Political Insider

An AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns. Because all politics is local.

Norwood seeks evidence of ‘voter intimidation’ in Atlanta mayor race

Councilwoman Mary Norwood asked voters Thursday to report “administrative problems and voter intimidation” as she awaits the results of a recount in the vote for Atlanta mayor.

Norwood has yet to concede to Councilwoman Keisha Lance Bottoms after finishing 759 votes behind her in the runoff. She insisted the “race was too close to call” while awaiting uncounted military ballots, provisional ballots and other outstanding votes. It’s unlikely those tallies will sway the votes in her favor.

Norwood, who lost to Mayor Kasim Reed in 2009 by roughly the same margin, has canceled all appearances and said little publicly since Tuesday. But her tweet Thursday offered a glimpse into her strategy as she prepares to potentially contest the election.

“Many voters have come forward to describe the administrative problems and voter intimidation that occurred on Election Day,” she said in the tweet. “If you experienced a problem when you cast your vote, contact the Secretary of State using their Stop Voter Fraud website.”

Her campaign has not alleged voter fraud in Tuesday’s election, but she has detailed extensively what she claimed was a widespread attempt to sink her 2009 chances on the campaign trail this year.

In one meeting that was secretly recorded, Norwood said she suspected many of the voters who helped Reed win in 2009 were fraudulent, and accused his campaign of “busing people in” who were not legitimate voters.

The mayor called those claims “verifiably false” and said she didn’t challenge the results in 2009 because she had no proof they were invalid. And Bottoms seized on the issue late in the campaign, accusing Norwood of using “coded language” to denigrate black voters.

In a statement late Thursday, Bottoms’ campaign criticized Norwood for working to “delay the certification” of the election.

“The voters have spoken and from a clear and decisive victory, Mayor-elect Bottoms will be the 60th Mayor of Atlanta,” the campaign said. “The campaign is over; the time for governing has begun.”

You’ll find more on PoliticallyGeorgia.com, including these stories:

Atlanta’s mayoral runoff as a mirror image of Trumpian politics

Recount unlikely to favor Norwood

Women rock Tuesday’s runoffs in metro Atlanta

In Atlanta’s mayoral runoff, Keisha Lance Bottoms borrowed Kasim Reed’s playbook

A rough round of runoffs for LGBT candidates

‘It is not over yet.’ Mary Norwood demands recount in Atlanta mayor race

Reader Comments ...

About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.