This is a must read from the Weekly Standard on Stacey Abrams’ concession speech this past Friday. It is stunning to me how many Democrats and their friends in the media got basic facts wrong in Georgia.
Abrams and her allies point out that large numbers of people have been removed from voter rolls—1.5 million Georgians since 2012—but their contention that Kemp “purged” these names as secretary of state is false. The state’s “Use It or Lose It” law, passed in 1997 by a Democratic legislature and signed by Democratic governor Zell Miller, requires that voters who don’t vote or otherwise respond to requests from local voting offices to update their registration status be deemed inactive. This ensures that people who’ve died or moved away can no longer “vote” in state elections—i.e. that their identities can’t be used for untoward electoral purposes.
The Abrams campaign alleges that the number of voters purged spiked in 2017, when 107,000 voters were declared inactive. But the secretary of state’s office points out that the biannual voter-roll maintenance didn’t take place in 2015 owing to a legal challenge and so there was an unusually high number last year.
It is pretty clear Facebook and, specifically, Mark Zuckerberg have put a lot of thought into what to do with their content. As they have gotten so big, they have become an easy target for critics. Facebook is dominant in social media and, frankly, a lot of media outlets abdicated their traffic growth to Facebook. When that did not pan out, they’ve decided to nurse their grievances against Facebook with regular and sustained attacks on the platform. Many a journalist who suffered a “pivot to video” has an axe to grind and we should not forget that this shapes a lot of media coverage towards Facebook these days. Likewise, a lot of what happens on and with social media is so unknown that people fear it.
But it is clear as well that Facebook is grappling with a bunch of unknowns related to its content and how to patrol it, as Mark Zuckerberg himself outlines in a pretty lengthy piece about the steps the platform will take moving forward. You can read it here.
Essentially, Facebook is working with various countries on regulation of the platform; intends to create an independent third party group to make content decisions for it; and intends to use algorithms to degrade content that is acceptable under Facebook’s terms of service, but that approach the line of being unacceptable. I put them in that order because I want to deal with them in that way.
First, there are plenty of countries that do not value our first amendment and Facebook has to work with those countries. I think it should be applauded for pro-actively seeking to work with countries like France to find a favorable solution to that country’s concerns. That, however, leads me to the second issue.
Facebook intends to create Continue reading
Democratic candidate for Governor of Georgia, Stacey Abrams, says she will give up the fight for Governor, even though she thinks a “system of suppression” denied her a victory. She claims “democracy failed Georgia.” The problem is that in her litany of supposed incompetence she is actually claiming arises from problems that happened in counties, not at the state level.
State law is very clear that long lines, etc. are not grounds for overturning an election and she recognizes she has no remedy moving forward. She claims she will keep up the fight, which undoubtedly will involve a run against Senator David Perdue.
In her statement, she hints at a future race and claims Brian Kemp was “deliberate and intentional in his actions” to undermine democracy this year. She claim there will be new fights.
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UPDATED: Recognizing the burden and near impossibility, Abrams this evening said she would not file this lawsuit. Instead, she will start a new group and file a separate lawsuit seeking to change Georgia’s voting laws. She has now acknowledged her defeat.
It is a highly unusual move. Stacey Abrams has fallen short of 17,594 votes she needs to make it into a runoff with Brian Kemp and has fallen short of the 54,801 votes she would need to win out right. So Abrams’ campaign intends to file a lawsuit to have the entire election thrown out and started over.
This is unheard of at the state level and will probably be swiftly kicked out of court for a variety of reasons.
The Abrams campaign is relying on a statute that says a new election can occur for “misconduct, fraud or irregularities … sufficient to change or place in doubt the results.” Case law in Georgia does not support her claim. I have actually defended elections in Georgia under this standard and it is extremely difficult for Abrams to meet.
The reason it is extremely difficult for Abrams to meet is because Georgia and federal case law presume no election is run smoothly. Every single election has problems. On top of that, in Georgia each county conducts its own elections. The Secretary of State of Georgia does not actually conduct the elections unlike the Abrams claim. Technically, Abrams will need to show flaws in each county, not just cumulatively, because she is dealing with 159 county boards of elections. Continue reading
Stacey Abrams have refused to concede the Governor’s race. Each time counties certify their results, Abrams seeks out a federal judge to help her move the goal posts. There are around 8,000 provisional ballots to be counted and Abrams would need over 18,000 votes to get into a runoff.
Abrams is now asking a federal judge to order counties to count previously rejected provisional ballots that were rejected for one of three reasons. First, some voters turned out not to be registered to vote. Second, some voters turned out not to be registered to vote in particular counties. Third, some voters showed up without photo identification and then failed to provide their identification within a seventy-two hour window after the election.
There is well-settled legal precedent that the first two groups do not have to be counted and a federal judge cannot now revise the rules of the election, though she might try. The third ground is also dubious considering the voters had three days to provide their identification. But Abrams wants all those votes counted. She wants the rules changed after the election to hand her the election. None of this, however, is about her race. Brian Kemp is the Governor-elect unless Abrams can convince an Obama appointed federal judge to now change the rules of the election after it has concluded. Continue reading
It has absolutely nothing to do with getting Stacey Abrams elected at this point. It has everything to do with another race entirely. Also, be sure to check out the amazing phone call I got from a lady who helped register voters for the Abrams Campaign.
I opposed Georgia trying to woo Amazon and I am delighted Amazon went elsewhere. Last night, Georgia’s officials released their deal and it would have been a $2 billion monstrosity of taxpayer largess and way too cute ideas like renaming a street after Alexa.
New York and Virginia were, instead, the losers who will burden their taxpayers with Amazon. The incentives include giving Amazon the right of notice about freedom of information act requests so Amazon can intervene in Virginia. In New York, the company will get a helipad.
The free market depends on a level, fair playing field. It does not work when governments redistribute taxpayer money to lure companies into states. Deals like this not only distort market forces, but they also keep states from overall reforming their business laws and regulatory structures by letting one company receive not just exceptions, but also taxpayer dollars.
Whether left, right, or center, we should all oppose these sorts of deals. Amazon is one of many. Too many states, from Georgia to New York, put existing local businesses at competitive disadvantages while redistributing local tax dollars to out of state businesses promising the moon.
The free market is not free when this happens and the government picking winners and losers does nothing more than whore out its taxpayers. Amazon did nothing wrong. It just went looking for a government prostitute. Unfortunately, too many politicians were willing to play the role.