Georgians deserve gubernatorial runoff

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Editorials

November 14, 2018 - 12:17 PM

Stacey Abrams, former Georgia House Democratic Leader. Photo by (Cheriss May/Sipa USA/TNS)

It’s probably a long shot, but here’s hoping Georgians get to cast another ballot as to who should be their next governor.

A possible runoff election between Democrat Stacey Abrams, former House Minority Leader for Georgia, and Republican Brian Kemp, former Georgia Secretary of State, would be the best way to settle a race hampered by a compromised election process.

On Election Day, some voters were made to stand up to five hours in line to vote because of malfunctioning hardware. For those who could, they endured. Many others did not.

Other reports of errors included mishandling of voter registration forms and provisional and absentee ballots as well as giving voters incorrect addresses of polling stations.

Would-be voters reported being turned away when poll workers told them their voter registrations weren’t in the system and then refused to give them provisional ballots.

To add insult to injury, helpline phone numbers had been disconnected.

Among the almost 4 million votes cast, Kemp holds a razor-thin margin, 50.3 percent to Abrams’s 48.7 percent. Libertarian Ted Metz captured .9 percent of the votes.

To win, Kemp must have more than 50 percent of the votes.

In an attempt to address widespread doubt about the election results, U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg has ruled the state cannot declare a winner until Friday, pushing back today’s deadline.

The state must also get an election website or hot-line up and running, according to the judge, so voters can check whether their provisional ballots were counted.

The judge became involved when Common Cause Georgia, a voting rights organization, filed suit on Nov. 5, alleging that in his role as Secretary of State, Kemp had acted recklessly for failing to adequately protect voter registration information, including the ability to have it either manipulated or expunged.

On Election Day, a nonprofit group called Protect Democracy, filed a last-minute lawsuit against Kemp to keep him from overseeing the tallies of his own election.

Kemp has alleged the lawsuits and complaints are a “disgrace to democracy.”

Last Wednesday, Kemp said he was resigning his position to not only prepare for his transition to governor but also, conveniently, escape the responsibilities of Secretary of State.

ANYWHERE ELSE — Zimbabwe, Maldives, Venezuela, Kenya, Honduras — international authorities  would have demanded an investigation.

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