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Posted by on Nov 6, 2008 in Politics | 0 comments

Georgia Still Counting the Vote

Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel recently drew a rebuke from the Department of Justice and federal judges for her aggressive efforts to purge voters. She also claimed she was legally prohibited from extending voting hours by the Voting Rights Act (although neighboring Florida and North Carolina, also covered by the Act, did so).

So she says the law prevents her from extending the opportunity for citizens to vote, but requires county election workers to stay sequestered no matter long it takes to count the vote:

Secretary of State Karen Handel told WAGA-TV Fox 5 that the county had violated election law by allowing its workers to go home before the count was completed after polls closed Tuesday.

Under state law, workers involved in counting absentee ballots are required to be sequestered.

On Election Day, county election workers began arriving at 5:30 a.m. They were sent home around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, county election officials said. Four hours later, they returned and resumed counting.

Mark Henderson, Fulton’s election education coordinator, said the workers needed to rest, and Fulton county commissioners made the call to send them home.

Blog for Democracy:

You know, these aren’t volunteers we’re talking about, but full time staff who routinely deal with Election related materials. Counting will continue tomorrow, which means staff would have been sequestered for 3 days. Too bad the AJC now seems to be carrying water for the SOS. First they reported 40,000 Absentee Ballots remained to be counted, then the story was changed (without notation) to 12,000, then again to 11,000, now it’s back to 30,000. Some scoop they got there. Helping to hammer exhausted Election workers. Nice.

Meanwhile, the latest numbers show incumbent Republican Saxby Chambliss at 49.9%, less than the 50% required to avoid a runoff. Chambliss has not conceded that a runoff is necessary but says his campaign is preparing for one:

“We have already hit the ground,” Mr. Chambliss said. “We have already organized for this runoff. … We expect that, at the end of the four-week period, that we will maintain a strong lead.”

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