The fate of the Senate is in the hands of Georgia voters, and state Republicans were hoping to bust out their tried-and-true tactics of just straight up not letting people vote. Surprisingly, Georgia’s Republican governor and noted election thief has pushed back against those attempts.
AJC reports that Gov. Brian Kemp released a joint statement on Tuesday, with Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and House Speaker David Ralston, that shut down any notion of changing election rules in the lead-up to the state’s Jan. 5 runoff. That election will see Sen. David Perdue (R) square off against Jon Ossoff (D) and U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) against Rev. Raphael Warnock (D) and will determine which party controls of the Senate.
As of right now, the Republicans are on pace to claim 50 seats and if the Democrats win both races, it will result in a 50-50 tie with soon-to-be Vice President Kamala Harris as the deciding vote, which means the Dems would control the chamber. If the Republicans win just one seat, then Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will remain in charge of the Senate and will have a major impact on President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming agenda.
“Any changes to Georgia’s election laws made in a special session will not have any impact on an ongoing election and would only result in endless litigation,” the three Republicans wrote. “We share the same concerns many Georgians have about the integrity of our elections. Therefore, we will follow the coming audit and recount closely and will work together to keep Georgia’s elections safe, accessible, and fair.”
The statement came as Republican legislators have called on Kemp to call a special legislative session to make residency requirements more restrictive. State Rep. David Clark is among Republicans in the state pushing this move, as there is fear that a wave of out-of-state voters will move to the state and influence the elections. Clark has said that tightening restrictions is necessary to stop newly arrived Georgians from “interfering in our elections.”
Do you ever get the feeling that Republicans don’t quite understand the level of destruction that’s been wrought this year?
It’s already both hard and costly to move to a new state, even when everything is going gravy. How many people do they really think can afford to move to an entirely new state in the middle of a pandemic that has killed thousands, and left millions unemployed, just to cast a damn ballot?
That’s just not using your brain, b.
Georgia’s election law already makes it a felony for people to move the state to vote with the intention of quickly leaving, further making this a case of much ado about jack shit.
Should state legislators feel that strongly about the issue, they do have the power to call a special legislative session on their own. That course of action is rather unlikely, though, as it requires a three-fifths majority vote and substantial assistance from state Democrats.
Anthony Kreis, a constitutional law professor at Georgia State University, told AJC that any attempt at changing election law at this point in the game would stand no chance in the courts.
“Let’s be clear,” he told AJC. “Calls for the Georgia General Assembly to be convened in a special session for the purpose of altering absentee rules to suppress the vote are grotesquely un-democratic, an abuse of power and a constitutionally suspect form of racial discrimination.”
And that’s that on that. So! If you happened to move to Georgia in the last few months or intend to within the month, you have until Dec. 7 to register to vote with county officials.