New Ruling Puts End To Georgia Election Wrangling In Sight

A federal judge issued a ruling in Democrat Stacey Abrams lawsuit over the Georgia gubernatorial election. Last night, U.S. District Judge Steve Jones ruled that the secretary of state has confirmed that absentee ballots with missing or incorrect birthdates are counted.

Per a report by WSB Radio, Judge Jones, an Obama appointee, agreed to Abrams’ request to count absentee ballots with missing or incorrect birthdates but rejected several other requests by the Democratic candidate.  Ballots cast by voters in the wrong county or with incorrect residence addresses will not be counted.

Under Georgia law, if a voter goes to the wrong precinct to vote, they are allowed to cast a provisional ballot. The provisional ballot is counted if the voter is determined to be a resident of the county and has not voted elsewhere. Several counties in Metro Atlanta reported that they rejected hundreds of ballots because people voted in a county where they were not a resident. In Fulton County, 972 ballots cast by out-of-county voters were rejected.

Abrams is about 19,000 votes short of being able to force a runoff. Austin Chambers, an advisor to Republican candidate Brian Kemp said on Twitter that the ruling would affect about 800 votes, “nowhere near enough to change the race. This is over.”

Even if the ruling does not change the outcome of the gubernatorial race, it may affect a still-undecided congressional race. Atlanta’s 11 Alive reported that the election for the seventh congressional district was still undecided. Republican incumbent Bob Woodall leads Democrat challenger Carolyn Bourdeaux by only 533 votes or 0.2 percent of the total. Georgia law allows candidates to ask for a recount if the margin in the election is less than one percent.

A similar ruling in a separate lawsuit filed by Bourdeaux required Gwinnett County to count absentee ballots with incorrect or missing birthdates as well. The Gwinnett County ruling was issued by Judge Leigh Martin May, also an Obama appointee, prior to yesterday’s ruling by Judge Jones. Per 11 Alive, the ruling affected at least 265 ballots with the birth year omitted and at least 58 ballots where the birth year was listed as 2018.

How long the recount of absentee ballots will take is uncertain at this point. The state deadline for certifying election was results was missed Tuesday due to the lawsuits. Under the new ruling, all of Georgia’s 159 counties will have to recount the absentee ballots and recertify their results.

Erick Erickson wrote on Resurgent, “There will be no recount and there will be no runoff. There are simply not enough votes. The only thing Democrats have left is to help [Democrat Secretary of State candidate] John Barrow get elected in the runoff.”

“On the upside, this is all almost over,” Erickson added.

 

Dems Embrace Conspiracy GA-6 Was Rigged by Russians, Ignoring DNC Actual Rigging

Democrats poured something like $50 million dollars last spring into Georgia’s 6th CD special election to replace–ahem–Tom Price. The young guy who nobody now remembers, Jon Ossoff, lost to veteran Karen Handel, who was quickly sworn in.

Back then, there were conspiracy speculations by various unreliable and nefarious left-wing publications, notably the Washington Post, that the only reason Handel won was because the Russians hacked the election (and the November 2016 election too).

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, when it was revealed that a compromised server containing Georgia election records was wiped by IT staff. This prompted Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens to quit his defense of Secretary of State Brian Kemp (who is running for governor)’s office in a lawsuit involving the server.

The lawsuit by accountability group Coalition for Good Governance and the Constitution Party of Georgia alleges that the state’s electronic voting machines are hopelessly vulnerable to hacking. As part of that suit, a server run Kennesaw State University’s Center for Election Systems was cited as having “a gaping security hole” that wasn’t fixed for six months after it was reported.

Now that server is, umm, blank, like Hillary Clinton’s. Except the FBI seems to have an “image” of the server. And Kemp claims that KSU’s IT staff doesn’t work for him, and were following their own procedures dealing with vulnerabilities. I guess nobody told them the server was needed for a lawsuit.

Anyhow…

Rep. Hank Johnson has told local Atlanta TV station 11Alive that Ossoff’s loss must have been Russian hackers throwing the race to Republicans.

“A difference of about 3200 votes,” recalled US Rep. Hank Johnson. The Democrat had employed Ossoff as a congressional aide. Ossoff stayed consistently ahead in most polls leading up to the runoff – then lost on election night.

“I think it’s quite possible that Jon Ossoff won that election and the election was stolen from him. That’s my suspicion,” Johnson said Monday.

Russians messed with fake news and both presidential campaigns, Ossoff lost in a district that has a massive GOP tilt and an election data server was wiped: Ipso facto, the election was rigged. And Pizzagate is real. And they’re turning the frogs gay.

But in fact, for real rigging they need look no further than the DNC, which rigged Hillary Clinton’s nomination tighter than a racing yacht in a regatta.

Jon Ossoff lost because he wasn’t a good enough candidate to beat Handel. He couldn’t overcome “dude, you don’t live in the district.” Handel has lived there 25 years, won an election as Georgia Secretary of State (ironically, the position held by Kemp), lost a race for governor, and a race for U.S. Senator. Ossoff’s greatly padded resume only beat George Papadopoulos’s by a hair (Ossoff was an actual Congressional intern versus a model UN participant).

Hillary Clinton bought and paid for the DNC, and by extension she bought and paid for the nomination. She and the DNC bought and paid for the Trump “dossier.” There’s more evidence to speculate that Hillary bought and paid for Loretta Lynch to rig her non-indictment than there is that GA-6 was thrown by the Russians.

Hell, there’s more evidence that Maggie Hassan stole the NH Senate seat from Kelly Ayotte than there is of Russians handing Handel the Georgia race.

But truthers are gonna truth, and Democrats are going to scream “Russia.” That is, until they are in the White House to do their own Kremlin deals.

BREAKING: Georgia Sec. State Kemp Calls On Trump Admin. To Investigate DHS Network Hack Attempt

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp is not at all satisfied with the answers from the Department of Homeland Security to his questions on why a DHS internet address was behind a potential attack on his office’s network infrastructure.

“Quite honestly, I don’t know that they know what happened,” Kemp said in a phone interview. “They’re asking Microsoft for more information on this incident.”

Kemp gave a scathing response to DHS Assistant Secretary Philip McNamara’s response to his letter sent last week to Secretary Jeh Johnson asking if DHS conducted an unauthorized network scan against Georgia’s network, and for details on who conducted it, and what other states were included.

“It kind of gave me the impression of, they think we don’t know what we’re talking about, and they’re moving on,” Kemp said, referring to McNamara as a “political appointee” and “former DNC guy.”

He added, “That’s not satisfactory for me at this point in time.”

Kemp is right: McNamara spent 11 years as a political hack with the DNC before moving to various administrative positions within DHS, including a stint as acting Chief of Staff. His knowledge of IT infrastructure, or even what an IP address is, is certainly open for suspicion.

Getting anything useful at this point from DHS, when all the top office holders are busy packing their offices to get out by Jan. 20, is almost certainly a fantasy. Kemp has reached out to the incoming Trump administration, including Gen. John Kelly, the president-elect’s nominee to head DHS, to get a better handle on exactly what happened.

“Their story has kept changing the whole time, which is the reason I’m asking the Trump administration to look into this,” Kemp said.

With over 2,000 “low-level” events hitting Georgia’s Secretary of State’s system every week, only a few are elevated to “tier 2” for closer examination, according to Kemp. They were not looking for any kind of scans or penetration testing from DHS, which had been offered to states but declined by Georgia. The event came to light because it raised enough flags to the IT staff that they investigated further, tracing the internet address (IP address) back to a DHS network.

“Our ask of the Trump administration is: When Gen. Kelly gets confirmed, and gets in there, that he’ll have a new team that looks at this,” Kemp said. “And be able to explain that to myself and my IT guys where we actually buy into that explanation. And if they do that, I will be satisfied.”

“But right now, we’re not getting that, so I have to keep the option open that maybe something else was going on.” That “something else” could be some bad actor “spoofing” the DHS network and using it to conduct attacks on other systems.

That possibility would not be idle speculation. Back in April 2015, CNN reported that hackers were able to obtain unpublished elements of President Obama’s schedule, by using State Department computers to launch a phishing attack against the Executive Office of the President.

The White House intrusion is said to have been possible, because the same group of actors had previously compromised the email systems at the U.S. State Department. Around the same time that officials in the White House noticed suspicious activity, the State Department was also investigating a similar incident.

Investigators told CNN that the actors had “owned” the State Department for months, and it isn’t clear if their access has been completely removed. Given the access, investigators believe that someone at the White House fell for a Phishing attack, which resulted in the additional breach.

Although Kemp is not aware of any other states that have similar network scans from DHS. “I know if I were another secretary of state and I read about this, I would be checking to see if this happened to myself,” he said.

Kemp said that nobody with the Trump transition team, or Gen. Kelly has gotten in touch with him at this time. He has also not turned any materials over to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for criminal investigation or forwarding to the FBI, although his letter to Secretary Johnson cited 18 U.S.C. § 1030 as a prosecutable offense.

What’s clear is that something happened. Someone behind a keyboard, with access to the DHS’s federal government IP address tried to conduct a scan against the infrastructure of a state-owned network, for the office responsible for elections in Georgia. That someone conducted enough of a sophisticated scan that it triggered network intrusion detection and response systems. The triggered event was deemed by the intrusion detection system to be severe enough to elevate for IT staff to further investigate.

This is troubling, and DHS’s shrug of a response, first blaming one Microsoft product and then changing the story to another, is not acceptable to the state’s IT people, or to Kemp.

When claims of election-rigging, Russian hacking, and invalid results are being thrown around, we cannot afford to ignore what happened in Georgia just days after the election. If the Obama administration refuses to answer or investigate, then the Trump administration must get to the bottom of it.

We have not heard the last of this story.

Blame (or Praise) Georgia’s Brian Kemp For The SEC Primary

The “SEC Primary” where all the southern states vote on one day can be laid directly on the shoulders of one individual: Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp.

In 2014, Kemp proposed a March 1 date for a bloc of southern states.

The date that we want to have the primary on is March 1,” said Secretary of State Brian Kemp of Georgia (R), who made clear on Wednesday that he not only will set his own state’s primary for that date – but also wants other southern states to hold primaries on what would be the first date available for states that aren’t named Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

“I believe that will give us an opportunity to have a say in the Presidential race,” said Kemp, who volunteered that he has already spoken with his election colleagues in other southern states about joining forces in 2016.

“I’ve had great conversations with folks in Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana,” Kemp said in a live interview on WSB Radio in Atlanta.

This is because Kemp has the power in Georgia to set the primary date all by himself, so he used that leverage to get other states on board.

Georgia is on track for a March 1 primary, as Kemp has the unusual power of being able to set the date himself. Alabama, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Virginia are also likely to join. (Yes, Kemp knows that two of those states are not members of the SEC, but just roll with it. Another suggested name: the Waffle House Primary.)

How about just the Waffle Primary?

Strategists say a Southern primary has the potential to buoy a more conservative candidate and be a challenge for candidates considered too moderate or too affiliated with the establishment — such as Jeb Bush, who will not denounce the loathed Common Core education standards and has taken a more moderate stance on immigration.

We love those strategists. I bet they had never thought of Donald Trump. And the biggest loser/most ironic/worst case of foot-in-mouth comments came from Mike Huckabee, who knelt before Zod after Iowa.

“I think that idea is a gift from God. I think it was inspired out of heaven,” Huckabee said in an interview with GaPundit.com in January as he promoted his book, “God, Guns, Grits and Gravy.” “It is the Southern states and the Midwestern states that really form the bulk of the presidential genesis in November. . . . If a Republican doesn’t carry the heartland, he’s not going to win.”

If you’re Donald Trump, you should have a drink in honor of Brian Kemp. But, of course, Trump doesn’t drink. The rest of us should just drink because of him.