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General News    H2'ed 9/12/20

Is Georgia "Double Voting" Charge a Form of Voter Suppression?

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First President Trump told his supporters to vote twice -- once by mail and then again at a polling station, even though it is illegal to vote two times in the same election.

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Then, less than a week later, on Sept. 8, the Republican secretary of state in Georgia announced an investigation "into 1,000 alleged instances of people intentionally voting twice in the primaries: once by absentee ballot and once in person on Election Day," according to the Northwest Georgia News website.

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The charge -- made without evidence -- may be another way for the GOP to maintain its hold on the Peach State, supporters of voting rights alleged.

For context, Georgia is a Republican state that is becoming more friendly to Democrats.

The 2018 race for governor is a recent example of this trend.

Democrat Stacey Abrams amassed more votes than previous Democratic candidates but she lost a close race amidst charges of poor election management and voter suppression tactics. The difficulties some Georgia residents experienced in voting led to the filing of a federal lawsuit and the creation of Fair Fight, a group that has gone national to stand up for the rights of voters and potential voters. https://fairfight.com/

So it is not surprising that officials and voting rights organizations are fighting back in Georgia against the allegation of double voting in the recent primary.

"Former Secretary of State Cathy Cox on Wednesday called Raffensperger's announcement 'highly irregular' and 'improper', and suggested his actions aimed to 'sow chaos and cast doubt' on mail-in voting ahead of the Nov. 3 General Election," said a report in the Northwest Georgia News website.

In response, Secretary Raffensperger's office "argued the only aim of the investigation is to curb chances for double voting" in the November presidential election, when Republican Donald Trump is seeking a second term, the online service reported.

Concerned, Black Voters Matter issued a statement and sent out an email on "Double Voting and a Dangerous Narrative. In part, it said:

The charges by the GOP secretary of state "shows just how desperate Republicans are to undermine the November election. Secretary Raffensperger's accusations of so-called 'double voting' play on a dangerous narrative -- and a popular Republican talking point -- that stokes fear and confusion at the polls. With Election Day just weeks away and poll numbers coming into focus, this latest fiasco represents a last-ditch effort from Georgia election officials to suppress votes".

"The nation already has its eyes on Georgia after an embarrassing June primary," when Democratic voters waited in line hours to vote. "In order to avoid another disaster in November, the Secretary of State must:

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Steve Schneider lives in Florida. He writes articles for Humor Times, Democracy Chronicles, The Satirist and OpEd News.

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