Georgia election official has blunt question for Stacey Abrams, Biden over record early voter turnout

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Georgia election officials would like an apology from politicians — like President Joe Biden and Democrat Stacey Abrams — who claimed an election integrity law ushered in modern-day Jim Crow.

What is the background?

After Georgia passed the Election Integrity Act of 2021, Democrats claimed the law restricts voting rights and discriminates against minority voters.

"This is Jim Crow in the 21st Century. It must end. We have a moral and constitutional obligation to act," Biden said last March.

Abrams, on the other hand, called the law "racist" and described it as "a redux of Jim Crow in a suit and tie." She also claimed the law was passed because "more people of color voted, and it changed the outcome of elections in a direction that Republicans do not like."

What are Georgia officials saying?

Gabriel Sterling, COO for the Georgia secretary of state, says Democratic politicians owe Georgians an apology.

That is because Georgia voters have smashed early voter turnout records in the Peach State. By Sunday morning, 740,615 voters had voted in person. Through the same time period in the previous midterm election, just 428,413 voters had turned out to vote early.

In fact, between in-person and absentee ballots, nearly 817,000 Georgians have already cast their 2022 votes. That number continued to balloon on Sunday.

\u201cAs of this morning, we've seen 837,597 ballots cast in Georgia. 758,808 early in person & 78,789 absentees accepted. That means we should pass the 1 million mark by tomorrow, a full 2 weeks before Election Day. A record numbers of voters for a midterm. #gapol #PlanYourVote\u201d
— Gabriel Sterling (@Gabriel Sterling) 1666612279

"How many turnout records do we have to break before Stacey Abrams and President Biden apologize to Georgia?" Sterling said in a statement to Fox News.

Meanwhile, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) explained, "We’re on track to break records in terms of voter turnout in every category."

What is the response?

According to those who oppose Georgia's election integrity law, record voter turnout does not prove the law does not restrict voting access.

"High turnout is not synonymous to voter access—rather the power of organizing and the urgency of voters to remove Brian Kemp and his allies’ far-right extremism from their communities," Jaylen Black, press secretary for Abrams' campaign, told Fox News.

Indeed, some in the media are already running with that narrative: that Georgia's law is about restricting voting access, but Democrats have negated its impacts through voter mobilization.

"The early results in Georgia are consistent with the outcomes of other voting restrictions. Evidence suggests voter suppression has little effect on turnout, because Democrats mobilize in response to restrictions, canceling out much or all of the suppressive effect," wrote Jonathan Chait in New York magazine.

Theories aside, if Georgia voters continue showing up en masse like they did during the first week of early voting, liberals will no longer be able to claim in good faith that Georgia voters have been restricted from voting.

Biden called Georgia voting law 'Jim Crow.' But data from first day of early voting just upended that narrative.

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On the first day of early voting in Georgia, voters in the Peach State smashed the previous record for opening-day early voting in a midterm election.

In the process, voters also smashed the liberal narrative about the election integrity law that Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed into law last year.

What about the law?

President Joe Biden infamously described Georgia's election integrity law as a modern-day Jim Crow law.

"This is Jim Crow in the 21st Century. It must end. We have a moral and constitutional obligation to act," he said last March.

The law itself, however, does not restrict voting, and it certainly does not promote discrimination. Rather, Georgia lawmakers shored up election integrity by extending early voting, tightening restrictions on absentee ballots to prevent fraud, increasing polling stations and poll workers in high-density areas, and lawfully preventing outside groups from soliciting voters at polling places.

But what happened in Georgia?

On Monday, the first day for early voting in Georgia for the 2022 midterm general election, more than 130,000 voters cast their ballots.

In fact, voter turnout nearly doubled from the last midterm first-day record, which was set in 2018.

\u201cWe have reviewed the turnout yesterday and we did set a midterm 1st day of early voting & we nearly hit the record for a Presidential:\n1st Day of Early Voting by cycle\n2022: 131,318\n2020: 136,739\n2018: 70,849\nThat's an 85% increase from the last midterm. Midterm record! #gapol\u201d
— Gabriel Sterling (@Gabriel Sterling) 1666104043

"The numbers clearly illustrate there isn’t any suppression going on. Record turnout in the Primary and record turnout is likely for this midterm as well," said Gabriel Sterling, COO to the Georgia secretary of state.

More from WAGA-TV:

More than 4 million people could vote in the state’s elections this year, and if past patterns hold, more than half are likely to cast ballots before Election Day. Nearly 2.7 million Georgians voted early during the 2020 general election.

This is the first year that Georgians will head to the polls under a new law passed by the Republican-led legislature following the party's defeat in the 2020 presidential election.

Ironically, the news comes just days after Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), who is battling Herschel Walker for a U.S. Senate seat, said Georgia's election integrity makes voting more difficult.

"There is no question that SB 202 [the law] makes voting harder — and that is the intent," Warnock claimed in a debate.

Rhetoric aside, voters in Georgia have until Nov. 4 to cast their early-voting ballots, meaning they have at least another 17 days to get to their polling place before Election Day.

Democrat Stacey Abrams' group is investigating itself in an attempt to quell questions about payments to director's friends and family

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Fair Fight PAC, a political action group founded by Stacey Abrams, the Democrat running against Gov. Brian Kemp (R) in Georgia's gubernatorial race, has come under intense scrutiny after it was revealed the relatively inexperienced friends and family of its director were getting significant paydays while maintaining other full-time jobs.

On Friday, in response to a critical Fox News Digital report, Fair Fight PAC issued a statement, noting that on October 13, the organization "became aware that PAC funds may have been incorrectly paid to consultants."

"Fair Fight strives to serve with the utmost integrity, as is core to our values. We take these matters seriously and have initiated a comprehensive investigation," the statement added.

\u201cThe Fair Fight political organization founded by Stacey Abrams is investigating whether funds from its PAC were \u201cincorrectly paid to consultants.\u201d #gapol\u201d
— Greg Bluestein (@Greg Bluestein) 1665776883

Abrams founded Fair Fight PAC in 2019 after she lost the Georgia gubernatorial election the previous year, the result of which she has repeatedly called into doubt. The PAC is an offshoot of Fair Fight Action. Its stated aim is to promote "equitable elections" in the state.

Axios touted it as the "strongest Democratic lobbying force at the Capitol when it comes to voting policy."

It's all about who you know

Those close to André Fields, Fair Fight PAC's political director and longtime Abrams aide, have received considerable sums in recent years despite their ostensible inexperience.

Citing Federal Election Commission records, Fox News Digital reported that Fair Fight disbursed over $120,000 to Darius Faulk, Fields' sister, for training services since August 2021. Faulk reportedly has virtually no political experience, having worked as the director of operations and recently as assistant coach for Hofstra University's women's basketball program.

In a December 12, 2019, Voyage Atlanta interview, Fields named a number of close friends, two of whom, namely Asa Fludd and Cruz Alvarado, have both received tens of thousands of dollars from Fair Fight PAC.

Fludd received $29,800 in training consulting payments from the PAC since 2021. Alvarado collected $29,000. Neither have a background in politics. The former has worked in computer systems training and the latter in the event industry.

While Fox News Digital indicated the amount paid by the PAC to these three individuals was over $178,000, CNN's review of the FEC filings from this and the previous election cycles suggest the figure may be closer to $250,000.

According to Open Secrets, in the 2021-2022 election cycle, Fair Fight raised $24.4 million and spent $43.5 million.


On October 14, Republican Gov. Brian Kemp tweeted: "Stacey Abrams' group is using hundreds of thousands in political donations to make sure her friends are taken care of while families struggle with 40-year-high inflation."

\u201cStacey Abrams\u2019 group is using hundreds of thousands in political donations to make sure her friends are taken care of while families struggle with 40-year-high inflation. Georgians deserve someone who will fight for them. That\u2019s what I\u2019ll continue to do.\u201d
— Brian Kemp (@Brian Kemp) 1665787321

Kemp's press secretary Tate Mitchell stated on Friday that "After facing a resounding defeat in court over false claims of voter suppression that Stacey Abrams used to deny the results of the 2018 election, Abrams' favorite slush fund has been caught red-handed funneling hundreds of thousands in salary to family and friends who have no connection to the organization’s stated purpose."

Mitchell's mention of Abrams' "resounding defeat in court" was a reference to Fair Fight Action's lawsuit, which alleged Georgia had "grossly mismanaged" the election. On September 30, U.S. District Judge Steve Jones in Atlanta rejected that lawsuit, stating that "the challenged practices violate neither the constitution nor the [Voting Rights Act of 1965]."

Mitchell added: "While hardworking Georgians struggle to make ends meet thanks to the Democrat-created economic crisis, Abrams is using her political groups and the millions at their disposal to line the pockets of her pals."

These questionable payments will likely be raised on Monday, when Kemp and Abrams take the stage for their first televised debate of the election at the Atlanta Press Club.

Mitchell has intimated that among the achievements Kemp may highlight in the debate will be how he "refunded over $1 billion to Georgia taxpayers, signed the largest state income tax cut in Georgia history, and suspended the state's gas tax to provide economic relief to Georgians facing 40-year-high inflation and skyrocketing gas prices under the Biden administration."

AZ Central indicated Abrams will likely discuss her plans to address Georgia's housing crisis, her affinity for abortion, and her opposition to constitutional carry.

An October 10/11 poll from the Trafalgar Group puts Kemp 9 points ahead of Abrams. The Hill/Emerson poll has Abrams trailing by 5 points.

Herschel Walker calls out race-baiting Democrats in ad calling America a 'great country full of generous people'

Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker released an ad Wednesday accusing the Democratic Party of using racial issues to divide Americans.

The 30-second ad quotes Democratic politicians including President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, and incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), contrasting their statements that America is racist with Walker's belief that America is a "great country full of generous people."

\u201c\ud83d\udea8\ud83d\udea8\ud83d\udea8 new @HerschelWalker TV ad!\n\n"Raphael Warnock believes that America is a bad country full of racist people, I believe that we're a great country full of generous people.\u201d #gapol\u201d
— Mallory Blount (@Mallory Blount) 1662550529

"Democrats use race to divide us," the ad begins. It then shows a highlight reel of Democratic Party figures making various comments about race in America.

Abrams is quoted criticizing the Georgia election reforms supported by Republicans as "racist" legislation that is "a redux of Jim Crow in a suit and tie."

Harris is quoted saying, "America has a long history of systemic racism." The quote is taken from remarks she gave after police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of the murder of George Floyd.

It also refers to Joe Biden's widely criticized comment from 2020 in which he told Charlamagne tha God, "if you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, then you ain't black."

Finally, it quote's Walker's opponent Raphael Warnock saying, "America has a preexisting condition. It's called racism."

Then Walker addresses viewers directly with a simple message: "Senator Warnock believes America is a bad country, full of racist people. I believe we're a great country, full of generous people."

"Warnock wants to divide us. I want to bring us together," Walker says.

The ad comes as horse race polls show a tight contest between Walker and Warnock, who won a Senate seat in a special election in 2020. A recent poll from Emerson College has the Republican candidate leading the Democratic Senator 46%-44%, a much closer race than in April when Warnock led Walker 49%-45%. The Senate election is rated a "toss-up" by the Cook Political Report.

With the midterm election just two months away, Warnock has attacked Walker for appearing hesitant to debate him. The Democrat released an ad earlier this week calling for Walker to "quit the games" and "agree to debates."

There's A Catch - Warnock for Georgia

Walker responded on Wednesday, offering to have a "fair debate" in Savannah on Oct. 14.

" I don’t care what the topics are. It’s a fair debate. Open to the public. Televised statewide. And it’s not run by your donors. You in? Let’s do this for the people," Walker tweeted.

\u201cLet\u2019s lock down Savannah Oct 14th, Senator. I don\u2019t care what the topics are. It\u2019s a fair debate. Open to the public. Televised statewide. And it\u2019s not run by your donors. You in? Let\u2019s do this for the people.\u201d
— Herschel Walker (@Herschel Walker) 1662552993

But the Warnock campaign has said Walker must agree to a second debate next month before Warnock will meet Walker in Savannah, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“It’s time for Herschel Walker to stop playing games,” Warnock campaign manager Quentin Fulks said. “The job of a U.S. senator isn’t one where you know the topics ahead of time or get a cheat sheet, and Herschel Walker shouldn’t need one to find the courage to walk on a debate stage.”

A sticking point in the debate negotiations has been whether the candidates will receive the topics in advance and whether there will be a live audience. Walker prefers to have the topics in advance and doesn't want an audience.

Both candidates have been invited to participate in at least three debates hosted by WTOC in Savannah, Mercer University in Macon and the Atlanta Press Club. Warnock has agreed to appear in all three but Walker only accepted an invitation to a fourth debate hosted by WSAV in Savannah on Oct. 14.

Warnock will face Libertarian candidate Chase Oliver at the Mercer University debate on Oct. 13 and the Atlanta Press Club debate on Oct. 16. Both events will move forward with or without Walker.

Walker, a former University of Georgia running back and NFL star, skipped the GOP debates in the primary campaign, saying at the time he wanted to focus on defeating Warnock in the general.

Babies in utero now qualify as dependents on tax returns in Georgia

On August 1, the Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR) issued guidance pertaining to House Bill 481, the Living Infants and Fairness Equality (LIFE) Act. The objective of this document was to clarify Georgian tax law after the Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization and the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Sistersong v. Kemp.

After having delayed its deliberations on the state’s pro-life law in 2021 to await the Supreme Court’s conclusions, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on July 20 that — in the words of Chief Judge William Pryor — the Dobbs ruling “makes clear that no right to abortion exists under the Constitution, so Georgia may prohibit them.”

Consequently, Georgia's law now recognizes the unborn child as a "natural person." This, of course, has wide-ranging implications, one of them pertaining to taxation.

According to the Georgia DOR's guidance, the “Department will recognize any unborn child with a detectable human heartbeat ... as eligible for the Georgia individual tax dependent exemption.” Taxpayers can now claim an exemption in the amount of $3,000 per unborn child.

As reported in The Hill, a child qualifies for this tax exemption as soon as their heartbeat can be detected. An Oxford study published in the journal eLife suggests that this can be as early as 16 days after conception. Under Section 8 of House Bill 481 and in the DOR’s guidance document, it is suggested that a human fetal heartbeat “may occur as early as six weeks’ gestation.” Early detection often depends upon the ultrasound method and technology used.

The deduction will require claimants to provide the Department with “relevant medical records or other supporting documentation” upon request.

One liberal law professor from Georgetown suggested that this may benefit married parents but exclude absentee fathers, men uncertain about their genetic involvement in the pregnancy, and those relying upon surrogates.

\u201cNew guidance seems to indicate anyone who can claim parentage to an embryo can get a tax break(?). Easy for opposite-sex married parents\u2026 but what about a father who has no relationship to mom? What if paternity is uncertain? What about surrogacy? #gapol\u201d
— Anthony Michael Kreis (@Anthony Michael Kreis) 1659380537

Vanity Fair's Bess Levin called the announcement "terrifying," though conceded the tax exemptions "could be helpful to low-income people who want to be pregnant."

Suggesting that a blastocyst would qualify despite not having a heartbeat, Kansas Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate cited Georgia's new tax exemption as cause to vote against Kansas' proposed Amendment 2, which would ban abortion in the state.

\u201cWhy we are voting No today.\n\nGeorgia\u2019s tax department has announced that this blastocyst can be claimed as a tax dependent & has more rights than the full grown woman. This after an appeals court ruled to redefine 'natural person' to include the unborn.\n\u201d
— Mark Holland For Kansas (@Mark Holland For Kansas) 1659465197

Georgia bill would keep sex and gender ideology out of grade schools — and ban critical race theory, too

Lawmakers in Georgia have introduced anti-critical race theory legislation that would incorporate parts of Florida's "parental rights in education" bill for a double-whammy school bill that is infuriating progressives.

The "Common Humanity in Private Education Act" introduced in the state Senate would prohibit schools from teaching "that any sex, race, ethnicity, color, or natural origin is inherently superior or inferior," adopting language similar to other Republican-backed bills that have taken aim at critical race theory. The bill also prohibits teaching that anyone is "inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously," and bans classroom exercises that "segregate students" by race (a junior high school in New York City sparked controversy for one such exercise).

But the bill would go further than banning critical race theory. It also aims to "deter developmentally inappropriate classroom discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation" for primary school students — that is, children in kindergarten through 6th grade, generally ages 5 to 12.

Similar legislation in Florida was inaccurately labeled the "Don't Say Gay" bill by LGBTQ+ activists and critics who asserted it is hateful and discriminatory to restrict discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity to higher grade levels. A spokeswoman for Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who supports the parental rights bill, said the bill "would be more accurately described as an Anti-Grooming Bill" and controversially said, tongue-in-cheek, "if you’re against the Anti-Grooming Bill, you are probably a groomer or at least you don’t denounce the grooming of 4-8 year old children. Silence is complicity. This is how it works, Democrats, and I didn't make the rules."

The Georgia bill states that some schools "have inappropriately discussed gender identity with children who have not yet reached the age of discretion."

It also argues that "curricula and programs based in critical theory" have compelled "students to adopt language and attitudes that promote racial division and discrimination."

Critics pounced on the legislation, sounding the alarm and inaccurately calling it Georgia's version of the "Don't Say Gay bill."

Anthony Michael Kreis, a law professor at Georgia State University, blasted the bill as "a profoundly hateful piece of legislation that will harm Georgia's children, chill speech, and will be used as a cudgel to attack LGBTQ people and their supporters as pedophiles."

Illiberalism and anti-LGBTQ propaganda are the tools of despots and autocrats. Legislation like "don't say gay" bills has no place in Georgia, in American, or any health democracy. #gapol
— Anthony Michael Kreis \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8\ud83e\udd1d\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6 (@Anthony Michael Kreis \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8\ud83e\udd1d\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6) 1646834641

Reporters such as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Maya Prabhu have noted that the education bill is unlikely to advance in the Georgia Senate because the state Senate's Education and Youth Committee is not scheduled to meet until Thursday, while Wednesday is the deadline to get the bill out of committee.

Mathematically, this bill can't go anywhere. Today's the last day to get out of committee and Education and Youth is not scheduled today.\n\nBut, there are always ways. Summers could try to amend it into another bill. My understanding is there's no interest in passing this. #gapol\u00a0\u2026
— Maya T. Prabhu (@Maya T. Prabhu) 1646842551

"This measure is going nowhere fast in the Capitol this year," Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Greg Bluestein wrote on Twitter. "But it also makes a statement when 10 GOP senators — including candidates for statewide office — sign on. Expect to hear it on the campaign trail — and possibly pave the way for debate next year."

Democrat Stacey Abrams announces another bid for the Georgia governorship

Stacey Abrams, a Democrat who lost the 2018 Georgia governor's race to Republican Brian Kemp, has announced another gubernatorial bid in the Peach State.

"I’m running for Governor because opportunity in our state shouldn’t be determined by zip code, background or access to power," Abrams tweeted.

I\u2019m running for Governor because opportunity in our state shouldn\u2019t be determined by zip code, background or access to power. #gapol\n\nBe a founding donor to my campaign:\n\u00a0\
— Stacey Abrams (@Stacey Abrams) 1638390049

The former member of the Georgia House of Representatives lost the 2018 contest to Kemp by a margin of less than 1.4 percentage points, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

If Kemp manages to secure the GOP nomination, and Abrams locks up the Democratic nomination, the two could face off once again during the state's 2022 gubernatorial contest.

While Trump campaigned for Kemp in 2018, according to the Associated Press, he has become a vociferous critic of the current governor, which could prove problematic for Kemp as he heads into the GOP primary contest. Trump has said that he will campaign against Kemp.

A victory for Abrams would be historic, as she would become the state's first black governor and the first black female elected governor in American history, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Joe Biden won the state during the 2020 presidential contest, marking the first time a Democrat took the Peach State during a presidential election since 1992.

Then in January of 2021, Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock won U.S. Senate election runoffs in the state. Warnock, who won a special election runoff, is up for re-election in 2022.

"With Stacey Abrams in control, Georgia would have shut down, students would have been barred from their classrooms, and woke politics would be the law of the land and the lesson plan in our schools," Gov. Kemp tweeted. "Next November’s election for Governor is a battle for the soul of our state. I’m in the fight against Stacey Abrams, the failed Biden agenda, and their woke allies to keep Georgia the best place to live, work, and raise a family."

Her far-left agenda of open borders, gun confiscation, high taxes, and anti-law enforcement policies don\u2019t reflect who we are as Georgians.
— Brian Kemp (@Brian Kemp) 1638390606