ROME, Georgia – Recent polls for the December 6th runoff election between incumbent Raphael Warnock (D) and Trump-endorsed former Georgia Heisman-Trophy-winner Herschel Walker (R) show a very close race. Early voter turnout is unusually high on both sides with over 468,000 in-person votes by early Tuesday, and leaders of the Republican Party of Georgia are urging their base to vote early, a welcome departure from the failed game-day vote mantra of party leaders on November 8.
It may be a day late and a dollar short.
In a series of blunders, the Republican National Committee (RNC), led by Ronna Romney McDaniel – who is running for re-election in January – sought to limit Georgia early voting to just five days: November 28 through December 2. Democratic leadership in D.C. and Georgia lobbied for nine days that would begin Wednesday, November 23 and include the all-important Saturday after Thanksgiving.
An initial lower court ruling in Georgia allowed the Wednesday start date and included the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Republicans in D.C. cried foul and made a series of frenzied last-minute appeals, citing state statutes that specifically prohibit Saturday voting after a national holiday. Another judge dismissed the appeal and allowed the early voting to commence on November 23.
Democrats in Georgia fully planned and prepared for this outcome, and put together a massive early Wednesday and Saturday get-out-the-vote campaign. Once they got a favorable ruling they sprang into action, opened all the early centers in the bluest of counties and gassed up the buses.
Shockingly, the Republicans had no contingency plan for an unfavorable court ruling. Red counties chose not to open until Monday, November 28, citing coordination and staffing issues. As a result, Warnock and Democrats had a four-day head start, plus a Saturday, on getting their early voters to the polls.
You can’t make this stuff up.
On Saturday alone, the Democrats had a massive turnout of their core voters. There was an average of three-hour lines in Clayton County alone all day, a Warnock stronghold.
In DeKalb, another huge Democrat County, the early vote totals are stunning through Monday: 57,603 registered voters have cast ballots so far, accounting for over 10 percent of the blue county’s entire vote base. Estimates from leading GOP officials there indicate that Warnock likely rolled up a near 50,000 vote advantage in this one blue county alone – and it’s only Tuesday.
So far, 503,792 total votes have been cast through November 28. When you add in Fulton and Clayton Counties and model in the fact that no significant GOP polling stations were even open until Monday, the lead for Warnock going into Tuesday is likely in the 200,000-plus range. How does Walker make this up?
RNC Chair McDaniel, under fire for this entire debacle, issued the following statement in an internal email sent November 28:
“Early Voting Lawsuit – The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Democratic Party of GA, and the Warnock campaign filed a lawsuit against the state to allow early voting over Thanksgiving weekend for the Senate runoff election. Georgia law prohibits Saturday voting if a holiday falls on the Thursday or Friday before the second Saturday before the election. The Democrats received a favorable ruling from the presiding judge so the RNC, Georgia Republican Party, NRSC, Secretary of State, and Attorney General joined together in an appeal to the Court of Appeals to overturn the prior decision. The Court of Appeals rejected our appeal. Finally, the RNC, Georgia Republican Party, and NRSC filed an emergency writ of certiorari and motion to stay with the Georgia Supreme Court. Ultimately, the Supreme Court denied our efforts, thus allowing Early Voting on Saturday, November 26th. Despite this setback, it is important we continue to fight to stand up against radical Democrats who attempt to change election laws at the eleventh hour.”
Despite the setback? Seriously? The fact their was no contingency plan is beyond the pale of incompetence and gross negligence. This a pure CYA statement taking no responsibility for the Democrat early voting debacle.
An RNC member who shared McDaniel’s email because they were disturbed by the Georgia report said they were “shocked that the party did not embrace early voting in the Georgia runoff, and in fact fought against it, since the day after the November 8 election Chairman McDaniel said that we were going to make changes and respond in the areas of capitalizing on early voting and absentee ballots.”
“So in our first opportunity to prove we could change, we refuse to,” the member said.
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John Fredericks is the editor-in-chief of The Virginia Star, and the publisher of The Georgia Star News and The Pennsylvania Daily Star.z
Photo “Raphael Warnock” by Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock.