The February shooting also increased interest in the state’s more than 150-year-old citizen’s arrest law.

State law allows any Georgian who believes he has witnessed a crime to arrest a suspect in the crime if it “is committed in his presence or within his immediate knowledge.” If the crime is a felony and the person suspected of committing it is trying to flee, Georgians are allowed to arrest that person “upon reasonable and probable grounds of suspicion.”

Mazie Lynn Causey, general counsel for the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, told senators Tuesday that the citizen’s arrest law is rooted in slavery.

“When Georgia’s law was first codified in 1863, it was a means to capture fleeing slaves,” she said. “The current law … remains unchanged since 1868.”

State Rep. Chuck Efstration, a Dacula Republican, held hearings over the summer to examine the law and said in October that he planned to file legislation that would repeal the statute.

Cowsert also said he is open to clarifying and strengthening the state’s ban on “no-knock warrants” — which spare law enforcement officers from having to announce themselves when they perform a search warrant.

Pete Skandalakis, executive director of the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia, told senators that officers rarely use the warrants, but in instances when they do, they make headlines — such as in the 2006 death of Kathryn Johnston, a 92-year-old Atlanta woman who was killed when police conducted an illegal raid of her home.

Calling it a “tool of tyranny,” attorney Catherine Bernard said a no-knock warrant is “unreasonable and dangerous.”

“Anytime you have government agents breaking into someone’s home, it’s a big deal,” she said.

Current state law does not allow — or acknowledge — no-knock warrants, but police cite case law to obtain them for searches.

“It’s a little troublesome that there’s no provision in Georgia law that really allows those, but they have begun to be used and in many times (with) disastrous consequences,” Cowsert said. “It may be that we either need to specify that under no circumstances will they be permitted or set forth what circumstances that they can be used.”

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","firstName":"Mark","lastName":"Niesse","longBio":"Mark Niesse has covered voting rights, elections and Georgia government for the AJC since 2017. nHe previously covered DeKalb County corruption investigations and the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal for the AJC since 2013.nHe previously worked for The Associated Press in Atlanta, Honolulu and Montgomery, Ala. 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He also falsely claimed he “won the general election” even though he did not, falling short of the majority-vote mark needed to avoid a runoff.","_id":"YSFJBSSU3FFIRLC5KTFXQABIIM","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610130689929,"content":"His concession to Ossoff came a day after U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler also acknowledged her defeat and congratulated Democrat Raphael Warnock for winning their runoff. It paves the way for both Democrats to be sworn in this month without the specter of legal challenges or calls for recounts.","_id":"LBFCO6VEQBEHXGGVBX7A646FBQ","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610130689930,"content":"Ossoff and Warnock flipped control of the U.S. Senate with their stunning victories, which made them the first Georgia Democrats to capture statewide office since 2006. It came nine weeks after another landmark win, with Georgia voting Democratic in a presidential election for the first time since 1992.","_id":"TTGMYNNAKJBWBLOSZSCOKS236Q","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610130689931,"content":"Warnock is set to become the first Black senator in Georgia history while Ossoff will become the state’s first Jewish senator.","_id":"Q62G3EAM4ZBV5I6ICJHGZDDVFU","type":"interstitial_link","additional_properties":"_id":"FBXEFKFJUZATHEWK2JFMQFNOUM","comments":[],"url":"https://www.ajc.com/politics/no-doubt-about-it-democratic-runoff-wins-cement-georgia-as-swing-state/DVHG6M7YRFHEBMITYBUHGKMFOI/","content":"With Ossoff victory, Democrats cement Georgia as swing state","_id":"PUENAYWCBVE23GUUXJMO5WMXRI","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610135210529,"content":"More than 4.4 million people voted in the runoffs, which attracted intense national attention because of the high stakes of the races. Warnock won by about 85,000 votes — roughly 2 percentage points — and Ossoff was up by roughly 45,000.","_id":"FNGJM7GHL5CHZE3P2C7X5QLJXU","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610130689933,"content":"National outlets projected both Ossoff and Warnock to win on Wednesday, and a day later Loeffler posted a video congratulating her opponent. But Perdue’s campaign pointed to an earlier statement promising to “mobilize every available resource and exhaust every legal recourse” for his campaign.","_id":"VECUYDBFIBGMZF2J2KSEH5TKLU","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610130689934,"content":"He conceded after election returns showed Ossoff with a widening advantage — and no path among outstanding ballots for the Republican to overtake his opponent. Ossoff’s campaign said Perdue didn’t call to deliver the news; instead it learned of the concession from news reports.","_id":"FFYQWSTUK5AIRDBMTHOXYSMNBE","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610130689935,"content":"A former Fortune 500 chief executive, Perdue launched his reelection campaign with formidable advantages: an enormous campaign war chest, widespread support from the party’s base, an alliance with President Donald Trump and a powerful political network. He narrowly avoided winning the November election outright, finishing about 88,000 votes ahead of Ossoff.","_id":"NULVCS6RPRG75EUUIMZN7JERVI","type":"interstitial_link","additional_properties":"_id":"JGAFP7MN7RC4ZEG7UGYUBRYVAY","comments":[],"url":"https://www.ajc.com/politics/when-can-ossoff-and-warnock-be-sworn-in-after-georgia-senate-runoffs/PAYAJGFMCBCDZNDGGZFFQQGV2E/","content":"When can Ossoff and Warnock be sworn in after Georgia Senate runoffs?","_id":"NQ6IANXKSBHBHF7RFILLBBZUEI","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610135210534,"content":"But he was undone by Ossoff in the nine-week runoff. From the outset, Ossoff focused his campaign on the anti-corruption work of his investigative journalism firm, and his criticism of Perdue dovetailed into reports of the Republican’s well-timed stock trades.","_id":"BQ6AMDENMJFHXJSUZO4L3ZJVV4","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610130689937,"content":"Ossoff and Warnock, running as a joint ticket, also reenergized the party’s Black base, which returned to the polls in record numbers for a runoff. The continued liberal tilt of the Atlanta suburbs cemented their victories."],"created_date":"2021-01-08T18:29:02.749Z","revision":"revision_id":"SZEDM3SV6FDEXKENQVZSGS4UOI","parent_id":"KZRMMM674ZHEFLNKRHOAIE7FOE","editions":["default"],"branch":"default","user_id":"[email protected]","published":true,"last_updated_date":"2021-01-08T22:32:47.812Z","canonical_url":"/politics/david-perdue-concedes-to-jon-ossoff-ending-georgia-senate-runoffs/JLHHQVA6FZC7TPT3VJVCH4GZWM/","headlines":"basic":"David Perdue concedes to Jon Ossoff, ending Georgia Senate runoffs","mobile":"","native":"","print":"","tablet":"","web":"","meta_title":"","owner":"sponsored":false,"id":"ajc","content_restrictions":"content_code":"premium","address":,"workflow":"status_code":1,"subheadlines":"basic":"Loeffler previously conceded","description":"basic":"Republican David Perdue conceded to Democrat Jon Ossoff on Friday, ending Georgia’s runoffs for control of the U.S. Senate days after his campaign floated potential 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The RAGA works to coordinate conservative legal strategies at the state level, while the RLDF is charged with electing Republicans to the powerful state-level posts.","_id":"R3GNXZEOPJEFZHL3XBD4RPH5B4","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610125433733,"content":"On Wednesday, the RLDF was also listed as one of several sponsors of the “Save America” rally, where the president instructed tens of thousands of supporters on the national mall to “stop the steal” of the November election. He then told them to go to the Capitol.","_id":"YS7DFFRUBRG37KNC6AU57EH6A4","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610143323630,"content":"State officials and Trump’s own attorney general have reported that no widespread voter fraud has been detected and courts have repeatedly shot down attempts to overturn Biden’s victory.","_id":"FLNJK6VJGJHA3H6Q6QVVNXBNKY","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610143323631,"content":"In a statement, the executive director of RAGA said the group did not sponsor the rally and that RLDF staff made the decision to support the event where Trump falsely insisted that he had won “by a landslide,” including in Georgia.","_id":"3DLHQR5LMJD63AQPKQPKT5AIQQ","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610125433735,"content":"“The Republican Attorneys General Association and Rule of Law Defense Fund had no involvement in the planning, sponsoring or the organization of Wednesday’s event,” Adam Piper said. “No Republican AG authorized the staff’s decision to amplify a colleague speaking at the event. Organizationally and individually, we strongly condemn and disavow the events which occurred.”","_id":"VDRJF3NFKBB45EAU2LFUJWSU2M","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610125433736,"content":"Several requests for comment about the robocalls went unanswered.","_id":"OVFTSGQBVNEHTMCRFHFUJKHGQM","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610125433737,"content":"In his hourlong speech at the rally Wednesday in the shadow of the Capitol, Trump raged against Georgia’s election results and ripped into Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger for their refusal to overturn the outcome.","_id":"GX7B7OKTJZFYDMG7K5U3N4NCQA","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610125433738,"content":"“They defrauded us out of a win in Georgia, and we’re not going to take it,” Trump said, adding later of Kemp and Raffensperger: “These people are crooked. They’re 100% in my opinion, one of the most corrupt. Between your governor and your secretary of state.”","_id":"727UL2L2I5GPLBZLIBBYOCRD6I","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610125433739,"content":"In Carr’s role as Georgia’s attorney general, it has been his job to defend Georgia’s elections against court challenges.","_id":"ISV7QVMR55BLXL6VIRR4H6M72Q","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610125433740,"content":"The liberal investigative watchdog group Documented first reported the RLDF’s connection to Wednesday’s events.","_id":"AL4PQGMCIBBY7JQ465ADKMY4DY","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610125433741,"content":"The “Save America” rally brought tens of thousands of Trump supporters to Washington looking to overturn the 2020 election, which the president has repeatedly and wrongly claimed was fraudulent.","_id":"KKXDVTPGYBDUNIGS4NN3GG2YWM","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610125433742,"content":"After the president’s remarks, supporters from the rally marched toward the Capitol at the president’s encouragement. Once there, more than 1,000 broke through barricades, clashed with U.S. Capitol Police, and ransacked the building, the seat of the U.S. government.","_id":"X732JHDK3JDIZKZLAUBNC66WGA","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610125433744,"content":"The mayhem temporarily stopped the process of certifying the election for Biden and sent members of Congress, staff and the media into lockdown.","_id":"5XSXLG7NIRDXFOW2ZNWABWJU6U","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610125433745,"content":"Five people died as a result of the melee, including a Capitol Police officer.","_id":"Y4ZI3XZVTRAUVKAXTCGH35BWQQ","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610125433746,"content":"Carr released a statement Wednesday condemning the violence.","_id":"D3DS5QLBHZB4FJ75UCJMFOAOF4","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610125433747,"content":"On Friday, his spokeswoman added: “The stance of the protesters was not consistent with Attorney General Carr’s position on election fraud. And, as he has been saying since moments after seeing news break, the violence and destruction we saw at the U.S. Capitol is unacceptable and un-American. He believes any individual involved in the violence should be held accountable and prosecuted.”","_id":"Z7DETSIYGRHOVDJ5UHVJRTVESQ","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610125433729,"content":"
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Conservative groups and religious organizations oppose expanding any form of gambling because they find it immoral and an addictive habit that breeds crime.","_id":"JH5Y5XD5MBAWBKV2DOUBYEUAVQ","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1608851543565,"content":"“We have been able to defeat any expansion of gambling for six straight years,” said Mike Griffin, a lobbyist with the Georgia Baptist Mission Board. “I know that the gambling industry is wanting to expand in Georgia, but the detriment of doing so far exceed the benefits.”","_id":"LYZS63LIIJHXVJAOQDOWULLKA4","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610056917057,"content":"State Rep. Wes Cantrell, a Woodstock Republican and a pastor, has been an outspoken opponent of expanding gambling in Georgia. In addition to causing issues with addiction and increased crime, Cantrell said casinos, specifically, have a negative impact on the economy.","_id":"B44LHUGLQZHDXLREMI7DLNVTRA","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610056917058,"content":"“Casinos bring in entertainment, which is subsidized by their gambling revenue, making it difficult for existing (entertainment) venues to compete,” Cantrell said, adding that establishments such as the Fox Theatre and the Woodruff Arts Center oppose allowing casinos in Georgia. “It’s not a level playing field. Do we really want to see some of Georgia’s iconic entertainment venues shut down?”","_id":"YUDJYRJBIFBE3DSXHRNQ57XR4I","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1608851543564,"content":"While some lawmakers say they want the money to help pay for in-state tuition, others want dollars raised by expanded gambling to be dedicated to the state’s health care system. Legislators would have to reach an agreement before the bill could advance.","_id":"62O5CXWS5JEY5JNUAHAGZNABGQ","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1608851543566,"content":"Adding horse racing or casino gambling would require Georgians to approve a constitutional amendment allowing the expansion. And the Legislature’s lawyers have encouraged lawmakers to pursue a constitutional amendment to legalize sports betting if they want that.","_id":"P43IT7E7QVBIZHLUM2VRALK6L4","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1608851543567,"content":"But House Tourism and Economic Development Chairman Ron Stephens, a Savannah Republican, said it’s possible to pass a sports betting bill without a constitutional amendment. He said he intends to file three pieces of legislation on gambling — a bill that would legalize sports betting and separate resolutions that would require the state constitution be amended to allow horse racing and casino gambling.","_id":"73CZ3SVCYZGUFHVZ62WPDQI7JU","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1608851543568,"content":"That difference is important. A bill only requires that more than half of each chamber support a measure to make it to the governor’s desk. Constitutional amendments need two-thirds of each chamber to clear the General Assembly — a tall ask from the Legislature — and then a majority vote in an election.","_id":"JIZF3CGFRVEBZO5ENBX7QPCFYE","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1608851543569,"content":"“We’ve gotten some opinions from the people that write our bills that sports betting doesn’t require a constitutional amendment, and it’s something people are doing in Georgia already,” Stephens said.","_id":"6ZWOTSX3DRDQJE4E4XZJD6OFWE","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1609881938494,"content":"Right now, Georgians can pull up a sports betting website or app on their cellphone and place bets on sports teams — most likely using overseas servers and skirting Georgia’s laws making the practice illegal.","_id":"NIMDQHQTKFGVHDH5B7Y5DJSILI","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1609881938495,"content":"Experts have said sports betting is an industry that’s best paired with other gambling options. It’s not as profitable as other forms of gaming because it pays out a lot of money to the winners. Over 30 years of legalized sports betting in Las Vegas, for example, the industry accounts for 2.5% of the gaming revenue generated for the state.","_id":"R3IYLS6GHNAKFFLNQBKFL6VM2U","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610142744996,"content":"Billy Linville, a lobbyist with the Georgia Professional Sports Integrity Alliance, a coalition of four of Atlanta’s professional sports teams, said the organization is confident the Legislature will pass sports betting legislation this year.","_id":"2W3YNJK2XRGKVBRWUU7U5C4P24","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1608851543571,"content":"“A new state law with strict regulatory requirements will bring significant new revenue to the state, strengthen HOPE scholarships and protect the integrity of professional sports, a multibillion (dollar) industry in Georgia,” Linville said.","_id":"WRBMRTDIMBGNNP4OG7EL6RB53A","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1609804043493,"content":"A step could be taken toward expanded gambling through changes to the way Georgia Lottery-run coin-operated amusement machines are regulated, where a Senate panel earlier this year supported a lottery pilot program that offers winnings through gift cards. The video gambling machines can be found at gas stations and restaurants across the state.","_id":"KPD2KPDHO5ASLPASKOPITGSGPE","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1608851543573,"content":"And sports betting supporters say there’s a way to integrate wagering on games into the existing video gambling system.","_id":"QPI574XZJZFNRARMIJGT7MVKYE","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1608851543574,"content":"“It would be just another game that the lottery controls,” Stephens said.","_id":"AJAVL7RF6JBOHCFPU3MHC3AZYY","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1608851543575,"content":"That doesn’t mean Stephens has given up on casinos — or as he likes to call them, destination resorts. And neither have casino developers.","_id":"CTMUJE4ULNGGZDSI5HLXTONHLI","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1609175112964,"content":"“We believe a gaming resort in Atlanta would be a significant generator of tourism and will generate much-needed tax revenue for the state of Georgia,” Wynn Development President Chris Gordon said. “Consequently, we support legislative efforts to allow a gaming resort and legalized sports betting, which of course will ultimately be decided by the people of Georgia.”","_id":"TEX3XTJVVFE4ZFWS4T2L577IN4","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1608851543576,"content":"Commercial real estate broker Rich Lackey said owners have held land in their families for generations waiting for a use to come along that would make selling or developing the land worth it.","_id":"MCVO7CL2MBF2RP2MTJ6DXPF3PA","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1608851543577,"content":"“Casinos will pay more money than anyone will ever pay for their property,” he said. “At the same time, these people are pillars of their communities, so the development needs to be beneficial to the community. Any of these casinos come with 3,000 to 5,000 jobs created — at the facility itself and with jobs downstream (such as) slot machine repairs and technology.”","_id":"RZH54JO5F5BZRIKAEEWZHE73WM","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1608851543578,"content":"Powell said after all these years of discussion it was well time for Georgia voters to weigh in on the issue.","_id":"7FIIVPJY2ZAQFDW3SLNXUBULSI","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1608851543579,"content":"“I’ve done my job,” he said. “I’ve learned about it — maybe more than I ever need to know about it. 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The former two-term Georgia governor has kept his cabinet post until the end, maintaining a close relationship with his mercurial boss while Trump cycled through dozens of other advisers.","_id":"4Q4QHLL52VAWTL4ZUC4LBZMO3U","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610114268923,"content":"As the final days of Donald Trump’s presidency descended into chaos after Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol to try to prevent Joe Biden from taking office, and some cabinet officials resigned in protest, it seems likely Perdue will be with him until the end.","_id":"7UK6LP5QHFEXTDHDPMMZNOF33Y","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610114268924,"content":"Perdue gets high marks from local farmers for being a powerful advocate in Washington. Agriculture is Georgia’s largest industry, with an estimated $75 billion impact on the state’s economy, from peanuts to broiler chickens and pecans to cotton. 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To his critics, Perdue was a yes man who muffled climate science studies, triggered an exodus of researchers and tried to kick low-income Americans off food stamps.","_id":"V3D255E5VFCHHNMOA4LV7YKPRQ","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1609723432789,"content":"“He’ll be remembered again and again for sidelining science, playing political games,” said Karen Perry Stillerman of the nonprofit Union of Concerned Scientists.","_id":"US4XF5LWA5GBRPLPAP2DQJW5IU","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1609769535493,"content":"Perdue didn’t escape the ethics scandals that hit Trump’s cabinet. 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The cousins are close, helming a political machine that for years has been the envy of Georgia political circles. Sonny bunked with David when he was first being vetted to join Trump’s cabinet in 2017.","_id":"IGDX7NN7JZGPZDEWIB4TVMYRYE","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610058189740,"content":"Sonny said he was in Georgia as the U.S. Capitol was overrun. He told an Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter he was “saddened” by Wednesday’s violence, but demurred Thursday when asked if Trump incited the crowds, saying he hadn’t read the president’s tweets. The same day, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos resigned in protest over Trump’s role.","_id":"6CUZ3POFMFFFBMFIZVTMQVB6CU","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610058189741,"content":"After Biden is inaugurated Jan. 20, Perdue said he’ll move back to Georgia and that he and his wife’s “primary constituency” will be their 14 grandchildren.","_id":"QAMWV3B3K5DMPMGBE3FTG3TAME","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610058189742,"content":"“We have a new president and we are going to bind together as Georgians, as Americans, and continue to make this country great,” said Perdue, who is 74 years old.","_id":"TMESQXP7WRD6NCOOGCAHHCPS5I","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610058189743,"content":"‘Sonny teaches me’","_id":"TQCCUIIA7JEHVDIRFAM3FQPYLM","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610058189744,"content":"Trump told thousands of rapturous farmers in a New Orleans convention hall in 2019 who his go-to guy was when shaping farm policy.","_id":"ILWPJJTBJVEO3IPM7O45CZMF5A","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1609947708160,"content":"“I know a lot about the farming world,” Trump told American Farm Bureau Federation members. “And, if I don’t, Sonny teaches me.”","_id":"DSA7JFADPNAO5I2KTAMGIRCID4","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610119369914,"content":"Perdue was at his good ol’ boy best in crowds, often arriving in an RV. In his first 25 months on the job he visited all 50 states, touring nearly 100 farms and holding nearly 200 townhall discussions.","_id":"OZGUBJ4ID5BRNNXCRV5VOADHVY","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610119369915,"content":"“While there are sectors of agriculture that don’t like certain administrative policies, I think his accessibility has been good out in the country,” said Dan Glickman, who served as former President Bill Clinton’s agriculture chief from 1995 to 2001 and briefly worked with Perdue at the Bipartisan Policy Center.","_id":"SAUZV2P36VGHDCMH7KDXYI7YDU","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610038786868,"content":"A longtime free trader, Perdue helped persuade Trump to not immediately withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement on one of his first days on the job. He knew the withdrawal would hurt farmers in regions that had heavily voted for Trump, and made his case by bringing a map to the White House and spreading it out.","_id":"N4H3ZGJIFVGO5EP7F4SY7V6BEE","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610068134339,"content":"“These are the people you are going to hurt,” Perdue said he told Trump.","_id":"3JEFEOQLZZAUTKPD7O5BR22BAI","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610058189747,"content":"He also used his personal clout to get Trump to endorse Brian Kemp as the Republican nominee for Georgia governor in 2018. “I did that for Sonny Perdue,” Trump would tell reporters, though Trump later rued that decision, sharply criticizing Kemp for not overturning the state’s November election results in his favor.","_id":"MHMGUQS2DNFPDOD433YM4X7AJA","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610058189748,"content":"Perdue’s fingerprints were in lots of other places. He championed easing a clean water rule long maligned by Georgia farmers and land developers. He directed the Forest Service to expedite environmental reviews for applicants seeking logging, oil and gas, mineral extraction and grazing permits in national forests and grasslands. He reduced the number of USDA food safety inspectors stationed at pork plants, and allowed poultry and meat plants to run their slaughter lines at faster speeds.","_id":"UFYNAOEYM5GOJM5TOI6N5KEHMU","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610058189749,"content":"Within days of being sworn in, he set his sights on one of the signature achievements of former first lady Michelle Obama: nutritional standards for school lunches requiring cafeterias to increase fruit and vegetable offerings while cutting sodium, refined grains and trans fats to address obesity.","_id":"RAMMV4XJYVEX5B4STF5BSM6JY4","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1609769535453,"content":"Perdue relaxed those standards, criticizing them as a “nanny state” approach. “What kids were doing was throwing away those meals,” Perdue said in an interview Thursday. “It’s one of the best things I guess we did.”","_id":"TGU2UPZOORGH5P6T5NMXOTCZ24","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1609723432799,"content":"His critics saw it differently. “Just because children would rather eat heavily salted, processed foods at school doesn’t mean they should,” said Ken Cook of the Environmental Working Group.","_id":"H6DIE2JJENEN3H3HLLPGUAJ4IA","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610058189752,"content":"Perdue’s biggest task was defending Trump’s growing trade war with China — and reimbursing U.S. farmers for their export losses. The USDA ratcheted up direct federal payments to farmers from $11.5 billion in 2017 to a record $46.5 billion in 2020.","_id":"MWRULRUZ2BFCJKPX5O4J4HT7XA","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610058189753,"content":"More than a third of Georgia farm income last year came from federal payments, according to the University of Georgia. A nonpartisan federal report showed Georgia farmers received the highest average payment of any state.","_id":"OBZJXFLAQ5AUHPYXIOJ5NPYKQU","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610058189754,"content":"Perdue again defended Trump’s trade wars Thursday, saying China was manipulating American sellers. He acknowledged the disputes have been tough for farmers, but that farm prices are stabilizing and rising. “I think its because of the tariffs,” he said.","_id":"GXYKKZQCFFERXA3ISGJXRMVVVI","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610058189755,"content":"Mike Johanns, George W. Bush’s agriculture secretary, said Perdue dealt successfully with a generational farm crisis as exports to China dried up and COVID-19 disrupted immigrant workers and supply chains.","_id":"XS7RFYWIMRBGJAPN5YK3JXLJTI","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1609891674416,"content":"“I’d go so far to say if it wasn’t for Sonny, there would have been just a lot more desperate, financially strapped farmers and ranchers,” Johanns said.","_id":"DSWVCIU2P6KPTH3CF6XQ6YZKCE","additional_properties":"fullSizeResizeUrl":"/photo/resize/kncWsm1X743Ox9imYHWvJ2I0WJw=/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/DSWVCIU2P6KPTH3CF6XQ6YZKCE.jpg","galleries":[],"keywords":["politics","politicsajc","ga-","georgia-news-ajc","ga-government.ajc","alert"],"mime_type":"image/jpeg","originalName":"https://www.ajc.com//rw/Pub/p9/AJC/2018/04/03/Images/27336601048_c85bbc47f1_o.jpg","originalUrl":"https://cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/ajc/DSWVCIU2P6KPTH3CF6XQ6YZKCE.jpg","proxyUrl":"/photo/resize/kncWsm1X743Ox9imYHWvJ2I0WJw=/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/DSWVCIU2P6KPTH3CF6XQ6YZKCE.jpg","published":true,"resizeUrl":"http://thumbor-prod-us-east-1.photo.aws.arc.pub/kncWsm1X743Ox9imYHWvJ2I0WJw=/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/DSWVCIU2P6KPTH3CF6XQ6YZKCE.jpg","restricted":false,"takenOn":"2018-04-03T21:30:16Z","thumbnailResizeUrl":"/resizer/-Ksz0O0tHNqI6GHYQHl4jCglKnM=/300x0/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/DSWVCIU2P6KPTH3CF6XQ6YZKCE.jpg","version":0,"comments":[],"_id":"SPH62KY36FAJNLC4NU2G2MLAOQ","caption":"Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue speaks to students and faculty at Michigan State University's College of Agriculture and Natural Resources on April 3, 2018. USDA/Lance Cheung.","created_date":"2020-06-28T16:57:32Z","credits":,"distributor":"mode":"reference","reference_id":"8aec2b8c-455c-4816-903d-79fc8fdf8019","height":1080,"last_updated_date":"2020-06-28T16:57:32Z","licensable":false,"owner":"id":"ajc","source":"source_id":"32a19b52-3786-11e8-b91a-9b7b28b8684e","source_type":"other","additional_properties":"editor":"photo center","system":"Methode","subtitle":"Sonny Perdue","type":"image","url":"https://cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/ajc/DSWVCIU2P6KPTH3CF6XQ6YZKCE.jpg","version":"0.10.3","width":1620,"display_date":"2018-04-03T21:30:16Z","workflow":"status_code":4,"first_publish_date":"2018-04-03T21:30:16Z","publish_date":"2018-04-03T21:30:16Z","_id":"QQQKQYOECNCRFKUXU4LC6ZQ3BU","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1609891674447,"content":"The USDA also created a program last year to buy $8.6 billion in vegetables, dairy, fruits and meats to give to food banks, helping both farmers and the hungry as restaurants, key customers for crops, closed their doors with the arrival of the coronavirus.","_id":"B6QHLUIQVRFPRCD7PPZ5DSSL2U","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610058189758,"content":"At the same time, Perdue continued trying to tighten work requirements for food stamps, saying he wanted to steer recipients to “self sufficiency and self reliance.” Those efforts were stymied in the courts, but not before triggering the ire of Democrats and anti-hunger groups as unemployment spiked.","_id":"SFHW7MEPQRDNDMCJ24YTKR5NZA","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610058189759,"content":"Perdue also fought battles with scientists inside the USDA. Politico reported in 2018 the agency buried peer-reviewed research by its own scientists showing the effects of climate change on agriculture.","_id":"YHQVHJ46ZJFN3NG4Y2AHQ56MMI","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1609769535486,"content":"In what may be one of the most enduring parts of his legacy, Perdue decided the same year to relocate two USDA research branches from Washington to Kansas City. He argued the move would cut costs and bring government employees closer to farmers. Most quit — roughly two thirds, according to media reports — and led to a brain drain that some say could take years to fill.","_id":"UBK7PA5TGVEVHHEB2HD7E3ZLKU","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1609769535490,"content":"“That’s real knowledge that was lost,” said Joe Glauber, senior research fellow at the Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute and a former USDA chief economist.","_id":"7TTWD6GBGBEZ5GHVZLGDDPXDPQ","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610058189762,"content":"A ranking of the best federal agencies to work showed the Department of Agriculture 16th out of 17 large agencies in 2019. A bit less than 40% rated senior leadership effective.","_id":"C2QAYLZMWBEPHCTB2DZS44VZJ4","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610068134359,"content":"Perdue said Thursday he was surprised by the number of workers who quit, but that the move would save the department $300 million over 15 years, and that it is making headway recruiting a new generation of scientists.","_id":"WDIRX3YH3NGLBNMBGIIXWOGNSU","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610026560158,"content":"
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Lucy McBath was among the first lawmakers on Wednesday to urge the vice president and Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment as a measure to force the president to step aside instead of allowing him to finish out his term through Jan. 20.","_id":"AAL7XHFZINHQZASWXF27FH4Q3I","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610061787006,"content":"On Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer also endorsed that proposal, along with other Democrats. 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David Scott, agreed that Trump should be removed from office but did not specify how.","_id":"P67ZZP3T5VEB3IE4XIJHZVQMLY","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610061787011,"content":"“Yesterday I was terrified. Today I’m pissed,” said Williams, a Democrat from Atlanta, wrote on Twitter.","_id":"RMTTGUV3WVBAVJ4SWU5EGC4P54","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610061787012,"content":"Newly installed U.S. Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux of Suwanee was the only member of the Democratic delegation to support impeaching Trump for a second time. Both options could result in a president’s removal but usually require long deliberations, making it unlikely that Trump will face either in the next two weeks.","_id":"A44NA7T3E5CFZJP4XRVFGNXNZQ","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610061787013,"content":"Bourdeaux said starting the process of impeachment anew could send a message that Trump will be held accountable for spreading false and misleading information about the general election that helped incite protests.","_id":"7AM4TBUX3RC73NHSXXJSISUTHY","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610061787014,"content":"“Our words matter,” she said in a statement. “Actions have consequences. It has never been more urgent for my colleagues to uphold the pillars of our democracy and put an end to the conspiracy theories that fueled this insurrection attempt.”","_id":"YP4W7LMWIFDMXNEY4GPMG4FKOA","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610061787015,"content":"Some of the Republican members of the delegation spent Thursday explaining their votes during the joint session.","_id":"U4LNQEY2GZABXGD62M74KZYUGA","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610061787016,"content":"U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter of Pooler was one of six House members from Georgia, joining more than half of all House Republicans, who voted against accepting Arizona and Pennsylvania’s electoral votes for Biden. However, those objections were overruled by a bipartisan coalition in the House and Senate.","_id":"ADN5LTPTOFHSFGS22VZR7MJFL4","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610061787017,"content":"In a video posted on social media, Carter said the insurrection at the Capitol was unacceptable but that he stood behind his decision to challenge electoral votes from certain states.","_id":"XWR5O4SGBZDGRII2ETU7ZLQ2AQ","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610061787018,"content":"“The issue at hand here that we were debating, having civil debate with and that we should be having a debate with, had to do with the certification of the electors from the states,” Carter said. “Now that’s separate from storming the Capitol; that’s unacceptable.”","_id":"MV5XW7UE5BG5VOHHRA6V575YW4","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610061787019,"content":"U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, R-Greensboro, also explained himself after posting a picture Wednesday on Instagram that appeared to show him walking toward the House chamber ahead of the joint session. “This is our 1776 moment,” the caption said.","_id":"B4ZLFE7KOREYXDGZYJEQAKOCAI","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610062952572,"content":"A reporter shared a screenshot on Twitter, bringing attention to and condemnation of Hice’s post. By that time, the rally outside the Capitol had turned violent. Soon after, Hice deleted the picture.","_id":"SC7W73GOGFE3FORQMUHZRIGYNQ","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610062952573,"content":"His spokeswoman, Sarah Selip, said Thursday that the congressman did not intend for his photo to be misinterpreted as a consent of the insurrection.","_id":"23UHDRXCTJDRZE2ITHG3E62ZBI","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610062952574,"content":"“The 1776 post was our way of highlighting the electoral objection — we removed the post when we realized it could be misconstrued as supporting those acting violently yesterday and storming the Capitol,” Selip told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Both of which Rep. Hice strongly condemns.”","_id":"H4UZC5YWUVA7LOM2K5CLHCGJMA","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610062952575,"content":"Georgia U.S. Reps. Austin Scott and Drew Ferguson were among the Republicans who joined with Democrats to defeat the challenges to counting certain electoral votes for Biden.","_id":"3IKSWN2725EENANYSLODFZXZ6Q","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610062952576,"content":"Scott released a statement Thursday calling the riots at the Capitol “disgraceful.” He also defended the actions of the Capitol Police, who were overwhelmed and overtaken during Wednesday’s events.","_id":"R3ZZ6SL2SBFWZC6NCL5XUMEYJQ","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610062952577,"content":"The congressman from Tifton also said he stood by his decision to accept all Electoral College votes from states, saying there was no other choice if he wanted to uphold his oath of office.","_id":"5AVONZ4KKVDPDJT7KZ6YQCCRPE","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610062952578,"content":"“As I stated in a letter to House leadership on Tuesday, Congress does not have the constitutional authority to overturn a state’s electoral votes — nor does the vice president,” he said. “And I believe my decision to support the Electoral College fulfills my sworn oath to the Constitution.”","type":"oembed_response","subtype":"facebook-post","_id":"VGR6NZZPIZHQJNWGODRWIWMW4U","raw_oembed":"author_name":"Congressman Buddy Carter","author_url":"https://www.facebook.com/710012485784326","provider_url":"https://www.facebook.com","provider_name":"Facebook","html":"

n

I want to take a moment to share my thoughts about yesterday and explain why I objected to the certification of electoral votes last night.

Posted by Congressman Buddy Carter on Thursday, January 7, 2021

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Brian Kemp and his then opponent Stacey Abrams.","_id":"OE3MPPW3FBFXPFJNS2UBH4EL5A","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610057455562,"content":"The two faced off in a heated political battle that year, and several complaints alleging campaign misdeeds were filed.","_id":"PK2H7P4SUJFZTJ7U6LFVPZUPZY","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610055732463,"content":"Complaints were filed against Kemp alleging he had not listed the employers of those who contributed to his campaign, he inappropriately used his personal social media accounts to promote himself and that he was prohibited from receiving contributions from certain industries since he was the secretary of state at the time.","_id":"YPTLS6WTSJGANBNTDAQXAT6CNA","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610055732464,"content":"Abrams faced complaints from 2018 that her campaign reports were vague regarding refunded contributions while she served in the state Legislature and accused her of using campaign funds to promote a book she wrote.","_id":"2J6CDNNPHVEIJMXPFZGO5SQR5U","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610055732465,"content":"All were dismissed unanimously by the commission.","_id":"Z4RPCNVWHZHXFHBDDBJWUQTYXA","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610055732466,"content":"State law bars elected executive officers, such as then-Secretary of State Kemp, from accepting donations from anyone who is in a profession that the office regulates. The secretary of state’s office issues business licenses and certifications. However, since Kemp was running for governor, he was not subject to the law.","_id":"7DXBXL6EO5G57MBEPAH3SRPTEI","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610055732467,"content":"An attorney for Kemp said Kemp’s personal social media accounts were linked through the secretary of state’s website in 2013 — well before his campaign for governor began — and was not a campaign contribution of website use from the office. The complaint alleged that use of the personal account, which also promoted his campaign for governor, through a state website was illegal under campaign laws.","_id":"QVCHMMZE5FHH5IN6V3UYS3DKW4","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610055732468,"content":"A third complaint said the Kemp campaign didn’t include the employers of those who contributed to his run for governor. David Emadi, executive secretary of the state ethics commission, said Kemp’s campaign made several attempts to get that information from donors, so there was no violation.","_id":"B2O2ZIQ6XRARPEBOJK54UJ6JU4","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610055732469,"content":"Emadi said the commission informed Abrams that simply putting “reimbursement” on her campaign expense forms was too vague and it allowed her to update the reports, leading the commission to dismiss that charge.","_id":"FJ77YIKBE5CGVPBWWKX6OVOIPY","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610055732470,"content":"And commission staff said a complaint accusing Abrams of using her campaign to promote her book was purely based on a theory.","_id":"LLHLD5WDKBAOBCTQJWCKDOGSZY","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610055732471,"content":"“The complaint said this could be happening so could y’all investigate,” said Joe Cusack with the ethics commission. “It lacks evidence that any of this actually occurred.”","_id":"4INB4TXISZANNOPK4TCQCGABYM","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610055732472,"content":"
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He wrote in a letter to the state’s attorneys that there was a “settlement offer” for the state to produce more information, but there is no settlement, according to court records and Raffensperger.","_id":"P7L74TJBKZBITHENNWFGCXW35E","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610055881355,"content":"“I am pleased we were able to resolve all litigation disputes in this manner for the good of the party and the nation, GOD BLESS AMERICA,” Hilbert wrote in the letter attached to his court notice to dismiss the cases.","_id":"AAL6CJT7JNHEBL6EQ52T62IVKY","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610055881356,"content":"Two of the lawsuits, with Trump as the plaintiff, had sought to decertify Georgia’s election results. Another suit by Monroe County resident Paul Boland sought audits of voter registration rolls and a new election. 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In addition, a testing lab audited the software and firmware of Georgia’s voting equipment provided by Dominion Voting Systems.","_id":"KKQPSGJGCVETBIJR43CUY6QM7Q","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610031605446,"content":"Signature match: A settlement agreement in federal court protected Georgia’s absentee ballot signature verification laws rather than undermined them, Raffensperger wrote.","_id":"A6MJXFJWWZCGLD2SXKO3B7IQMU","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610031605447,"content":"After the Democratic Party had filed a lawsuit challenging Georgia’s signature verification process, the secretary of state’s office settled the case. The settlement advised county election officials to quickly contact voters when their absentee ballots are rejected, allowing them to correct problems and have their votes counted. In addition, the settlement called for county election workers to check with their colleagues before rejecting an absentee ballot because of an apparent signature mismatch.","_id":"U37H276SQRFC7KZYB5IUP3CTEY","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610031605448,"content":"Absentee ballot rejection rates because of signature mismatches have been consistent in recent elections.","_id":"DWWIK7NHBNEMRH4K2OKGSFR3HM","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610031605449,"content":"Pristine ballots: Just because some absentee ballots weren’t folded doesn’t mean they’re illegitimate. Ballots aren’t always folded and put in envelopes. For example, emergency ballots are filled in by hand and cast by voters at polling places if there’s an issue with a ballot marking device. Also, military, overseas and damaged ballots need to be duplicated by county election workers before they can be scanned.","_id":"I5OXJYLHPBAMNFMUQCBRWWTDVY","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610033469055,"content":"Ineligible voters: An analysis by a Trump supporter alleging thousands of illegal voters is unreliable and inaccurate, Raffensperger wrote.","_id":"M4S572GLVRHZDIDPJQTLHLGL3E","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610033469056,"content":"There were zero unregistered or underage voters, he said. The secretary of state’s office is investigating the possibility of as many as 74 felon voters, two voters who had died and 395 people who allegedly cast ballots in both Georgia and another state.","_id":"QRBXFJP4QBDJDKDK324FDGRWZQ","type":"raw_html","additional_properties":"_id":"RNRI5Q4IUJHYHFF3JKILCOGSOE","comments":[],"content":"

Raffensperger's letter to Congress about Georgia elections

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results in Congress letter","owner":"sponsored":false,"id":"ajc","content_restrictions":"content_code":"premium","address":,"comments":"allow_comments":true,"workflow":"status_code":3,"note":"","subheadlines":"basic":"","description":"basic":"Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger sent a letter to the state's members of Congress as they were debating the state's electoral votes Wednesday, telling them that the election was investigated and found to be accurate.","language":"","label":,"source":"name":"AJC","system":"composer","source_type":"staff","taxonomy":{"tags":["slug":"politics-ajc","text":"politics.ajc","description":"politics.ajc","slug":"legislature","text":"legislature","description":"legislature","slug":"elections","text":"elections","description":"elections","slug":"elections-voting","text":"elections-voting","description":"elections-voting"],"sites":["_id":"/politics","type":"site","version":"0.5.8","name":"Politics","description":"Political news with a Georgia 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(Alyssa Pointer / [email protected])","created_date":"2020-12-14T20:13:33Z","credits":"affiliation":["name":"Alyssa Pointer / [email protected]","type":"author"],"by":["name":"Alyssa Pointer / [email protected]","type":"author"],"distributor":"category":"wires","mode":"custom","name":"AJC Freelancer","height":3185,"last_updated_date":"2020-12-14T23:35:32Z","licensable":false,"owner":"id":"ajc","slug":"AAJC 121520 ELECTION VERIFICATION","source":"name":"AJC Freelancer","source_id":"s3://ajc-arc-photo-integration/Freelancer/AAJC 121520 ELECTION VERIFICATION_AP021.JPG","source_type":"wires","additional_properties":"editor":"photo center","edit_url":"https://ajc.arcpublishing.com/photo/5VKOHOR4MKX7YMRESQEEKNCG74","system":"AJC Freelancer","subtitle":"ELECTORAL VOTE","taxonomy":"associated_tasks":["5fd6d539ddcaa069fbe45495"],"seo_keywords":["AJC Freelancer"],"type":"image","url":"https://cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/ajc/5VKOHOR4MKX7YMRESQEEKNCG74.JPG","version":"0.10.3","width":4777,"subtype":"Wires","distributor":"name":"AJC","category":"staff","subcategory":"","reference_id":"8aec2b8c-455c-4816-903d-79fc8fdf8019","mode":"reference_denormalized","canonical_website":"ajc","geo":,"planning":"scheduling":"will_have_image":true,"story_length":"inch_count_planned":25,"word_count_actual":596,"character_count_actual":3942,"character_encoding":"UTF-16","line_count_actual":152,"inch_count_actual":26,"internal_note":"","display_date":"2021-01-07T15:45:21.196Z","credits":"by":["_id":"mark-niesse","type":"author","version":"0.5.8","name":"Mark Niesse","image":"url":"https://s3.amazonaws.com/arc-authors/ajc/280438f9-0013-488b-bcfe-2b5be03376bb.png","version":"0.5.8","description":"Mark Niesse covers elections, voting rights and the Georgia House of Representatives. 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","firstName":"Mark","lastName":"Niesse","longBio":"Mark Niesse has covered voting rights, elections and Georgia government for the AJC since 2017. nHe previously covered DeKalb County corruption investigations and the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal for the AJC since 2013.nHe previously worked for The Associated Press in Atlanta, Honolulu and Montgomery, Ala. He also reported for The Daily Report and The Santiago Times in Chile.nMark grew up in the Atlanta area and graduated from the University of Georgia.","custom_ajc_phone":"404-526-2848","books":[],"podcasts":[],"education":[],"awards":[],"last_updated_date":"2020-12-23T14:20:18.652Z","image":"https://s3.amazonaws.com/arc-authors/ajc/280438f9-0013-488b-bcfe-2b5be03376bb.png","expertise":"11","author_type":"Staff","twitter":"https://twitter.com/markniesse"],"subtype":"Article","first_publish_date":"2021-01-07T15:25:23.600Z","websites":{"ajc":{"website_section":"_id":"/politics","_website":"ajc","type":"section","version":"0.6.0","name":"Politics","description":"Political news with a Georgia focus, including the Georgia Legislature, Congress, White House, presidential elections and Georgia Congressional Districts.","path":"/politics","parent_id":"https://www.ajc.com/","parent":"default":"https://www.ajc.com/","additional_properties":"original":"_id":"/politics","site":"section_comments_enabled":"Yes","site_description":"Political news with a Georgia focus, including the Georgia Legislature, Congress, White House, presidential elections and Georgia Congressional Districts.","site_title":"AJC Georgia Politics ,"navigation":"nav_title":"Politics","Sponsor":"sponsor_desktop_banner":"https://cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/ajc/KMGYN27EVJC4HBUMF6543TCGRU.jpg","sponsor_mobile_banner":"https://cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/ajc/QYS3R2O74JGBHJFOPN7PYR6W4I.jpg","sponsor_url":"https://www.ajc.com/politics/election-results/?icmp=politics","sponsor_url_open_new_tab":"true","_website":"ajc","name":"Politics","order":"default":1022,"TopNav":1002,"ComposerNav":1124,"TopNavRedesign":1002,"parent":"default":"https://www.ajc.com/","ComposerNav":"https://www.ajc.com/","TopNav":"https://www.ajc.com/","BottomNav":null,"TopNavRedesign":"https://www.ajc.com/","ancestors":"TopNav":["https://www.ajc.com/"],"TopNavRedesign":["https://www.ajc.com/"],"inactive":false,"node_type":"section","_website_section_id":"ajc./politics","website_url":"/politics/georgia-elections-chief-refutes-election-claims-in-letter-to-congress/RBZJQSTUOJECTO4EMSAXGXJSK4/"}},"additional_properties":"clipboard":,"has_published_copy":true,"is_published":true,"publish_date":"2021-01-07T22:02:17.886Z","publish_date":"2021-01-07T22:02:17.886Z","slug":"AAJC 010821 election allegations","publishing":"scheduled_operations":"publish_edition":[],"unpublish_edition":[],"_id":"RBZJQSTUOJECTO4EMSAXGXJSK4","website":"ajc","website_url":"/politics/georgia-elections-chief-refutes-election-claims-in-letter-to-congress/RBZJQSTUOJECTO4EMSAXGXJSK4/"},{"type":"story","version":"0.10.6","content_elements":["_id":"G7W6I3FFQRFIBLVJX5RIUOFIKY","type":"text","additional_properties":"_id":1609870538713,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"content":"Voting was never easier in Georgia than in November’s presidential election. But it might not last.","_id":"PCKRNP4RQZEUDLJLVAUDGODQPA","type":"text","additional_properties":"_id":1609870538714,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"content":"Republican legislators plan to crack down on voting access after record turnout helped Democrat Joe Biden win Georgia, flipping the state after 24 years of GOP presidential wins.","_id":"XHUJRFLJ5FHKDKDUERUCJGWT2I","type":"text","additional_properties":"_id":1609870538715,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"content":"They blame absentee ballots, used by 1.3 million Georgians who voted from home during the coronavirus pandemic. In all, 5 million people voted in the general election.","_id":"I5JSIDNJQNF6ZBVLSYEEI7JJY4","type":"text","additional_properties":"_id":1609870538716,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"content":"That era of widespread absentee voting will quickly come to an end if the Georgia General Assembly passes laws this year to eliminate no-excuse absentee voting, ballot drop boxes and unsolicited absentee ballot application mailings, as Republicans have proposed.","_id":"U7EX43TCLZECHO2BYRRZE5OU6A","type":"text","additional_properties":"_id":1609870538717,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"content":"When the legislative session begins Monday, Democrats are bracing for a wave of bills from the Republican majority that would make it harder to vote in the name of preventing potential fraud. There’s no credible evidence of significant absentee ballot fraud in Georgia’s general election, according to state election officials. Isolated cases are under investigation by the secretary of state’s office.","_id":"3C3OJCR7AZF7NIFO7VC4MWVJP4","type":"text","additional_properties":"_id":1609870538718,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"content":"“They lost, and now they want to change the rules to give themselves a competitive advantage,” said House Minority Leader James Beverly, a Democrat from Macon. “The pendulum swings, and people can see through this foolishness in the truest sense of suppression and disenfranchisement.”","_id":"QE3NFX63HJCF7DQKP3DDH4EANE","type":"text","additional_properties":"_id":1609870538719,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"content":"Republicans say they need to protect election integrity from the possibility of cheating. Some of the legislators seeking to limit absentee voting also signed onto a brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court supporting the state of Texas’ failed lawsuit to overturn Georgia’s election results.","_id":"OBXT7URHNFDCPMNXEPAW62KJO4","type":"text","additional_properties":"_id":1609870538720,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"content":"State Sen. Burt Jones, a Republican from Jackson, said in-person voting is safer than depositing ballots in the mail or drop boxes.","_id":"5VC4AEWO2RFJZAWC7IMMERCZPM","type":"text","additional_properties":"_id":1609870538721,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"content":"“When you don’t have a secure chain of custody, particularly with drop boxes, there’s no reason for that to be in the process,” Jones said. “You’ve got three weeks of early voting and Saturday voting. You’ve given ample time and opportunities for people to get the effort to go in to vote.”","_id":"NPF4AOSOHJGXPC2HP4EWHT7TTA","type":"text","additional_properties":"_id":1609870538722,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"content":"For Jones and his colleagues, the threat of illegitimate absentee voting outweighs the benefit of greater participation in democracy.","_id":"XNCX677Q6FHAVCQNSUPLVMKFZU","type":"text","additional_properties":"_id":1609870538723,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"content":"The popularity of absentee voting exploded last year amid the coronavirus pandemic. The voting method typically used by about 5% of voters rose to 26% in the 2020 presidential election.","_id":"4BQGWSJCUNDZFP3J577L5WUOTE","type":"text","additional_properties":"_id":1609870538724,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"content":"More Republicans than Democrats voted absentee as recently as the 2018 primary, when voting by mail was often used by older Georgians. In November’s election, almost twice as many Democrats as Republicans returned absentee ballots after President Donald Trump ridiculed them, even though he himself has voted by mail.","_id":"2EEHNNDACVCT3C5NR6V36LL2PM","type":"text","additional_properties":"_id":1609870538725,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"content":"Former Republican U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich recently wrote that absentee ballot drop boxes “make it harder for Republicans to win,” a claim that Democrats attacked as an acknowledgement that restricting voting is the GOP’s goal rather than fighting fraud.","_id":"QGVEW4F3GZAN3KGZC5FZF5EGVE","type":"text","additional_properties":"_id":1609870538726,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"content":"“Expanding access to voting equals more people voting equals Republicans losing elections,” said state Rep. Bee Nguyen, a Democrat from Atlanta. “It’s the reality in Georgia that for many years we’ve seen more restrictive voting laws get passed, and that means Democrats need to work harder to overcome those restrictive voting laws.”","_id":"VW45JKKP6JCP7NNFJBL67T4JQE","type":"text","additional_properties":"_id":1609870538727,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"content":"One of the proposals, backed by the Senate Majority Caucus and Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, would end at-will absentee voting. Under a state law passed by the Republican-controlled General Assembly in 2005, any registered voter is allowed to cast an absentee ballot.","_id":"KUN5EGHZCZHFXCI2WTSI7U6OYE","type":"text","additional_properties":"_id":1609870538728,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"content":"Sixteen states require voters to provide an excuse if they want to vote outside a polling place, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Those excuses can include age, disability, sickness or travel.","_id":"OAZ7CMSBPVFYHJUXMJXJH2DWDE","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1610042971771,"content":"House Speaker David Ralston, a Republican from Blue Ridge, said Thursday that he doesn’t support eliminating no-excuse absentee voting.","_id":"3XNNAGEWYFATRBOWJGNWTRAS4U","type":"text","additional_properties":"_id":1609870538729,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"content":"Another restriction under consideration would be banning ballot drop boxes, authorized by rules the State Election Board approved last year to avoid the uncertainty of U.S. Postal Service delivery. In addition, Republican lawmakers say they want to require photo ID for absentee voting, ban early voting buses used in Fulton County, and prevent anyone from mailing absentee ballot request forms to voters, as Raffensperger did before the primary.","_id":"HYKMJNH2INCVTG7K3EWDBSIPB4","type":"text","additional_properties":"_id":1609870538730,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"content":"“It seems like there’s a coordinated effort to limit access to the ballot, and it’s not something we need after so many gains” in voting options last year, said Aunna Dennis, executive director for Common Cause Georgia, a government accountability organization. “We’re definitely going to be on the defensive.”","_id":"LO4CQB4QMFCG7AH6HW7S77CF3M","type":"text","additional_properties":"_id":1609870538731,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"content":"With majorities in both the state House and Senate, Republicans have the numbers to change voting laws if they decide to do so. Democrats say they might ask the courts to fight rollbacks of what they see as fundamental voting rights.","_id":"37UVRBNRJBDMZJ6N5AKVEM452U","type":"text","additional_properties":"_id":1609870538732,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"content":"State Sen. Brandon Beach, a Republican from Alpharetta, said election laws should be the same for everyone and all voters should be required to cast their ballots in person.","_id":"6K6HAEC7EZBHBPV6NYPZYUN76E","type":"text","additional_properties":"_id":1609870538733,"comments":[],"inline_comments":["pos":108,"comment":","],"content":"Beach heard from a voter who felt her vote was diluted because she had to show photo ID at her polling place but absentee ballots were verified by matching voter signatures.","_id":"TVDWJPPLLJBUTJVDKFAIBSVSMY","type":"text","additional_properties":"_id":1609870538734,"comments":[],"inline_comments":["pos":85,"comment":","],"content":"“She felt disenfranchised,” Beach said. “She felt like she played by one set of rules and the others played by another set of rules, and that’s not fair. We need to have one set of rules for everybody.”","_id":"BRL6V3J6PJH5BC6Q2G4NWOOPPI","type":"text","additional_properties":"_id":1609870538735,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"content":"An audit of voter signatures on a sample of 15,000 absentee ballot envelopes, conducted by law enforcement officers with the GBI and secretary of state’s office, found no cases of fraudulent signatures last month.","_id":"77POWXUGQBHP7MD4I5I633KFLI","type":"text","additional_properties":"_id":1609870538737,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"content":"Still, some voters — such as those in the military and living overseas — can’t show up at the polls and would likely still be allowed to vote remotely under proposed legislation.","_id":"TDWEKB573JGKDNN3ORYFA7HQF4","type":"divider","additional_properties":"_id":"YDNRI7QTHZE4DAHXRH3QOYZMPE","comments":[],"_id":"BRL6V3J6PJH5BC6Q2G4NWOOPPI","type":"text","additional_properties":"_id":1609870538735,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"content":"Proposed voting restrictions in Georgia","_id":"BRH2BD776RFRFCGI5DGOXIW334","type":"list","list_type":"unordered","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"items":["type":"text","content":"Require an excuse to cast an absentee ballot","_id":"OHCYMFEJUBBEPEE6PU75MOCWZY","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"block_properties":,"type":"text","content":"Ban absentee ballot drop boxes","_id":"ASIY4Z7PGRD4VGI5O46SHEE33Y","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"block_properties":,"type":"text","content":"Mandate photo ID to be included when returning an absentee ballot","_id":"ZQEVVHIYPBGMNLS6LUSGHZQ5IY","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"block_properties":,"type":"text","content":"Eliminate mobile voting buses during early voting","_id":"ZOYB5OM3BVHLZKIOTXEJVQECTM","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"block_properties":,"type":"text","content":"Forbid governments and organizations from mailing absentee ballot applications","_id":"GNI3I7LXQJFILLXNSZGD7JQGTY","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"block_properties":]],"created_date":"2020-12-15T23:21:13.349Z","revision":"revision_id":"DLVYZDONSZENJHDVQA64XNUE7Q","parent_id":"ZSSLTLLJGNEUHBGO7SH63IZKAY","editions":["default"],"branch":"default","user_id":"[email protected]","published":true,"last_updated_date":"2021-01-10T22:00:19.344Z","canonical_url":"/politics/strict-absentee-voting-limits-proposed-after-record-georgia-turnout/BLDBKKOLCJDU7FWUAM4CPNZ43I/","headlines":"basic":"Strict absentee voting limits proposed after record Georgia turnout","mobile":"","native":"","print":"","tablet":"","web":"GOP legislators weigh voting restrictions after record turnout helped Georgia flip blue for Biden","meta_title":"Georgia elections: Republican lawmakers propose absentee voting restrictions","owner":"sponsored":false,"id":"ajc","content_restrictions":"content_code":"premium","address":,"comments":"allow_comments":true,"workflow":"status_code":3,"note":"","subheadlines":"basic":"","description":"basic":"The Georgia General Assembly will consider significant restrictions on absentee voting after record numbers of people filled out their ballots at home in the presidential election. 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Kelly Loeffler's announcement from the Senate floor","_id":"YZQRONPKCBGA3AJDTTXUED5LJQ","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1609998076530,"content":"Later that evening when the joint congressional session reconvened, U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, R-Greensboro, introduced his Georgia challenge. Republican Georgia U.S. Reps. Rick Allen, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Buddy Carter stood with him.","_id":"3IWD2PQTB5DCZCHZ5RKDMQNWTE","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1609998076531,"content":"“Myself, members of the Georgia delegation and some 74 of my Republican colleagues object to the electoral votes from the state of Georgia on the grounds the election conducted on Nov. 3 was faulty and fraudulent due to unilateral actions by the secretary of state to unlawfully change the state’s election process without approval from the General Assembly,” Hice said before claiming there had been an “unprecedented amount of fraud and irregularities” during the general election.","_id":"FSB5QGKCAREU5CUFUQAVUXC2RE","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1609998076532,"content":"Without the required support from at least one senator, Hice’s petition was rejected by Vice President Mike Pence, who presided over the joint session.","_id":"FCPXGE44MNGE3FCOD5427BEJIU","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1609988297469,"content":"Both chambers had paused the Electoral College tally for several hours Wednesday afternoon while police subdued the rioters and cleared the Capitol. 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Sanford Bishop watched from his office window as the protests unfolded, and he was there when the rioting began.","_id":"ZM324TMWX5FJLJBZSWYAN6FDH4","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1609988297479,"content":"“There was quite a bit of mayhem, violence,” the Albany Democrat said. “I saw people climbing and scaling the walls of the Capitol, breaking windows and entering from windows.”","_id":"HODRY575JJFXDF6CKE6X6F5DBY","type":"text","additional_properties":"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1609988297480,"content":"He and other Democratic members of the delegation were preparing speeches in anticipation that Loeffler would allow the objection to proceed. 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