Elections

Kemp says he’s doing his job while running for Georgia governor

Kemp says he’s doing his job while running for Georgia governor

One week in July, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp toured the state, making 37 stops from Winder to Evans, rallying supporters and taking selfies with voters to ramp up his campaign for governor. Kemp’s campaign and office say he was still doing his taxpayer-funded job from the road, but his critics question how much work he can accomplish while spending so much time running for governor...
Abrams takes a sharper-elbowed approach to Kemp as early voting starts

Abrams takes a sharper-elbowed approach to Kemp as early voting starts

Not so long ago, Stacey Abrams avoided many direct attacks on Republican Brian Kemp, even as he pummeled her relentlessly. Not anymore. Previously, Abrams relied on allies to swipe back at Kemp while she tried to present herself as above the fray. Now, she’s launching direct attacks on the Republican’s views about policies and his performance in office. The harshening rhetoric is...
Capitol Recap: On Georgia disclosures, requests often act as answers

Capitol Recap: On Georgia disclosures, requests often act as answers

They say the devil is in the details. Just don’t go looking for the Prince of Darkness in Georgia's campaign finance reports. That information is still being requested. State law requires candidates to list in campaign disclosure reports the names, addresses, occupations and employers of individual donors. It’s a good way to let voters know who’s the financial muscle behind...
When is the next Georgia election, and who is on the ballot?

When is the next Georgia election, and who is on the ballot?

Georgia’s next election takes place on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. The ballot includes candidates for governor and other state offices, the Georgia Legislature, Congress and a list of local offices, mostly on the county level. 2018 is a midterm election year, falling between the 2016 and 2020 election years for president. Georgia’s members of Congress serve two-year terms, as do members...
Podcast: What to know about early voting, voting issues in Georgia

Podcast: What to know about early voting, voting issues in Georgia

Host Greg Bluestein and The AJC’s Mark Niesse take a look at stories and issues that have impacted the first days of early voting in Georgia, on the latest episode of the Politically Georgia podcast. Bluestein and Niesse also discuss lawsuits that have been filed, how candidates are responding and the rights voters have at the polls during early voting and on Election Day. Listen...

Democratic ad slams Kemp as ‘reckless’ and ‘irresponsible’

State Democrats are out with a new ad that accuses Brian Kemp, the Republican nominee for governor, of having a track record of acting “reckless,” “unaccountable” and “irresponsible.” The Democratic Party of Georgia is paying for the ad, which began airing on television in metro Atlanta on Thursday and was approved by Kemp’s Democratic rival, former state...
Ballot initiatives for Georgia’s Nov. 6 election

Ballot initiatives for Georgia’s Nov. 6 election

Georgia voters will be asked Nov. 6 whether the state constitution should be amended to give a 10-year, $200 million boost to land conservation, solidify the state’s commitment to crime victims and cut timberland taxes. Five proposed amendments appear on next month’s ballot, which most notably settles the long and hard-fought races for governor and other key offices. Here’s...
Black Caucus joins critics of Gwinnett absentee voter rejections

Black Caucus joins critics of Gwinnett absentee voter rejections

Georgia’s most diverse county is also the one most engaged in voter suppression, members of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus charged Thursday. As Gwinnett voters increasingly embrace the Democratic Party, non-white residents are facing more challenges as they try to vote, seven Democratic members of the caucus said at a press conference at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center....
He said Georgia insurers own regulator. Now industry donors favor him.

He said Georgia insurers own regulator. Now industry donors favor him.

When Republican candidate Jim Beck was asked during a pre-primary debate about the coziness between the insurance commissioner’s office and the industry it regulates, he didn’t shy away from the question. “It’s as crooked as a dog’s hind leg,” he said. “The industry owns it, and it’s time the people owned it.” But Beck, the Republican nominee to...
Experience, crime fuel debate in attorney general race

Experience, crime fuel debate in attorney general race

In a statewide race between two unlikely candidates, an issue generally confined to the local level has taken center stage. The Republican incumbent, Attorney General Chris Carr, and his Democrat opponent, Charlie Bailey, a former Fulton prosecutor, agree: Gangs constitute a growing threat to public safety. There’s even a consensus on how best to deal with the problem. But the agreement ends...
Kemp ad assails Abrams’ actions on sex offender, trafficking bills

Kemp ad assails Abrams’ actions on sex offender, trafficking bills

In the tight race for governor, supporters of Republican Brian Kemp launched a new television ad Friday targeting female voters on the issue of sexual assault. The ad features a mother of two, identified only as Amy, who backs Kemp and blasts Abrams over her response, as a legislator, to proposed legislation dealing with human trafficking and sex offenders. Amy says she was a victim of sexual violence...
Democrat Abrams comes out with ad about her work with Republicans

Democrat Abrams comes out with ad about her work with Republicans

State Democrats are out with a new ad declaring that Stacey Abrams, their nominee for governor, has the background and track record to help Georgia advance without “tearing each other down.” The ad, titled “Faith,” began airing on Atlanta television on Wednesday and is paid for by the Democratic Party of Georgia. It’s similar to one that her GOP rival, Secretary of State...
Gwinnett school board candidates face off in forum

Gwinnett school board candidates face off in forum

The four newcomers vying for two Gwinnett County board of education seats  were like-minded on most issues during the only candidate forum dedicated to those races. But when they differed, the crowd of about 100 voiced their concerns. Not surprisingly, sex education, testing, arming teachers and student discipline elicited the strongest audience reaction. Republican Steve Knudsen is running...
Celebrities, candidates make their pitch to young Georgia voters

Celebrities, candidates make their pitch to young Georgia voters

One day last week, two prominent figures who have little in common politically visited two universities in Georgia with the same goal: encouraging students to register and vote in next month’s elections. The morning visit by U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., popular among progressives, to Clayton State University and the evening visit by Donald Trump Jr., son of the Republican president,...
Cobb voters energized by governor’s race wait 3 hours for early voting

Cobb voters energized by governor’s race wait 3 hours for early voting

Democracy was built to be a slow, deliberative process. But that sentiment probably doesn’t mean much to Cobb County residents getting into a three-hour line to vote. Janine Eveler, head of elections in Cobb, said that was the estimated wait time Wednesday morning to cast a ballot for the midterm election. Many were there to vote for gubernatorial candidates Democrat Stacey Abrams or Republican...
Georgia nominee’s firm demands GOP stop discrimination suit attacks

Georgia nominee’s firm demands GOP stop discrimination suit attacks

Attorneys for the company headed by the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor sent letters to the state’s top two Republican campaigns demanding that they stop “making false statements” about a discrimination lawsuit filed against the business. Jack Cooper, a truck-hauling company led by Sarah Riggs Amico, sent the letters Monday requesting Amico’s opponent, former state...
Black senior citizens ordered off Georgia bus taking them to vote

Black senior citizens ordered off Georgia bus taking them to vote

Government officials in an east Georgia county told about 40 African-American senior citizens to get off a bus taking them to vote Monday, leading to complaints of voter suppression. The bus, run by the group Black Voters Matter, was preparing to depart from a senior center operated by Jefferson County when the center’s director said they needed to disembark, said LaTosha Brown, a co-founder...
Election 2018: DeKalb first day voter turnout nears 2008 election totals

Election 2018: DeKalb first day voter turnout nears 2008 election totals

Roughly 10,000 residents have voted early in DeKalb County, according to data posted on the county’s website Monday. Of that amount, approximately 5,000 were absentee ballots.   “For a gubernatorial election, it’s higher than average,” DeKalb County election director Erica Hamilton told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in a phone interview.  First-day advance...
Check in Cobb to see how long you’ll wait in early voting lines

Check in Cobb to see how long you’ll wait in early voting lines

Voting is your civic duty. But it’s also everyone else’s civic duty. And that leads to lines, especially during these 2018 midterms that have people across the country interested in Georgia. If you’re trying to zip in and zip out of a polling place, there’s nothing worse than a big ‘ol line. But Cobb County has a tool to show you the current wait times during...
How long is the line to vote early in Gwinnett? Here’s how to check.

How long is the line to vote early in Gwinnett? Here’s how to check.

Want to vote early in Gwinnett County but not sure how long you’ll have to wait? The county has you covered. Throughout the early voting process, the county will provide approximate wait times for its main voting location, the voter registration and elections office in Lawrenceville, and its seven satellite voting locations. The wait times will be updated every hour, “or more often...
Turnout soars on the first day of early voting in Georgia

Turnout soars on the first day of early voting in Georgia

Voters across Georgia rushed to the polls on the first day of in-person early voting Monday, with 69,049 people casting their ballots. That’s a sharp increase from the last midterm election in 2014, when 20,898 people showed up on the first day of in-person early voting, according to numbers from the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office. Some early voters in Cobb County had...
Voting, civil rights groups home in on Gwinnett’s absentee rejections

Voting, civil rights groups home in on Gwinnett’s absentee rejections

Gwinnett County has become ground zero in the fight over alleged voter suppression in Georgia, with voting advocates and civil rights groups homing in on what they’ve deem the “excessive rejection” of absentee ballots. Two separate suits filed this week in U.S. District Court in Atlanta name Secretary of State Brian Kemp and the Gwinnett County elections board as defendants. One...
High rate of absentee ballots thrown out in Gwinnett

High rate of absentee ballots thrown out in Gwinnett

Nearly one in 10 vote-by-mail ballots have been rejected by Gwinnett County election officials, alarming voting rights groups. Gwinnett is throwing out far more absentee ballots than any other county in Georgia, according to records from the Secretary of State’s Office. Ballots were discarded because of allegedly mismatched signatures, incomplete forms or missing residential addresses. The county...
Podcast: What the latest poll of Georgia voters says about the election

Podcast: What the latest poll of Georgia voters says about the election

Listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Play or Stitcher. Host Greg Bluestein and The AJC's Tamar Hallerman analyze the results of a recent poll of Georgia voters and discuss what those results mean leading up to the November election. Reading material: AJC/Channel 2 poll: Abrams and Kemp in tight race; Trump’s approval up AJC/Channel 2 poll: Duncan leads Amico in lieutenant governor...
Fulton County has technology problems on first day of early voting

Fulton County has technology problems on first day of early voting

On the first day of early voting in Georgia, election precincts in Fulton County encountered technology issues that created long lines. A spokesperson for the county, April Majors, said the issue was with the machine used by poll workers to verify voter registration. Because the machine wasn’t working, poll workers had to verify voters’ information manually, which took much more time than...
Cobb voters wait 2 hours to cast ballots on first day of early voting

Cobb voters wait 2 hours to cast ballots on first day of early voting

The line just before noon Monday for early voting was about a two-hour wait, said Janine Eveler, Cobb County’s elections director. This is the first day folks can vote early (ya know, to avoid long lines) for the 2018 midterm elections. Two voters “were in distress due to heat,” Eveler said. They were taken to the front of the line so they could vote and get water...
Early voting underway at locations across Georgia

Early voting underway at locations across Georgia

Early voting locations opened across Georgia starting Monday, Oct. 15. Any registered voter can cast ballots for the Nov. 6 election during the three-week early voting period. In-person early voting starts Monday and lasts through Nov. 2, including at least one Saturday (Oct. 27). Early voting is becoming more popular than voting on Election Day in Georgia. During the presidential election...
Capitol crowd mostly shift from Cagle to Kemp in governor’s race

Capitol crowd mostly shift from Cagle to Kemp in governor’s race

Brian Kemp got a lot of new supporters with fat wallets on the July night he clinched the Republican nomination for governor. The Capitol crowd — lobbyists, special-interest association PACs and big-money institutional donors who always give to the winners in gubernatorial races — had bet big on his GOP opponent, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle. But an Atlanta Journal-Constitutional analysis...
Early voting in Georgia starts Monday, a decisive election moment

Early voting in Georgia starts Monday, a decisive election moment

Democrat Stacey Abrams is crisscrossing the state to rally supporters to head to the polls early. Republican Brian Kemp is hitting rural hotspots to mobilize his backers. And down-ticket candidates are scrambling to help the push. The contenders for Georgia public offices move into a new phase in the election Monday as the early, in-person voting period begins. Over the next three weeks, throngs of...
In Georgia governor’s race, the middle is up in the air

In Georgia governor’s race, the middle is up in the air

Ed Borden is a former Republican set adrift by Donald Trump’s ascent and now not quite certain which candidate to support in Georgia’s November gubernatorial race. Neither is Tammy Miller, an avowed moderate who has yet to fall in love with either Democrat Stacey Abrams or Republican Brian Kemp. With so many voters firmly lined up behind their party’s nominee, the state’s independents...
What you need to know about Georgia’s 53,000 pending voters

What you need to know about Georgia’s 53,000 pending voters

As Georgia’s election approaches, more than 53,000 people who tried to sign up to vote haven’t been added to the state’s list of active voters. These potential voters are in limbo because election officials couldn’t verify information submitted with registration applications. But they will still be allowed to cast ballots this year if they show photo ID that proves they&rsquo...
Having problems voting in Georgia? Let us know

Having problems voting in Georgia? Let us know

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is partnering with the national Electionland project to monitor any problems with this year’s election, from long lines to voter registration issues. Georgia voters may report obstacles to voting either online or through cellphone apps as part of Electionland, a collaboration of  newsrooms around the country working to involve more people...
Relations between state, Atlanta will change with new Georgia governor

Relations between state, Atlanta will change with new Georgia governor

The fabled friendship between Atlanta’s City Hall and Georgia’s Gold Dome, built over much of the past decade, is soon in for a twist in November’s election to succeed Gov. Nathan Deal. Republican Brian Kemp has taken a much cooler tone toward City Hall, scarred by an ongoing federal corruption probe. He’s threatened to support a state takeover of the city’s crown jewel...
Georgia lieutenant governor candidate’s company sued for discrimination

Georgia lieutenant governor candidate’s company sued for discrimination

Current and former employees of the truck-hauling business headed by the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor are suing the company and a supervisor, alleging an environment of racial hostility.Ten employees, all but one of them black, filed a lawsuit in April against yard supervisor Kevin Tumbleson, Auto Handling Corp. and Jack Cooper Transport Co. The Democratic nominee, Sarah Riggs Amico...
Capitol Recap: Health care draws the spotlight in Georgia, U.S.

Capitol Recap: Health care draws the spotlight in Georgia, U.S.

It was a busy week on the health care front, both in Georgia and nationally, and covering a range of issues. Pre-existing conditions drew attention with a push from President Donald Trump. In an op-ed for USA Today, Trump wrote that during the 2016 campaign, he vowed “that we would protect coverage for patients with pre-existing conditions.” That sent The Washington Post into fact-checking...
As she runs for governor, Stacey Abrams evokes her life story

As she runs for governor, Stacey Abrams evokes her life story

That harrowing chase scene comes from the 2006 novel “Hidden Sins,” one of eight romance suspense books by Selena Montgomery, who has sold more than 100,000 copies and who will likely draw even more attention if she wins a certain election in November. Montgomery is the pen name for Stacey Abrams, a Democrat better known as the former Georgia House minority leader, entrepreneur and whip...
‘Solid’: Republican Brian Kemp plays up rural roots, business bonafides

‘Solid’: Republican Brian Kemp plays up rural roots, business bonafides

Growing up, Brian Kemp spent days working on a farm outside Athens. Getting trampled by a 750-pound bovine in the cattle chute didn’t faze young Kemp, recalls his friend Mitch Malcolm. And when a pregnant cow died one freezing Christmas Eve, Kemp and Malcolm labored in the sleet for hours to pull the calf. It survived. Kemp has held elected office for roughly 12 of the last 16 years but as he...
Lawsuit challenges 53,000 stalled Georgia voter registrations

Lawsuit challenges 53,000 stalled Georgia voter registrations

A federal lawsuit filed Thursday challenges a Georgia law that has stalled the voter registrations of more than 53,000 potential voters until they verify their basic information. The lawsuit, brought by several civil rights groups, asks a judge to overturn Georgia’s “exact match” law, which requires voter registration information to match driver’s licenses, state ID cards...
AJC/Channel 2 poll: Duncan leads Amico in lieutenant governor race

AJC/Channel 2 poll: Duncan leads Amico in lieutenant governor race

Former state Rep. Geoff Duncan is leading business executive Sarah Riggs Amico in the race for lieutenant governor with less than a month until the election, according an Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Channel 2 Action News poll. The poll of likely November voters found that 45.4 percent of those who responded planned to cast their ballots for Duncan, the Republican candidate, with 39.3 percent planning...
AJC/Channel 2 poll: Abrams and Kemp in tight race; Trump’s approval up

AJC/Channel 2 poll: Abrams and Kemp in tight race; Trump’s approval up

Republican Brian Kemp and Democrat Stacey Abrams remain locked in a tight race for Georgia governor less than a month before the election, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Channel 2 Action News poll that showed an increasingly dwindling number of undecided voters. The poll showed Kemp ahead of Abrams 47.7 percent to 46.3 percent, a statistically insignificant difference within the poll&rsquo...
How the AJC/Channel 2 Action News poll was conducted

How the AJC/Channel 2 Action News poll was conducted

The poll was conducted for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News by the School of Public and International Affairs Survey Research Center at the University of Georgia from Sept. 30 to Oct .9, 2018, and included 1,232 likely general election voters in Georgia. Likely voters were respondents who had voted in the 2018 May primaries and/or the 2016 general election, who indicated...
How to find out if your Georgia voter registration is on hold

How to find out if your Georgia voter registration is on hold

Georgia residents worried that they might not be registered to vote can check online to find out. More than 53,000 voter registrations are on hold because of a state law requiring verification if the information on their registration applications doesn’t exactly match driver’s license or Social Security records. And applications submitted on paper before Tuesday’s voter...
Candidates for governor eye Georgia’s transportation needs

Candidates for governor eye Georgia’s transportation needs

Three years ago, Georgia lawmakers raised nearly $1 billion a year for road and bridge construction. This year, they allowed 13 metro Atlanta counties to raise billions of dollars more for mass transit. The candidates for Georgia governor say more must be done to tackle traffic and improve transportation across the Peach State. But Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp offer different...
On the Georgia Trail: Pence’s plans, hurricane politics, ‘we kick them’

On the Georgia Trail: Pence’s plans, hurricane politics, ‘we kick them’

Vice President Mike Pence already had to cancel one fundraiser to boost Republican Brian Kemp’s campaign for governor because of a hurricane. He’s not yet sidelined the makeup date despite another monster storm headed for Georgia. Pence still plans to arrive at a Delta Air Lines facility Thursday afternoon and then follow it up with a high-dollar Georgia GOP fundraiser in Buckhead. Donors...
Metro Atlanta House seat has flipped between parties since 2015

Metro Atlanta House seat has flipped between parties since 2015

Incumbent state Rep. Meagan Hanson, R-Brookhaven, is facing a challenge from Democratic newcomer Matthew Wilson in a district that has see-sawed between the two parties over the past three years. Hanson has tried to thwart the possibility of a “blue wave” by supporting bills on expanding transportation, making penalties for those who commit hate crimes harsher and allowing restaurants...
NEW FINDINGS: Hundreds of thousands of new voters register in Georgia

NEW FINDINGS: Hundreds of thousands of new voters register in Georgia

A record number of Georgians, more than 6.9 million, are registered to vote ahead of next month’s election for governor, the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office reported Wednesday. That figure includes at least 253,902 new voters who signed up to vote since the April 24 voter registration deadline for the primary.
Gov. Deal expands state of emergency as ‘very dangerous’ Hurricane Michael menaces Georgia

Gov. Deal expands state of emergency as ‘very dangerous’ Hurricane Michael menaces Georgia

Gov. Nathan Deal expanded a state of emergency Wednesday to an additional 16 counties and activated 1,500 Georgia National Guard troops as a “very, very dangerous” Hurricane Michael menaced much of the state.  The governor urged residents along the storm’s path to take precautions as he announced that 108 counties of the state’s 159 counties are now covered by his state...
Social issues recede to backdrop but remain key to some Georgia voters

Social issues recede to backdrop but remain key to some Georgia voters

The swirl of social issues that dominated the debate early this year may as well seem an afterthought now – and that’s exactly the way the candidates like it. Republican Brian Kemp is more likely to talk about his law-and-order policies and his teacher pay raise plan than divisions over guns, abortion and “religious liberty” — or his edgy ads featuring shotguns and chain...
Athens-area Republicans aim to reclaim state House seats lost in 2017

Athens-area Republicans aim to reclaim state House seats lost in 2017

As soon as the votes were counted on election night in November, Republicans began readying the troops to reclaim two Athens-area state House seats the Democrats just won for the first time since lines were drawn creating the districts in 2011. And Democratic state Reps. Deborah Gonzalez and Jonathan Wallace, who won special elections last year after incumbent Republicans left when they were...
Like Stacey Abrams, Democratic Party pulls in big out-of-Georgia money

Like Stacey Abrams, Democratic Party pulls in big out-of-Georgia money

The most expensive governor’s race in Georgia history is also attracting big money to the state’s political parties. Where it’s coming from mirrors the gubernatorial contest, according to an analysis by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Like Stacey Abrams’ campaign, much of the Georgia Democratic Party’s money these days is coming from California, New York and the District...
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