ATLANTA, Georgia – Eleven of Georgia’s Republican state senators are petitioning Governor Brian Kemp to call a special legislative session to amend election law, according to State Senator Brandon Beach (R-Cherokee County), the ring leader of the uprising.
The legislators have also demanded an immediate oversight committee to look into the general election and rectify any mistakes prior to the January 5th runoff election for two U.S. Senate seats still up for grabs. That run-off could determine control of the U.S. Senate.
Beach explained to The Georgia Star News that widespread concern over the consent decree, voting discrepancies, and residency requirements have compromised faith in the upcoming runoff election.
“My constituents are concerned about that consent decree. It was signed off by the secretary of state and was not voted on by the General Assembly,” he said. “The problem with that agreement is that the poor man or woman that stands in line for two hours has to show their license, have their signature matched, [and then they] get their vote cast. Come to find out [the rules for absentee ballots], [and] they’re not happy. A person got their absentee ballot without ID and without signature matching. They feel like their vote was diluted because of this agreement by the secretary of state.”
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) signed the consent decree-brokered by failed GA gubernatorial candidate State Sen. Stacy Abrams (D)-with the Democratic Party earlier this year.
The agreement outlined enforcement of promptly notifying electors of absentee ballot rejections, and further procedures for signature matching on absentee ballots.
Problem is, according to Beach, it never went to the Georgia general assembly for ratification, which is required by Georgia law.
Last week, noted attorney Lin Wood sued Raffensperger for additional signature match requirements made within the consent decree. In the lawsuit, Wood argued that Raffensperger lacked the authority to circumvent the legislature to amend election law.
Beach shared that voters also have expressed concerns about the residency requirement laws for voter registration.
“The other thing they’re upset about is this residency requirement – now people can move to Georgia, if they come and register before December 7,” he said. “I think it’s unfair that you can vote in two separate Senate races in two different states in the same election cycle.”
In previous weeks, Democratic activists encouraged individuals to exploit Georgia’s residency requirements by establishing residency temporarily to vote in the senatorial election runoff.
Last week, Kemp issued a joint statement with Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan (R) and House Speaker David Ralston (R). All three stated that they didn’t intend to call a special legislative session.
Speaker Pro-tem Jan Jones (R-Milton) said on the John Fredericks radio show on November 11 that a special session was not necessary and would be a waste of time and resources.
It is unclear whether this latest petition has persuaded Kemp, Duncan, or Ralston.
– – –
Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Georgia Star News and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Brian Kemp” by Brian Kemp. Background Photo “Georgia Capital” by andre m. CC BY-SA 3.0.