The AJC Doesn’t Get It

The AJC and Karen Handel are firing at each other again. You can read the AJC editorial here. I love this bit:

Handel’s credibility has also suffered because of her specious pursuit of voter fraud when — as she acknowledged before she was elected — the state’s historic low turnout suggests that voter indifference is the more pressing concern.

I didn’t realize the Secretary of State was only capable of handling one issue at a time. Of course, given the seriousness of voter fraud (and the fact that it is hard to prove once done), it seems her priority would be right, even though the AJC calls it specious.

The AJC also hits her on the Common Cause report. Common Cause is a left wing organization, whether you believe it or not. Just because it plays up the veneer of a non-partisan organization, does not make it so.

Karen Handel responses here and takes on the Common Cause issue directly:

While a recent Common Cause report supposedly addressed elections preparedness in the state, a close read reveals that the real criticisms of Georgia are related to their opposition to photo ID (they were the plaintiff in the federal lawsuit against Georgia), their support for multilingual ballots and other ideologically driven initiatives. I simply disagree with Common Cause, and make no apologies for my support of photo ID or for presenting all election materials and ballots in English only.

See, this is another reason why I’m torn about Karen running for Governor. I think she’d be an awesome Governor and I’d gladly support her. But she’s a bad ass Secretary of State and we need that. She’s got a level of tenacity we need in that position.


  1. scott says:

    This is comical: “Common Cause is a left wing organization, whether you believe it or not.”

    The Chair of Common Cause Georgia is John Sours and the Vice Chair is Bob Irvin. Raging liberals, indeed.

  2. Erick says:

    Just because they are good at putting token Republicans in place to keep up the veneer, does not change the dynamic that Common Cause is a left of center organization.

  3. Progressive Dem says:

    Left of center because they are citizen advocates, as opposed to business oriented? I’m glad somebody takes their position. It is a valid, responsible advocay to advance. They have done much to clean up Washington.

    When two judges overrule Handel on her handling of Powell’s residency, it does bring into question her objectivity.

    How about the Secretary of State pushing to change the primary from the July and subsequesnt runnoffs in August? Let’s face it holding an election in the middle of the summer was intended to discourage voting. Since the GOP is so big on reform these days, you’d think they would be open getting rid of that tradition that the Democrats no doubt started.

    Why not file for office by 4th of July, hold the primary in the first of September, hold the run-off 3 weeks later, and hold the general election in November. Plenty of states do it that way. Shorten the season, maybe reduce the money and hold the elections when schools are in session.

  4. Common Sense says:

    We have no official langugage—what is the problem with letting those who are legally allowed to vote have the ability to read a ballot?

  5. scott says:

    A disappointing response, Erick.

    Respectfully, I don’t think you know what you think you know about Common Cause Georgia. To suggest that the Board Chair (and Vice-Chair) is a window-dressing position is silly. To suggest that John Sours (or Bob Irvin, for that matter) would allow themselves to be used in such a fashion is ridiculous.

    Remember, being “non-partisan” does not require an organization to agree with both parties. But, because they focus on good government issues, they do tend to annoy whichever party happens to be in power. To equate that with being “left-of-center” however, betrays an overly simplistic understanding of politics.

  6. mocamarc says:

    Having worked the polls (Roswell) for several years, I can say we had the occasional provisional ballot (1 or 2 at most) for any election. That number could grow if voter turnout is high.

    We always followed the multi-step process to make sure the provisional ballots where logged correctly. I honestly don’t know what happened to them once they were turned into the precinct office. But if there’s any type of voting fraud, it’s likely going to happen after the polls close.

    That said, the first few hours after the polls opened for the 2004 presidential elections were hectic, but manageable. Things died down by 10 a.m. and never really got terribly busy until closing. This might not be true for every district, but I can’t see how there could be any huge problem for 2008.

    2004 was another highly charged year and we still got about 30 percent turnout.

  7. GreenAllTheWay says:

    Any story based on anything in the AJC has little value. Everyone knows that they are fond of 1/2 truths and old news.

  8. OleDirtyBarrister says:

    It’s ironic that someone with the handle “Common Sense” would display so little.

    The only people eligible to vote are American citizens. If they are natural born citizens, we can presume and should presume that they speak English just fine.

    To become a naturalized citizen, a person must prove proficiency in English. Thus, if they are in fact earning citizenship and the right to vote, there should be no problem reading an English ballot.

    Printing ballots in foreign language will only reward those who are out to win at any cost and are willing to commit fraud at any price.

  9. Dave Bearse says:

    Forgive me for interjecting a question a little off-thread, but does anyone know how Georgia electronic voting machines handle split precinct

    Some of the electors of the precinct where I cast a ballot will vote on a municipal annexation referendum and others not.

    Are the different ballot determined by the “card”, i.e. there are two different cards and the machine selects the proper ballot based on the inserted card, or by machine, i.e. there are two groups of machines, one group with programmed with one ballot, the second group the other ballot, with poll workers insure electors vote at the proper machines. Certain machines for certain voters can only result in longer waits for some voters than others even though the voters arrived at the poll at the same time.

  10. mocamarc says:


    The poll I worked in Roswell (sorry, can’t remember the number) was indeed a split precinct, A & B. There are two separate groups of voter roll terminals and chip cards are encoded A or B. The actual voting machines aren’t separated by precincts.

    No big deal as far as waiting times are concerned that I can remember.

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