Department Of Justice Rejects Clayton County’s Request To Extend Early Voting Because Karen Handel Is A Partisan Hack

Excuse the headline, but that’s the logic that the local news media and many of the left-leaning bloggers on here have been using this week.

Failing to adequately prepare for the numbers of advance voters, many metro counties dealt with long lines this week, with some reports of lines exceeding 6 hours at various locations.   Fulton County managed to bungle a precinct bad enough in South Atlanta that the obvious solution, instead of fixing the problem, was to get Vincent Fort and a few other elected officials in front of news cameras to denounce Karen Handel and the Governor.  Admittedly, getting Senator Fort in front of a camera to scream about voter disenfranchisement and racism is much easier than plugging the system back in.

Though counties outside of the metro area seemed to avoid this problem (Fayette County, as an example, has voted over half of their registered voters already, with walk up voting available most of the time), the metro counties chose to point fingers at the State, knowing full well that the SOS office nor the Governor sets the days or hours of voting times.

After a week of demagoging the issue, Clayton finally got around to asking the DOJ to extend early voting to Saturday last night.  Their request was rejected.

Coweta County, btw, will have advance voting today from 9:00 to 12:00 noon.  They received pre-clearance for this decades ago.

I should also point out that each county had different hours for advance voting, with hours selected by the counties.  Some went 7:00 to 7:00, others had shorter hours. 

Point being, these decisions were made at the County level.  If you don’t like how advance voting went in your county, take your county commissioners to task.  The Secretary of State is busy trying to manage an election.

25 comments

  1. atlantaman says:

    Here is the exact person Fort and company cater to with their ridiculous assertions. This fool shouldn’t even be voting, much less organizing marches.

    From the AJC interviewing folks standing in line:

    “This is a tribute,” said Tversa Ricks, another Clark Atlanta student and march organizer. “We don’t have to worry about dogs or hoses or people spitting on us. All we had to do was use our ID.”

    She must be a very old college student if she’s had to worry about dogs, hoses and people spitting on her while standing in-line.

    Good job on the overall demagoging, but you missed a key point that you’ll learn as you mature from a “march organizer” to “community organizer”: don’t concede how easy and unntimidating it is to produce a photo ID. John Lewis, Vincent Fort and the Democrat Party of GA want you to believe that producing an id card is the same thing as having dogs and hoses released on you.

  2. TPNoGa says:

    I thought when I moved from California to Georgia, that finally, I would be around sane Democrats. Boy was I wrong.

    Why is it, if there is sensless whining going on, you can be sure the Democratic party is behind it?

  3. rooney says:

    I know this will come as a shock, but the AJC is 100% wrong on its facts. Clayton County elected not to change the hours, as was ultimately also the decision of DeKalb and Fulton, despite the “outcry” for extended hours in these three majority Democratic counties. All 3 likely recognized that they actually have an election to run on Tuesday. Nothing was submitted to, nor rejected by, the DOJ. If the change had been voted out and submitted, it would have been precleared by return email. Meanwhile, we wait for the DOJ to preclear the federally-required citizenship verification request submitted almost three weeks ago. Government (nonpartisan of course) at its finest.

    For those of you who would say, “But it’s the Bush-controlled DOJ,” that is simply a fiction when it comes to the Voting Section.

  4. shep1975 says:

    elections are conducted at the county level and certified by the Secretary of State. Just because the Governor may have the power in FL to extend voting with an Executive Order, the same does not necessarily hold true in Georgia.

  5. atlantaman says:

    The irony is you’ve got Fort and Co. claiming partisan conspiracies, but the long lines help Democrat candidates as GOP voters generally vote before and after work.

  6. Progressive Dem says:

    Let’s face it Handel isn’t interested in encouraging more people to vote. She saw the long lines and did nothing. She saw the State computers go down on Monday and did nothing.

    On the other hand she has been proactive in trying to purge 4,500 registered voters (and reversed). She has been proactive in trying to disqualify a Democratic PSC candidate (and reversed). She has been proactive in reminding citizens that they can challenge another voter’s qualifications. But she has never been proactive in encouraging more citizens to vote, and she made no effort to encourage more people to vote this week.

    Insider Advantage, hardly a Democratic news organ, has pointed out that Handel’s positions on early voting may have more of an impact on GOP voters. It is time to remove the spector of partisanship out of the management of voter registration and elections.

    (Icarus: I can’t speak to how other counties do it, but in DeKalb the Republican and Democratic parties each select two representatives to sit on the Board of Registration and Elections. Those four members than select a fifth member. The Board, not the County Commissioners, are responsible for managing elections and registrations. The legal responsibilities and duties of the Board are established by State law and the State Election Board Rules and Regs. County government does not control the Board. I voted about 4 weeks ago. It was well organized, professional and customer service oriented.)

  7. NonPartisanGA says:

    ProgressDem is the perfect example of what is wrong with the liberal democratic brain, it holds fast to its beliefs and feeeeeelings in spite of incongruity with the facts.

    Folks like this with their tin foil hats will berate opposition leaders for trying to enforce the law in spite of judges that decide cases on anything but a strict interpretation of the law.

    A voter who is not a citizen is not a legally registered voter.

    The Secretary of State does not maintain the voter roles, county election officials do, hence Karen Handel could not be purging the roles.

    Boneheads like PD assess what Handel did or did not do based on partisan newspaper reports and the whining of the minority of counties who had no contingency plans and were just looking for any excuse to try and blame the state instead of their poor planning by not buying enough voting machines, having enough poll workers, opening enough locations, having flaky county networks and not having longer hours that they set for the FORTY FIVE DAY ADVANCE VOTING PERIOD.

    I guess PD must have a spy camera to conclude that Karen Handel did nothing to resolve state issues. More Daily Kos KoolAide side effects.

    To characterize over one third of the 5.7 million voters voting before election day when thousands of precincts will be open as anything but a success is pathetic.

    Those who did not want to stand in line during the 44 days that there were not state issues for a few hours should have cast an absentee ballot.

    Those who did not want to use a stamp can still vote on election day.

    Anyone who has watched TV at all has observed the commercials Karen ran encouraging folks to vote early except PD.

    Of course its straight from the democrat playbook where people bear no personal responsibility for their decisions, circumstances and lives.

    If something goes wrong, it is an intentional act intended to disenfranchise democrats seeking to coronate “The One”.

    Its always someone else’s fault, those evil republicans, “the man”, the Secretary of State, the Governor, yes it is anyone and everyone’s fault except the individuals.

    Don’t worry PD, if Obama wins the government will take care of you and every problem you have. You’ll have the manifestation of socialism right here at home, to wipe your bottom and your nose.

  8. candlerpark says:

    Right or Wrong, I bet that the long lines this year will go a long way towards putting the brakes on Karen Handel’s success at winning Sonny’s office.

    I predict scads of attack ads pinning the 5, 6, 8 hour long lines on her.

    Political opponents will paint Handel as GA’s Katherine Harris, deservedly or not.

  9. NonPartisanGA says:

    You may be right candlerpark because sadly Joe Public is ignorant of the fact that it is the 159 counties that administer elections and no matter how much coaching and guidance they get from the Secretary of State, it is their job and responsibility to actually deliver and keep lines shorter.

    Of course standing in long lines is a choice folks made and if that is the measure of the success of this office, then folks were bound to judge Karen harshly anyway because of her party affiliation or they just don’t live a tough woman who has the guts to stand up to the media hacks and power brokers.

    The irony is if you ever looked at the lists of deliverables for the Office of the Secretary of State, you’d realize that office holder is responsible for making more executive level things happen than the Governor.

    For the record I would like anyone that has a serious intellectual case that objectively compares Katherine Harris to Karen Handel other than the fact that they were Republican Women who were Secretaries of State who chose enforcing the rule of law and fulfilling their constitutional duties over popularity.

  10. joe says:

    NPGA,

    Actually, I am Joe Public, the Average Joe. Except that I live in Henry County, where 64% of all registered voters used early voting, and the lines were short.

    The lines were long in places like Cobb, Dekalb, Clayton, and Fulton. All very highly populated counties with a “gimme” mentality. Joe Public does not live there.

  11. Progressive Dem says:

    NonPartisan (not)

    You apparently had the urge to unload your canned response regardless of its relationship to my or any post. I don’t berate SoS Handel because she is trying to enforce the law. I berate her because she is trying to enforce the law in a biased and unfair manner. The proof of her bias and unfairness is that the judiciary has reversed her. You might recall that the judiciary trumps the executive. Unless SoS Handel can find a higher court to appeal, Ms. Handel has been reversed. You can complain about the powers of the judiciary, but ultimately they have the final say among the three branches. Those of us who appreciate living in a constitutional republic recognize the authority of judges even when it does not conform to our personal norms. My criticism of SoS Handel is confirmed by the courts.

    SoS Handel was unanimously reversed by the Georgia Supreme Court regarding Handel’s challenge to Jim Powell’s residency

    Ms. Handel was also reversed by a panel of federal judges all of whom were appointed by GOP presidents. They determined that Ms. Handel has not proven that the 4,500 voters she wanted purged were not citizens. Nor has she proven that the other 50,000 voters she flagged are ineligible. The Court also said she couldn’t come up with some new methodology days before an election, and any methodology must be reviewed in advance by the Justice Dept. The judges also said these voters could vote using a challenged ballot. That is a far cry from not allowing them to vote at all, which would have been the effect of SoS Handel’s actions without the courts ruling.

    On Monday, Elections officials in Fulton, Gwinnett, DeKalb and Cobb counties said the state’s computer system crashed at times and was very slow, bogging down the process. The state system is necessary to verify eligibility. Handel took no personal responsibility and instead said technicians from the Georgia Technology Authority were working on it. That problem was not poor contingency planning by the counties rather that was the state system falling down on the job. A system Ms. Handel is responsible for. The state is the organization that should have been doing contingency planning.

    The state and SoS Handel should have done everything they could to accommodate voters. That includes showing some leadership by recognizing the difficulty in early voting and seeking pre-clearance for voting on Saturday and Sunday. Ms Handel has shown leadership in trying to purge voters, but she did not show any leadership this week with the problems associated with early voting. She pointed her fingers at the counties. She pointed her fingers at the computers techs, and she pointed her fingers at the Voting Rights Act and she pointed her fingers at the Attorney General, but she did nothing this week to accommodate and respond to the unprecedented turnout.

    Some day a Democrat will hold that office. Nonpartisan, surely you would prefer to have a nonpartisan administer the registration and election process. It is not a job for someone trying to advance in partisan politics.

  12. bluemcduff says:

    I and my family chose to vote in advance for the first time in Clayton County a few days ago.

    Given what I’ve heard, I guess we got lucky because the five of us only had a wait a little less than two hours.

    As for Clayton county ruling, I appreciate the DOJ denying the request as there is more than ample time to cast a ballot.

    In addition, I applaud Karen Handel for being as proactive as she is especially given the fact that she and many other southern SoSes are hamstrung by the Voting Rights Act.

    If anything, she needs to tighten up the rules further for voting in that advance voting needs to be severely restricted to only those people who have an actual need to vote early.

    She also needs to continue constantly purging the rolls as often as the law allows so the dead don’t come back and vote democrat or worse allow someone to vote twice.

    In other words, voting needs to be inconvenient so that those exercising the privilege are sufficiently motivated and qualified to do so as well as deterring the people who arbitrarily vote while not knowing the candidates or the issues.

    Besides, the demagogues who scream that votes are being suppressed are only doing so because the voters they represent are either lazy, incompetent, or trying to commit fraud anyway–I’d at least investigate them because I’m tired of hearing them cry wolf when they are the ones messing with the integrity of the elections.

  13. atlantaman says:

    I think at the end of the election, assuming record turnout, we should be congratulating Karen Handel for managing a system where so many people voted versus previous administrations.

    Keep in mind the whole pre-voting concept was instituted by GA Republicans, and I shudder to think what people would be saying had the system not been implemented during this election. Thanks to the GOP, voting is more convenient then ever (by a longshot) in the state of Georgia. So let’s try to keep the demagoged conspiracy theories in check.

  14. Eff The Dems says:

    ProgDem,

    This is an unmitigated LIE from you: “On Monday, Elections officials in Fulton, Gwinnett, DeKalb and Cobb counties said the state’s computer system crashed at times and was very slow, bogging down the process.”

    Cobb County and Gwinnett County had no such problems.

    Eff You, PD.

  15. Bill Simon says:

    Here’s the article excerpt:

    Elections officials in Fulton, Gwinnett, DeKalb and Cobb counties said the state’s computer system crashed at times and was very slow, bogging down the process.

    The computer system allows poll workers to verify whether voters are properly registered and whether they have already voted.

    High voter turnout was one of the reasons for the slowdown, said Matt Carrothers, a spokesman for Secretary of State Karen Handel’s office.

    Handel said her office was aware of some “sluggishness” in the system and that technicians from the Georgia Technology Authority immediately went to work on it.

    At no time did the system actually break down nor did the computer system go out, Handel said.

    The system never “crashed” as the county officials claimed it did. County elections officials are always quick to blame someone else for their incompetence in training and operating the system.

  16. Chris says:

    Stupid geek question:

    How exactly are the precincts tied into the SoS’s central database? Could a moron ATT employee with a backhoe manage to take down a polling place by cutting the DSL line?

  17. Bill Simon says:

    And, By The Way, Part II: The SoS’s office doesn’t control the servers…the Georgia Technology Authority does.

    AND…who created the GTA to “centralize” all departmental IT functions? Gubenor Roy Barnes.

    Soooooo…if ProgressiveDipshi*t wants to make a fuss over the SoS’s office “failing” to ensure a server doesn’t “slow down,” he/she/the pile of sh*t, should turn his partisan vitriol to GTA.

  18. Progressive Dem says:

    It is certainly ironic for BS to acuse someone else of having “paritsan vitrol”. Pot meet kettle.

    So the county employees from Fulton, Dekalb, Cobb and Gwinnett who interface (yes, that word can actually be used in this context) with the state system say it crashed and Handel’s said it didn’t. It really isn’t important whether they crashed or were “sluggish”. Everyone ackowleges there was a problem and that long lines formed. The SoS office did not respond with any kind of leadership. And that is far from partisan vitrol, BS.

    Georgia has a terrible record of managing registrations and elections. As result of the Jim Crow and segregationsist era (Democrats responsible) we have federal oversight. A nonpartisan should be running the State’s efforts to manage registrations and elections. Or do you want a Democrat in the SoS office running these functions? Redistricting should also be done in a nonpartisan manner.

  19. Bill Simon says:

    PDip,

    But…the SoS DID respond with “leadership.”

    Her office detected the slowdown around noon last Monday. She notified GTA and they responded to her call. By 3:00 PM, the computers were running faster than they had been running before.

    With regard to why Fulton County was complaining, apparently the issue had 100% to do with the fact that the (Democrat-run) county voting office didn’t give anyone the keys to open the precinct that morning. So, people were “lining-up” because the doors weren’t open. And, that is Handel’s fault how?

    PDip, go whine yourself to Hell.

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