Archive for the ‘Brian Kemp’ Category

RNC committee adopts ‘atom bomb’ rule for 2016 calendar

States that jump to the front of the line in the 2016 GOP race for president will be subject to even harsher penalties, according to changes adopted Friday by the rules committee of the Republican National Convention.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp, a member of that body, just called from Tampa with news.

We all know that Florida agreed to sacrifice half of its 99 delegates this year in order to hold its presidential primary in the calendar space reserved for Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

If it tries the same thing next time, Florida – and any other state – will lose all but 12 of its delegates. Nine at-large delegates, plus three members of the Republican National Committee.

Call it the atom-bomb rule. “If you only have 12 delegates to the convention – it makes you wonder if candidates would go to Florida and spend five to ten million dollars to try to win that state for 12 delegates. I think it’s going to make people think long and hard about …

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Your morning jolt: One Fulton County precinct reports 23,300% voter turnout

Late Monday, Fulton County Elections Board certified ballots cast in last week’s primaries – becoming the last county in the state to do so. The board acknowledged some irregularities but declaring that no results were in doubt:

The Board directed its legal counsel to determine if there was any possibility that the misassignment of voters in the affected districts could have affected the outcome of any election. The answer was no. Using the most extreme assumptions, i.e., that every misallocated voter voted, and that they all voted for the second place candidate in both of the effected contested primary elections, the winning candidate would have still won with a majority of the vote.

In an interview with Lori Geary of Channel 2 Action News, Secretary of State Brian Kemp said he would continue an investigation into the county’s performance:

Now, almost certainly this is a computer tabulation error, but one thing that Kemp might look at is Fulton County Precinct 1C2, …

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Dear Fulton County: Please call Brian Kemp. Really.

Jared Thomas, spokesman for Secretary of State Brian Kemp, just called to say that they’re coming across “significant issues” in Fulton County today – specifically, voters being assigned to wrong precincts.

The secretary of state’s office has attempted to contact officials at the Fulton election office, but haven’t been able to get their calls returned. “We’re not getting any cooperation,” Thomas said.

This could make for a long night, people.

If you’ve encountered any problems in your precinct, please describe them below. Meanwhile, Fulton County just sent over this statement:

During the course of today’s election, the Department of Registration & Elections became aware of a database error affecting approximately 300 registered voters on ten streets in Precinct 05A1/05A2 in Southeast Atlanta. This issue affected only the State House races for a small portion of House Districts 58 and 59. No other races were affected by this issue.

After reviewing the …

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Your morning jolt: Of Ronald Reagan and dirty tricks

Ronald Reagan would have wanted you to vote for the transportation sales tax.

That’s the message in a Citizens for Transportation Mobility mailer that targeted (presumably) Republican voters in metro Atlanta over the weekend. Says the staff at Untie Atlanta:


The year was 1983. America’s economy was struggling to get growing again after years of high unemployment.

President Ronald Reagan knew that, in order to build that shining city on a hill and create new jobs, America needed to improve its transportation infrastructure. He signed into law an increase in gasoline taxes, saying that “this is an investment in tomorrow that we must make today.”

Pressed by anti-sales tax sentiment and the possibility of being drawn into a GOP runoff, Cobb County Commission Chairman Tim Lee cut loose with a glossy mailer aimed directly at his strongest challenger, former Cobb commission chairman Bill Byrne.


The flyer reminds voters that in 2008, Byrne – who had run an unsuccessful …

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Brian Kemp: State lawmakers will have to consider ending runoff elections in Georgia

State lawmakers will have to consider getting rid of runoff elections in Georgia next year – at least those involving federal candidates in general elections – because of a recent ruling by a U.S. district judge requiring 45 days for ballots cast by members of the U.S. military to make their way home, Secretary of State Brian Kemp on Monday.

Ballot requirements insisted on by the U.S. Justice Department and upheld by the court last week all but invalidate a current state law requiring that winners in all general elections receive 50 percent plus one vote, Kemp said – given that federal runoffs in those contests would have to be delayed until late December.

“We’d be voting during Christmas. There may be people getting certified while other people are getting sworn in. It’s really a logistical nightmare,” Kemp said.

Primary calendars may also need to be changed if runoff elections are to be preserved in those contests, Kemp said. This year’s primary balloting …

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U.S. Justice Department challenges Georgia’s runoff calendar

The U.S. Justice Department is threatening a legal challenge to the way that Georgia conducts federal – i.e., congressional — runoff elections, declaring that the state doesn’t give enough time for members of the military overseas to receive and return ballots.

Federal law requires that ballots be available to overseas personnel at least 45 days before the vote. That would require ballots for an Aug. 21 primary runoff to be issued by July 7 – or three weeks before the first round of voting.

Read the original notice, received last week, here. To make sure overseas votes are counted, the DOJ has proposed a consent order – click here to read it — that would require the state to hold off declaring official winners of an Aug. 21 primary runoff by seven working days, until Aug. 31. (A similar cushion would be added to any Dec. 4 general election runoff that involves federal office.)

Secretary of State Brian Kemp has declared he won’t agree to the DOJ demands, and implies …

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Your morning jolt: About those tax credits for donors to private scholarships

From down in south Georgia, Sid Cottingham pointed us to this New York Times article, likely to become a topic of discussion during the upcoming charter school debate:

When the Georgia legislature passed a private school scholarship program in 2008, lawmakers promoted it as a way to give poor children the same education choices as the wealthy.

The program would be supported by donations to nonprofit scholarship groups, and Georgians who contributed would receive dollar-for-dollar tax credits, up to $2,500 a couple. The intent was that money otherwise due to the Georgia treasury — about $50 million a year — would be used instead to help needy students escape struggling public schools.

That was the idea, at least. But parents meeting at Gwinnett Christian Academy got a completely different story last year.

“A very small percentage of that money will be set aside for a needs-based scholarship fund,” Wyatt Bozeman, an administrator at the school near Atlanta, said during …

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Georgia settles lawsuit over voter registration for the poor

The state of Georgia has settled a major lawsuit over its failure to offer poor people who sign up for public assistance a chance to register to vote.

From the press release just issued by the plaintiffs:

A coalition of national voting rights groups have secured a landmark settlement with the State of Georgia to ensure that voter registration is offered to all public assistance applicants. The state has settled a lawsuit, brought by the coalition on behalf of the Georgia State Conference of the NAACP and the Coalition for the Peoples’ Agenda, alleging widespread violations of Section 7 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA).

Georgia’s Secretary of State and its Department of Human Services (DHS) have agreed to comply with Section 7 of the NVRA, which requires that public assistance agency clients be provided with the opportunity to register to vote every time they apply for or renew benefits, or when they submit a change of address. This includes instances …

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Your morning jolt: GOP contest prompts an unexciting stream of early votes

Updated at 8:15 p.m. to correct numbers offered today by the secretary of state’s office:

If early voting is any clue, the GOP presidential contest is setting Georgia ablaze — like a wet matchstick.

According to Secretary of State Brian Kemp, 86,426 advance and absentee votes have been cast thus far.

In 2008, there were 247,897 early ballots cast. Now, assume that 50 percent of those votes four years ago were cast in the Democratic party, which had a contested nomination.
And assume that all of the early votes this year are Republican in nature.

Even so, this would be a 30 percent decline in Georgia early voting over ’08. Last year, the Legislature curtailed the advanced voting period. Even so, the difference is startling.
If nothing else, the current number is evidence that none of the four GOP candidates has an extensive ground game in Georgia.

A new Georgia poll of the GOP presidential primary was rolled out by 11Alive/Survey USA on Monday, showing Newt Gingrich …

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Brian Kemp withdraws effort to consolidate state licensing boards

For the moment, Secretary of State has abandoned his effort to consolidate the state boards that oversee professional licensing.

His sweeping Senate Bill 445 proposed to take authority from Georgia’s 43 licensing boards – peopled by about 300 board members — and to give it to his shrinking staff and a new board of seven people appointed by the governor. It was met with skepticism by licensees from architects to nurses, who wondered how they would be governed by people who don’t know anything about their professions.

Here’s Kemp, from the press release announcing the withdrawal of SB 445:

“Due to time constraints in drafting a compromise and the ability for stakeholder review, it was not realistic to have a final bill drafted by day 30 of the legislative session. Therefore, I have decided to withdraw the bill from consideration during this year’s General Assembly session. Withdrawing the legislation will allow my office to continue to meet in a spirit of cooperation …

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