Georgia Senate Update: The Beginning Of Early Voting
We know you know the two Georgia Senate runoffs are hugely consequential. But we’ll just remind you one more time — the races between Republican Sen. David Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Democrat Rev. Rafael Warnock will likely decide the efficacy of the incoming Biden administration.
Early voting started on December 14. Over a million Georgians requested absentee ballots. Numbers of early polling places have been cut in several counties. And some say that as members of the GOP, including President Donald Trump, continue to deny the results of the presidential election, it might depress Republican voter turnout in this one.
Last year, the House of Representatives passed H.R.1, the For the People bill, which includes the most comprehensive election-reform measures in recent history. Among its provisions are new mechanisms to govern voter-roll purges, oversight of standards for electronic voting machines, and measures to prevent foreign interference in American elections.
Like much other legislation, it has been stalled by a Senate controlled by Republicans under Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. This means that, for those Georgia Republicans who believe that Trump was the victim of fraud in their state, returning Loeffler and Perdue to office would actually further postpone a remedy to their alleged problem. American elections are vulnerable, just not in the ways that some Republicans in Georgia are claiming. (The 2018 gubernatorial race that delivered Brian Kemp to office was itself marred by irregularities.) An argument for electing Warnock and Ossoff is the fact that the biggest obstacle to preventing “rigged” elections in the future is the Party complaining about rigging in the one that just happened.
Meanwhile, Congress is stuck in a logjam over, in part, whether providing liability protections to companies over COVID-19 safety violations is reason enough to hold up additional relief packages. It remains unclear when a bill might pass. Members of Congress are scheduled to conclude work at the end of this week — which, by the way, is also the deadline to pass another spending bill to keep the government open.
Plus, 538 voters from the Electoral College are casting their ballots to certify what we’ve officially known for weeks — that Joe Biden will become the president in January.
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