fought in 2004.  The voting numbers do not add up and we have a two-pronged attack plan to carry out.  First, get the true votes counted.  We are up against a republican governor and secretary of state that control the process.  We are mobilizing legal teams and media to account for all the votes cast in the election.

          Secondarily, we are planning for a run-off election in case the republicans manage to hide these votes.  Jim Martin, the Democratic candidate will need a huge turnout to capture this Senate seat.  Single race run-offs have notoriously low turnout contests in GA.  For all of the wonderful growth and influx of folks from the Northeast, Midwest and South-central states, Georgia remains a Reagan, protestant, conservative, republican majority state.      

          Your original post was a back-handed slap at Jimmy Carter. Whatever problems you have with former President Carter have no bearing on the current Georgia missing vote issue.  In the long list of villains and enemies (and there are many) Carter doesn't register on it. So why bring it up?

          Your inquiry about recent Georgia's politics and political leanings was answered twice.  What's my beef?  Perhaps the republicanisque "blame by association" tone of you original post concerning Carter. Frankly, it doesn't become a Progressive, Democratic forum to insinuate to a well respected and beloved progressive former President "give the old dork a poke in the butt!" on an issue he has no do in the fight.

          At a time when we, as progressive democrats should be willing and able to band together per the unity message of our President elect, we are beginning the shadow play of the blame game.  When we should be banding together to right wrongs we are judging.  Perhaps foreshadowing or maybe we have learned a few lessons from the past 22 months.

          Why is the vote not accurately counted by now? Because of the politics and leadership (and failure of leadership) of the last eight years.
          As this reply to you and several other diaries prove obviously there is republican malfeasance afoot.

              coelomate's diary
          attydave's diary
          AdamSmithsInvisibleFinger's diary

          From my personal experience with this election and my observations, I can report that starting with the extra long early voting lines in the city of and metro Atlanta voting precincts (especially in highly populated African-American areas) and continuing to the incorrect printing of over 10,000 absentee ballots by Gwinnett county, this process has sham written all over it.  

          Our republican Governor, Sonny "Pray for rain" Perdue has been out of the state/country so much we pray he will lose residency status and resign.  Unfortunately, this leaves us our Lt. Governor Casey Cagle who reminds most of a young Dick Cheney.  Our Secretary of State is a republican stepford wife and her position sold its soul to Carl Rove after 2000 purchasing the Diebold machines (no paper trail extra) and aiding the infamous Congressional redistricting attempt.  Georgia has been the unfortunate target of a takeover by the republican, conservative, right-neck-church based machinesince the 1990s.  

          Yet, through hard work and inroads progreeive democrats are starting to show even in a blood red county such as Gwinnett(suburban Atlanta) where a middle class is tired of the republican shenanigans and the vacuous right-neck preachers.  Gwinnett’s lily white status is being challenged with more middle class Asians (Koreans, Japanese, Chinese, Indian and Pakistani) moving into the county.  Also, middle class African-American and Hispanics are changing the county's population.  

          Estimates are close to 20,000 Gwinnett absentee ballots were not sent out or were sent a non-working ballot.  New absentee ballots were not resent in time to make it to the voter and back to the office in time for the election. If the voters were out of town (at college, vacation, business, etc.), they were SOL.  If they tried to vote, they were not allowed to vote by machine at their normal voting precinct.  Reports were some were given paper ballots.  Others were sent to the county election headquarters to resolve the issue there.  This is a county with close to 1,000,000 residents.  

          Other metro-Atlanta counties with heavy early voting percentages (20-45%) the numbers have not added up.  Where are the votes and will we ever see them counted is a d@mn good question.

          As a fellow Progressive/Democrat I hope you understand our situation in Georgia a little better.  There is one major newspaper and although we are a top 10 media city we have limited media players for real investigations.  Added to this the courts are overwhelmingly republican appointed/elected judges.  It is an uphill climb but getting rid of Saxby Chamblis is worth it.  

          Thank you for your work in New Mexico.  God Bless and please pray for our efforts in Georgia...  

          Plebus estis asinus

          by HelenBack on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 10:35:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Don't look to me to talk you down. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    attydave, fritzrth, Lujane, TDreamer

    The facts here have got to see the light of day--and soon!

    I've yet to read anyone, anywhere who even pretends to make rational sense of the Georgia official tallies, not to mention reconciling the low numbers with what was obviously a huge early vote turnout.

    Yeah, this smells. Big time!

    Very few things happen at the right time, and the rest do not happen at all: the conscientious historian will correct these defects. -Herodotus

    by TerribleTom on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 04:23:09 PM PST

  •  Perhaps the DNC and Obama campaign (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    attydave, Lujane, TDreamer

    can lend their resources to making sure all voting activity is above board.

    I can't imagine Howard Dean would allow Georgia to steal a senate seat.

    With leaders like Bush and Pelosi, who needs enemies?

    by SpiffPeters on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 04:27:44 PM PST

    •  All voting activity will never be above board (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lujane, TDreamer

      as long as there is not a paper audit trail.

      Recount?  Dump the machines again.  What a joke!  

      And I heard her on a local right wing radio station making fun of people who want a paper ballot.

  •  Check out the NY Times electoral map . . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane

    you can check the votes as they come in.

    Here's a link to the site.

    I don't know how many ballots have been counted -- the tally just gives a percent reported number -- but that can mean 1,000 ballots, or potentially 100,000 still left to be tallied.

    Outstanding counties with votes still remaining to be tallied:

    Martin leaners:
    Fulton -- 99% reporting.
    Clayton -- 98% reporting.
    Burke -- 94% reporting.
    Jenkins -- 86% reporting.
    Screven -- 93% reporting.
    Wilkinson -- 91% reporting.
    Bibb -- 98% reporting.
    Macon -- 86% reporting.
    Dooley -- 89% reporting.
    Stewart -- 71% reporting.

    Chambliss leaners:
    Gordon -- 93% reporting.
    Hall -- 98% reporting.
    Oconnee -- 93% reporting.
    Johnson -- 89% reporting.
    Putnam -- 91% reporting.
    Grady -- 93% reporting.
    Tift -- 93% reporting.
    Coffee -- 88% reporting.
    Atkinson -- 83% reporting.
    Pierce -- 90% reporting.
    Grady -- 93% reporting.

  •  Same thing happening in Alaska. The Repugs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    martini, cordgrass

    couldn't steal the presidential election because too many states were involved, but they're stealing back their ability to filibuster in the Senate.

    "The old boy's network. In the McCain campaign, that's called a staff meeting."

    by Simian on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 04:48:18 PM PST

  •  Thank God! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    attydave, martini

    Where are our votes? I don't even understand the trickle of news about what votes have and haven't been counted that has trickled out today.

    •  What the trickle tells me is this: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      martini

      No. 1: the media is not agressively asking questions.

      No. 2: Handel and her shock troops are in lock down, no comment mode.

      Actually, it is more like two isolated drops than a trickle.

      Other than the two articles cited in the diary, there is no coverage of this issue. None.

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