Early Voting In Georgia Runoff Breaking Records

A prosecutor in Georgia is reportedly in the early stages of investigating Donald Trump for attempting to overturn the election results in the state

According to The Hill, the folks in Georgia are fired up and showing up to vote in the upcoming runoff election for two U.S. Senators that will decide who controls the Senate in the next year.

Roughly 168,000 Georgians went to the polls on Monday, the first day to vote early in-person in the state’s two critical Senate runoff elections, according to numbers provided by the Georgia secretary of state’s office. By comparison, some 128,000 voted on the first day of early voting for the November general election.

Another 314,000 people cast absentee ballots on the first day of the early-voting period. 

The first-day early in-person turnout broke a record previously set in October when early in-person voting began for the 2020 general election.

Georgia doesn’t break down early voting by political party, so not sure if these are Democrats or Republicans, or both showing up.

The U.S. Elections Project reports 24,000 voters who did not take part in the general election have cast ballots in the runoff election so far.

‘Power The Polls’ To Help Ensure A Fair Election In November

(photo: James Emery/Flickr – CC License)

Guest post by Lawrence Pfeil, Jr.

To say the hope for America, our Democracy, and the preservation of the US Constitution hang in the balance come November 3rd would be an understatement.

Exacerbating the situation and everyone’s already heightened anxiety is the knowledge that foreign governments have and are interfering in our free and fair elections.

Now, add the coronavirus pandemic and the integrity of Election Day is in serious jeopardy. But you can help “Power The Polls.”

From their website,

“Our democracy depends on ordinary people who make sure elections run smoothly and everyone’s vote is counted. This year, we’re facing an unprecedented shortage of poll workers that could mean closed polling places and long delays. You can help make sure we have a safe, fair, efficient election for all voters.

“Power the Polls is a first-of-its-kind initiative to recruit poll workers to ensure a safe, fair election for all voters.

“This is a critical moment. America is in the midst of a nationwide poll worker shortage.

“We aim to inspire upwards of 250,000 Americans to sign up as poll workers this year.”

Click here to see how you can help Power the Polls today!

“Hi, I’m Larry and I’ll Be Your Poll Worker”

In 2018, I became a certified New York state poll worker when the Trumpfuckery of the day intersected with the certainty of Russian interference in our elections and awoke my sense of civic duty.  I had to do more than, “Go Vote!”

It’s not a glamorous gig by any stretch of the imagination.  The first time I set my alarm for 3:30 AM to be at the polling site by 5 AM, my cell phone replied, “Seriously, Bitch?”

It’s not rocket science. But you’d be surprised at the level of detail and redundancy required to ensure security and the level commitment poll workers bring to the work.

It ain’t about the money either.  It varies by state but in New York, it pays $100 for 4 hours of training (if you pass the open-book test and work an election). Election Day pay is $250 for roughly a 17 hour day (including 2 one hour breaks). It goes surprisingly fast.

What they don’t tell you about are all the truly diverse and wonderful people you’ll work with.  At my polling place, you name it, we probably got it!

Something else they don’t tell you about are the voters.  Don’t get me wrong, there are some crazy ass people compelled to tell you everything wrong with the American political system. #BlessTheirHeart

But it’s the line of voters waiting AT 6 muthafing AM for the polls to open; the excited first-time voters; families who come to vote together; voters who are so clearly immigrant citizens; disabled voters who could vote by mail but show up, when so may Americans don’t bother to even vote; and the parents who are bringing their child to see them vote, and giving them an “I Voted” sticker too. #FacesLightUp

Admittedly Americans would be better off if we all had mail-in ballots, but we don’t. Every state needs poll workers in November, so does the future of our democracy.  What’s one day out of your life, so your state on Election Day doesn’t look like Wisconsin or Georgia did on their primaries?

Or worse yet,  November 4, 2020, doesn’t look like Groundhog Day, November 9, 2016?

Learn more about becoming a poll worker in your state by heading over to WorkElections.com.

Work Elections is a project of The Fair Elections Center, a national, nonpartisan voting rights and election reform 501(c)(3) organization based in Washington, D.C.

Their mission is to use litigation and advocacy to remove barriers to registration and voting, particularly those disenfranchising underrepresented and marginalized communities, and to improve election administration.


Lawrence Pfeil, Jr., is a freelance writer/playwright who has written for media outlets including The Randy Report, the New York Blade, and Edge Publications. You can follow him at TheOUTfront.com.

Democrats Have A Big Night One Year After Trump

It was a big night for the Democrats across the nation as several states held off-year elections.

The big prize was the governorship of Virginia, where Democrat Ralph Northam had led in polls for weeks. But Republican Ed Gillespie pulled to within spitting distance in the last few days utilizing Trump-like tactics as polls showed only a 2 point lead for Northam.

Nerves were supremely settled, though, as the Democrat won the night by a whopping 9 points, 53.9%/45%.

Additionally, Democrat Justin Fairfax won his race to become Virginia’s next lieutenant governor. He is only the second African-American to win statewide in Virginia.

Donald Trump, who had recorded robocalls for Gillespie, chided the loser after the race was called, tweeting, “Ed Gillespie worked hard but did not embrace me or what I stand for. Don’t forget, Republicans won 4 out of 4 House seats, and with the economy doing record numbers, we will continue to win, even bigger than before!”

In New Jersey, Democrat Phil Murphy easily bested Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno by a margin of 56%/43%. Guadagno was severely hurt by her boss, Gov. Chris Christie, whose approval rating had plummeted to a dismal 14%.

New Jersey also elected Sheila Oliver as its first female African-American lieutenant governor.

Great news for LGBT candidates as well.

History was made when Danica Roem became the nation’s first-ever openly transgender person to be elected to a state legislature. Even better, she defeated Robert G. Marshall, who authored Virginia’s hideous anti-transgender “bathroom bill.” Marshall has proudly referred to himself as Virginia’s “chief homophobe.” Talk about irony 🙂

Jenny Durkan won her race for Seattle mayor becoming the first out lesbian to hold the office and the first woman since 1928.

Andrea Jenkins was elected to the Minneapolis City Council making history as the first trans woman of color elected to public office in the United States.

More history was made in Palm Springs as Lisa Middleton became the first transgender person elected to a non-judicial office in California with her election to city council.

Diversity won the day in Charlotte, North Carolina, as Democratic councilwoman Vi Lyles was elected mayor becoming the first African-American woman to win the office since the city’s incorporation in 1768.

And Wilmot Collins will be Helena’s new mayor and the state’s first black mayor.

Click here for more historic wins from last night.

Georgia: Anti-LGBT Republican Karen Handel Bests Dem Jon Ossoff In Special Election 52% – 48%

After much hype, Democrat Jon Ossoff lost last night to anti-LGBT Republican Karen Handel in Georgia’s special election, 52.1% -47.9%.

Republicans are elated, Democrats – not so much.

Often, a win is a win; a loss is a loss. But a few things come to mind:

• Ossoff received the same 48% he got in the April primary. Handel consolidated her base moving from about 20% in April to 52% last night. It’s possible that 48% is about as high as Dems can get in the district. You can’t create voters out of thin air.

• The one sliver lining for Democrats is that these special elections for Congressional seats in traditionally red states are much, much tighter than just months ago.

For example, when Republican Tom Price won the Georgia seat back in November, it was by 24 points. Handel clinched the win last night by only 4 points. That’s a lot of lost margin.

There was also a special election in South Carolina last night that received less coverage, and was even tighter. Mick Mulvaney won the 5th District seat in SC last November by 20 points. Last night, Republican Ralph Norman won the special election by only 3 points.

Similarly, Mike Pompeo won his seat in Kansas’ 4th District last November by 31 points; Republican Ron Estes took the seat in a special election this spring by a margin of only 7 points.

As you can see, there is some clear movement happening here. Will it be enough to make a difference come the fall of 2018 and the midterm elections? We shall see.

• While a lot has been made of the fund raising and money spent by the Ossoff campaign on this race, national Republican groups spent far more (nearly $14 million the NRCC, RNC, and Congressional Leadership Fund Super PAC) than national Dems did (about $6 million). According to NBC News, the total GOP price tag (NRCC, CLF, RNC) for the four recent special elections (Kansas, Georgia, South Carolina, Montana) was around $19 million versus $7 million for Democrats (DCCC, House Majority PAC, Patriot Majority).

What does that say? That Dems viewed the prospects of winning the traditional red seats pretty realistically, while the Repubs were clearly nervous.

Predictably, President Trump boasted about the Democrats loss this morning:

The comment about Dems working with Republicans in Congress is interesting in that the Repubs have literally shut the Dems out of any policy-making process.

More from the Twitterverse on last night’s election.

Tony Award Winner Leslie Odom Jr. Sings Sara Bareilles’ Ode To This Election – “Seriously”

When public radio show This American Life asked singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles to write a song envisioning the subtext of our outgoing President Barack Obama as he views this election cycle, and specifically Donald Trump’s ‘deplorable’ behavior, Miss B delivered in spades.

Titled “Seriously”, Tony Award winner Leslie Odom Jr. for Hamilton provides the depth, acuity and appropriate irony. Watch below.

Text of the song:

Let’s start with hope
I threw it in the middle like a skipping stone
The ripples won, son of a gun
Some would not have thought so
But I stand here Commander in Chief
And I take that seriously

But along the way
A rogue ripple turned tidal wave
In reaction to what I tried to do
A rebirth of a nation’s hatred
Red, white and blue
Is black in there too?

One man
Rewriting the book on bad behavior
Maybe cheats the neighbors
Feels he gets what they pay for
We can’t
Pat him on the back and send him on through
No man’s ignorance will ever be his virtue

Is this the best we can be?

Let’s talk of fear
And why I don’t bring it in here
It’s a dangerous word, it spooks the herd
And we all bleed in the stampede
Fear makes a false friend indeed
And I take it seriously

So hear me now
Before the truth gets drowned out
By a demagogue flexing
A demagogue flexing
He’s history repeating

Am I angry?
You ask am I angry?
And I’m at a loss for words
After all we’ve done
Every battle hard won
Every hair gone gray
In the name of this place
In a history plagued
With incredible mistakes
Still I pledge my allegiance to these
United divided States

Let’s end with “why?”
It’s a question I
Want to ask of us as a populace
Why not take our time or the weight of this story