Brian Kemp fumes at election critics — but not at Donald Trump

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a Tuesday rally in Grand Junction, Colo. Trump is on his way to Las Vegas for the third and final presidential debate against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. George Frey/Getty Images

Whether an election is fixed or not clearly depends on one’s definition of “rigged,” and who might be doing it. From USA Today:

Donald Trump’s repeated attacks on what he’s calling a “rigged” election have emboldened some of his supporters to ratchet up their own rhetoric, while simultaneously offending and angering elections officials across the country.logo-all

 

Elections in the United States are run largely by county clerks and are overseen by elected secretaries of state, many of whom are Republicans themselves and are frustrated at Trump’s willingness to cast aspersions with no evidence. Trump supporters generally can’t cite specific evidence of voter fraud, but they insist the media and government officials are conspiring against the Republican presidential nominee.

However, that outrage doesn’t extend to Georgia, where Secretary of State Brian Kemp is indeed fuming about what he thinks are unfair aspersions cast on the elections that he’s about to oversee. But Kemp isn’t mad at Donald Trump.

Two Tweets from the secretary of state this morning contained these messages:

We can’t sit back and watch the radical left create chaos in our state. Stand with me and protect Georgia elections!

And this:

This is a stunt by the ACLU to manipulate the system & squander state, county resources days before the election -> http://ow.ly/xwdq305jFsM

The link in that last Tweet from Kemp is to an AJC piece by one of your Insiders that begins thusly:

Yet another group has filed suit against the state of Georgia demanding that voter registration be re-opened in counties where Hurricane Matthew forced evacuations and government closures.

 

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the suit in federal court Monday.

 

“The state’s failure to extend the voter registration deadline, despite the massive disruptions caused by Hurricane Matthew, means that thousands of Georgians will be prevented from participating in the November election. This is unethical and illegal,” Kathleen Burch, interim counsel for the ACLU of Georgia, said in a statement.

 

The suit comes after a federal judge last week ordered Chatham County to re-open voter registration there through Tuesday.

Trump isn’t the only one wary of what might happen on Nov. 8. From a morning report by the Associated Press:

Justice Department officials are warning that they will be dispatching fewer specially trained election observers this year as a result of a Supreme Court opinion that gutted a key provision of the Voting Rights Act.

 

The reduction is likely to diminish the department’s ability to detect voter intimidation and other potential problems at the polls. It comes as more than a dozen states have adopted new voting and registration rules, and as Republican candidate Donald Trump warns without evidence that the Nov. 8 election will be rigged and exhorts his followers to be vigilant against unspecified fraud.

 

“It’s cause for concern,” said Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project. “It’s hard to know ahead of time how significant a problem it’s going to be.

***

A new poll of swing states from SurveyMonkey and the Washington Post has Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by 4 points in Georgia. But what struck us just as much was another question that suggested the state’s U.S. Senate race was closer than other recent polls have suggested.

When asked which candidate voters would support if the Senate race were being held today, 50 percent said they would support the Republican, Johnny Isakson. Democrat Jim Barksdale trailed by only 4 percentage points. That’s much better than he’s done in a host of recent polls.

There are a few factors worth noting here. First, neither candidate appeared to be named in the question. Participants were only given their generic party affiliation. Second, Libertarian candidate Allen Buckley is apparently not included in the poll, but will end up taking a chunk of the vote come Election Day. Third, Isakson is notably hovering right at the 50 percent mark. He’ll need 50 percent + 1 if he wants to avoid a runoff.

Indeed, the latest fundraising email from Isakson’s asked supporters for “$50 + $1 for 50% +1.”

Meanwhile, what WSB radio provocateur Erick Erickson tweets jibes with what we’re hearing from Republican operatives:

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The Democratic National Committee quickly apologized when it learned that one of its hired buses had dumped raw sewage in Gwinnett County’s storm drainage system. Even so, Donna Brazile earned a few headshakes for her mea culpa on Twitter:

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The Washington Post reports that the ad buy from pro-Clinton super PAC Priorities USA in Georgia is a seven-figure sum.  We’re still looking for on-the-ground evidence of such a purchase. The TV ad buys will complement radio spots targeting black voters.

 

 


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