Gilmer election voting turnout stays above 65 percent

Election, News
Voting

GILMER COUNTY, Ga. – As many expected and even publicly stated, Gilmer County did notice a drop in election voting turnout from the November Presidential Election to January’s Runoff Elections.

However, that drop has many surprised at how little the drop was. November saw 16,576 people cast their votes through one of the four voting paths including Election Day Precinct voting, Advanced in-person voting, Absentee by mail voting, and provisional ballot voting.

January saw 14,847 people vote in the county through those paths.

That equals 74.45 percent of the population in November and 65.17 percent of the population in January according to the Gilmer County Registrar’s Office. Only a 9.28 percent drop. This percentage comes from the Registrar’s records of Registered voters which also increase between the two elections from 22,264 in November to 22,781 in January.

January saw more people voting on Election Day with 5,601 compared to November’s 4,907.

January did see less in-person voting and absentee by mail with in-person reaching 6,292 (November – 8,150) and absentee reaching 2,949 (November – 3,506).

As previously reported, the increases have continued to rise throughout the year, some are calling ballot harvesting by one party as part of the reason for the increases, especially in absentee by mail, though it decreased from November to January. Others are simply citing the current times and consequences as the reason for increases.

Indeed, several people have made note that they are first time voters, like James Short who said he voted in the November election for the first time because it is the most important election he has seen in his life.

Meanwhile, the outcomes and ramifications of the elections, suspected fraud, and division among citizens continues spiraling into increasing tension among the nation and it’s citizens.

These hostilities are even affecting local rural counties as neighbor Pickens County recently posted deputies to polling stations during the January Election. The Sheriff’s Office issued a pre-emptive statement beforehand assuring citizens that there was no present threat. However, the did say that the action was taken due to threats received and dealt with in other counties.

The importance and effects that elections are having on people is continuing to be shown in total votes numbers in counties across the nation. Even with a drop in voting in January’s Runoff Election, Gilmer is still a prime example of this with well over half of its registered voting population turning out for a runoff election.

LIVE: watch the Georgia Governmental Affairs Hearing

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Georgia capitol election hearing

ATLANTA, Ga – At 9 a.m., The Georgia House of Representatives Governmental Affairs Committee convened to discuss election irregularities.

The House Governmental Affairs Committee report on the June 2020 primary election may be found here:   http://www.house.ga.gov/Documents/CommitteeDocuments/2020/GovernmentalAffairs/Elections_Investigation_Report.pdf.

Chairman Blackmon’s committee has established an email for Georgians to report voting irregularities at [email protected].

Gilmer amid statewide recount and audit of elections

Election 2020, Feature News, Featured, Featured News, Featured Stories, News
recount

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Gilmer County and its Probate Court are deep amid recounting ballots today as they join in what Chief Registrar Tammy Watkins is calling both an audit and a recount for the Presidential Election of 2020.

recount

With employees from the Probate Office, Registrars, and some other volunteers, officials are fully confident in finishing the counting by Tuesday night.

A major stress on certain county offices, this major process has drawn in employees from both the Probate Office and Registrar’s Office to undertake recounting every one of the 16,576 ballots cast in Gilmer County, according to viewers and officials present at the recount.

Begun on Friday, November 14, 2o20, the process is being undertaken in the Jury Assembly Room of the Gilmer County Courthouse. Gilmer Probate Judge Scott Chastain said they used the Jury Assembly Room to allow public access and viewing of the audit, as required by law. However, he said the room also allowed for social distancing between tables and for space so that one table would not accidentally hear someone from the next table over possibly causing some confusion.

Chastain told FYN that the process was going well on Friday, and they have been looking at the progress daily. Scheduled to count through today and ending tomorrow, Tuesday, November 17, 2020, they actually have until midnight on Wednesday to finish the count. This means that if something happens, the county does have a buffer of one extra day just in case.

recount

Registrar Sherri Jones, left, helps alongside Gary Watkins, right, in the 2020 recount and audit of the Presidential Election on November 13, 2020.

Nearly twenty people at some times helping the process with including some floating staff that comes and goes, Chastain said that eleven core people including the elections review board are constantly working through the process.

Chastain and Watkins are both confident in the speed they have been accomplishing the task and are both fully confident in finishing in the scheduled time.

One of the major points of note in this process, those involved in recounting the ballots are only counting the presidential election. Chastain said this was a concern of his in the beginning. He worried that they would be needing to recount every vote in every race. Instead, focusing only on the presidential race is also helping in accomplishing the recount and audit with speed.

Moving forward, two very different outcomes could mean two very different futures for Georgia. Should the audit come up with different numbers than what the computers accounted for, Chastain said, “When we’re finished statewide, my hope is what the machines said is what we come up with. Because if we have different numbers than the machines, it’s not going to be a good situation statewide.”

recount

A part of the statewide audit and recount, Gilmer County is going through 16,576 ballots through day-of, in-person-early, and absentee voting.

Chief Registrar Tammy Watkins echoed a similar thought saying that the recount could prove to be a test for the election equipment statewide. Watkins has also voiced, in previous interviews, her faith in Gilmer’s elections staff and poll workers and has been happy with the efforts that Gilmer has put forth in elections.

This specific election has seen records broken in terms of those visiting in early voting as well as absentee ballots. Yet, this phrase is beginning to lose some of its impact as Gilmer has repeatedly increased in the numbers this year in each of the election days throughout local, state, and federal offices.

Regardless of what the audit comes up with, some are still concerned that hand counts could become a common thing in future elections with parties constantly claiming instances of voter fraud and suppression as well as other things. However, nothing concrete has been reported yet.

August 11 runoff statewide election returns

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General Primary runoff August 11 state runoff returns

NORTH GEORGIA – Find out who won their August 11 runoff races with the district-wide returns for state and federal races in the FYN coverage area. FYN will update with the unofficial winners as soon as results come in. Please remember these election returns are unofficial until certified.

STATE

Representatives

State Representative District 1 – 100% reporting

Republican

PROJECTED WINNER: Mike Cameron – 56.35%

John Deffenbaugh – 43.65%

State Representative District 9 – 100% reporting

Republican

Steve Liebel – 33.27%

PROJECTED WINNER: Will Wade – 66.73%

State Representative District 10 – 100% reporting

Republican

PROJECTED WINNER: Victor Anderson – 61.38% 

Robert Crumley – 38.62%

SENATORS

State Senator District 50 – 100% reporting

Republican

Stacy Hall – 49.93%

Bo Hatchett – 50.07%

FEDERAL

Ninth District U.S. Congress – 95% reporting

Republican 

PROJECTED WINNER: Andrew Clyde – 56.28 %

Matt Gurtler – 43.72%

Democrat

PROJECTED WINNER: Devin Pandy – 68.38%

Brooke Siskin – 31.62%

14th District U.S. Congress – 75% reporting

Republican

John Cowan  – 42.98%

PROJECTED WINNER: Marjorie Greene – 57.02%

 

The General Election is scheduled for November 3 as well as the jungle primary for Senator Kelly Loeffler’s seat.

See the entire state’s election returns on the Secretary of State’s website.

Gilmer BOC will hold April Regular meeting in person

News
Meeting

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Both cities and counties carry on amid the shutdown, and Gilmer is also moving forward in this time with their April meeting, but with a few changes.

Gilmer has already made changes over March as meetings saw a distancing line in the meeting room, and all meetings have been held in the Jury Assembly Room in the Gilmer County Courthouse. However, this month will see another change as the Board is only sending one agenda. Gilmer’s BOC will still meet is person, as of now, but will not be holding their usual work session.

Gilmer is continuing monitor situations during the shutdown and two agenda items stick out among the agenda as potential ramifications of the nations current situation.

Among the items is listed “Discussion and possible action to grant authority to the Tax Commissioner to waive Interest and Penalties” and “Discussion and possible action regarding the upcoming May General and Presidential Primaries.”

Elections have been a growing topic as we draw closer to May during a Presidential Election year which has, historically, been one of the highest turnout years for elections.

Not holding a work session, the public will be hearing discussion and votes in the same day for April. The rest of the meeting is set to proceed as normal with usual items like Citizens wishing to speak and the financial statement. The meeting will be held on Thursday, April 9, 2020, at 6 p.m., in the Jury Assembly Room of the Courthouse.

Meeting

Meeting

 

 

Georgia Election Run-Off Results

Election 2018

 2018 Georgia Election Run-Off Results

Tonight marks the run-offs for election races in Georgia, these results are unofficial until approved by the Secretary of State.

 

Secretary of State

Brad Raffensperger (R) – 756,016 votes   51.97%

John Barrow (D) – 698,770 votes   48.03%

 

Public Service Commission, District 3

Chuck Eaton (R) – 749,805 votes   51.83%

Lindy Miller (D) – 696,957 votes   48.17%

 

 

Check for local results by county here:

 

Gilmer

Secretary of State

Brad Raffensperger (R) – 4,337 votes   83.13%

John Barrow (D) – 880 votes   16.87%

 

Public Service Commission, District 3

Chuck Eaton (R) – 4,250 votes   81.79%

Lindy Miller (D) – 946 votes   18.21%

 

Pickens

Secretary of State

Brad Raffensperger (R) – 4,408 votes   84.01%

John Barrow (D) – 839 votes   15.99%

 

Public Service Commission, District 3

Chuck Eaton (R) – 4,325 votes   82.70%

Lindy Miller (D) – 905   17.30%

 

Fannin

Secretary of State

Brad Raffensperger (R) – 3,522 votes   81.89%

John Barrow (D) – 779 votes   18.11%

 

Public Service Commission, District 3

Chuck Eaton (R) – 3,454 votes   80.57%

Lindy Miller (D) – 833 votes   19.43%

 

Dawson

Secretary of State

Brad Raffensperger (R) – 3,985 votes   85.83%

John Barrow (D) – 658 votes   14.17%

 

Public Service Commission, District 3

Chuck Eaton (R) – 3,939 votes   85.02%

Lindy Miller (D) – 694 votes   14.98%

 

White

Secretary of State

Brad Raffensperger (R) – 4,063 votes   82.78%

John Barrow (D) – 845 votes   17.22%

 

Public Service Commission, District 3

Chuck Eaton (R) – 3,960 votes   80.82%

Lindy Miller (D) – 940 votes   19.18%

 

Union

Secretary of State

Brad Raffensperger (R) – 4,246 votes   80.92%

John Barrow (D) – 1,001 votes   19.08%

 

Public Service Commission, District 3

Chuck Eaton (R) – 4,108 votes   78.65%

Lindy Miller (D) – 1,115 votes   21.35%

 

Towns

Secretary of State

Brad Raffensperger (R) – 2,161 votes   79.95%

John Barrow (D) – 542 votes   20.05%

 

Public Service Commission, District 3

Chuck Eaton (R) – 2,105 votes   78.22%

Lindy Miller (D) – 586 votes   21.78%

 

Murray

Secretary of State

Brad Raffensperger (R) – 2,699 votes   88.99%

John Barrow (D) – 334 votes   11.01%

 

Public Service Commission, District 3

Chuck Eaton (R) – 2,691 votes   88.84%

Lindy Miller (D) – 338 votes   11.16%

 

Lumpkin

Secretary of State

Brad Raffensperger (R) – 3,378 votes   78.47%

John Barrow (D) – 927 votes   21.53%

 

Public Service Commission, District 3

Chuck Eaton (R) – 3,337 votes   77.89%

Lindy Miller (D) – 947 votes   22.11%

2018 Georgia State Election Results

Election 2018

2018 Georgia Election Results

Blue Ridge, Ga. – A closely watched gubernatorial race has come to a close, at least for now. With 100 percent of the precincts being accounted for and absentee ballots having been counted, Kemp has declared victory.

Cody Hall, Press Secretary with Kemp’s campaign said in a statement of this victory, “Brian Kemp earned nearly two million votes on Tuesday – by far the most of any gubernatorial candidate in our state’s history. Absentee ballots are counted and Kemp leads his opponent by 64,000 votes. Based on counts released by the Secretary of State’s office, Brian Kemp’s margin is so large that the number of provisional ballots and overseas ballots will not change his Election Day victory. Simply put, it is mathematically impossible for Stacey Abrams to win or force a run-off election.”

Stacey Abrams has yet to concede the election stating that she “will not give up until every vote is counted and every voice has been heard.”

“Peach State voters made a clear decision at the ballot box,” Hall spoke of Kemp’s declared victory, “Brian Kemp will now begin his transition as governor-elect of Georgia. He will work every day to keep our state moving in the right direction.”

Results from this race will not be official until all counties have certified. This certification is expected to be completed by Friday Nov. 9, but could run until Tuesday Nov. 13 due to the Federal Veteran’s Day holiday.

Updated Nov. 7 @ 5:34 p.m.

100% of precincts reporting

*These election results are unofficial until being certified by the Secretary of State’s office.

Governor:

Brian Kemp (R) –            50.33%          1,973,033 Votes

Stacey Abrams (D) –       48.72%          1,910,152 Votes

Ted Metz (L) –                 0.95%              37,086Votes

Lieutenant Governor:

Geoff Duncan (R) –                  51.74%          1,946,232 Votes

Sarah Riggs Amico (D) –        48.26%            1,815,508 Votes

Secretary of State:

Brad  Raffensperger (R) –           49.20%          1,901,394 Votes

John Barrow (D) –                        48.58%          1,877,514 Votes

Smythe DuVal (L) –                      2.23%            86,104 Votes

****The Secretary of State will now move into a runoff between Republican Brad Raffensperger and Democrat John Barrow.****

Insurance Commissioner:

Jim Beck (R) –             50.47%            1,939,664 Votes

Janice Laws (D) –       46.88%            1,801,823 Votes

Donnie Foster (L) –    2.64%              101,583 Votes

State School Superintendent:

Otha Thornton (D) –            46.87%          1,801,696 Votes

Richard Woods (R) –           53.13%          2,042,221 Votes

Agriculture Commissioner:

Gary Black (R) –          53.18%        2,034,304 Votes
Fred Swan (D) –           46.82%        1,790,758 Votes

Labor Commissioner:

Mark Butler (R) –          52.56%        2,013,750 Votes

Richard Keatley (D) –   47.44%        1,817,341 Votes

U.S. Congress District 6:

Karen Handel (R) –       50%

Lucy McBath (D) –        50%

U.S. Congress District 7:

Carolyn Bourdeaux (D) –      49%

Rob Woodall (R) –                  51%

Georgia Governor Candidate Visits FYNTV

Election, Politics

BKP Interviews GA Candidate for Governor, and Secretary of State Brian Kemp. Among many topics, Kemp discusses immigration, Georgia voting machines, paper ballots, pay for law enforcement, and what Kemp’s opinion of the negotiations to bring Amazon HQ2 for Georgia.

State National 5/31/16

GMFTO

Gorillas and Government

 

Ads in Fannin Focus do not show up correctly in Sheriff Candidates Campaign Financial Reports

Featured, Featured Stories, News

Mark Thomason, the publisher of the Fannin Focus has been in the news a lot lately. This is an unrelated story to Thomason’s arrest, “Journalist Jailed”. It does, however go with the big picture of Thomason’s publication the Fannin Focus, “Intent on Integrity”. Read the story and you decide.

FYN has a copy of every Fannin Focus issue since primary election qualifying. We have reviewed each page for all campaign advertising. We also have a copy of the Fannin Focus advertising rate sheet. We have cross referenced the ads with the rate sheet. We have all the documents to support this article. FYN files the following report on three Fannin County Sheriff Republican Party Candidates, Johnny Scearce, Jack Taylor and Larry Bennett.

Fannin Sheriff Candidates Political Ad Reporting in Fannin Focus

#FanninCartel Defined

“A coalition or cooperative arrangement between political parties intended to promote a mutual interest”. Did this happen in the Fannin County Sheriff’s race?

Larry Bennett, Republican Candidate for Sheriff placed ads in issues of the Fannin Focus on 3/31, 4/7, 4/14 and 4/28. According to the Fannin Focus advertising rate sheet, the number of ads and the size of the ads Bennett placed should have totalled $1,142.78 in advertising with the Fannin Focus. According to Bennett’s Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report he spent $0 in advertising with the Fannin Focus. Bennett is the former police chief of McCaysville GA.

Jack Taylor Republican Candidate for Sheriff placed ads in issues of the Fannin Focus on 3/3, 3/10, 3/17, 3/24, 3/31, 4/14, 4/21, 4/28, 5/5, 5/12 and 5/19. According to the Fannin Focus advertising rate sheet, number of ads and size of the ads Taylor should have totaled $7,970.63 in advertising with the Fannin Focus. According to Taylor’s Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report he spent $600 in advertising with the Fannin Focus. This left $7,370.63 of unreported spending with the Fannin Focus. Remember all those full page ads Taylor ran in the paper?

Remember the marquee at the Swan Drive-In, “Vote Jack Taylor for Sheriff”? What did Taylor pay Steve Setser, the owner of the Drive-In, for the advertising? Taylor listed Setser on his Campaign Contribution Disclosure, but in the space where a candidate has to give the amount of the contribution, Taylor wrote “Setser“ but would not give a price or “no charge” (You can legally donate goods or services to a candidate {In-Kind} but the candidate must describe the donation and place a value on their campaign disclosure). In-Kind contribution values must comply with campaign finance laws. Setser is required to place a value on his contribution. Steve Setser also donated $463 for T-Shirts and $300 for flyers to the Taylor campaign.

Jack Taylor Swan

Now, that brings us to Johnny Scearce. Scearce is currently the Blue Ridge City Police Chief. Scearce has run for Fannin County Sheriff several times and is used to filling out a “Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report”. One would assume that Scearce would understand he has to list everyone who contributes to his campaign and show all outlets where he has spent money.  According to Scearce’s Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report filed on 6/30, he showed $0 left in his campaign account.

Johnny Scearce Republican Candidate for Sheriff placed ads in issues of the Fannin Focus on 3/17, 3/31, 4/7, 4/14, 4/21, 4/28, 5/5, 5/12 and 5/19. According to the Fannin Focus advertising rate sheet, the number of ads and size of ads Scearce placed should have cost $4,946.89 in advertising with the Fannin Focus. According to Scearce’s Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report he spent $0 in advertising with the Fannin Focus.

johnny brenda 3johnny full page 3

Scearce hired  Kendell Goss as Campaign Marketing Manager. Scearce paid Goss $3,369.00 and listed it as advertising. Sources tell FYN, Goss handled the campaign website, prepared speeches, and campaign video along with other marketing materials.

Let’s just suppose Goss used some of the money to place ads in the Fannin Focus…it still would have to be disclosed! Scearce disclosed that he spent money directly three times with The News Observer and once with WPPI – FM so why wouldn’t he disclose any money paid to the Fannin Focus or place the ad directly himself?

There is no disclosure on who paid for the ads. We could not find one Johnny Scearce or Larry Bennett ad in the Fannin Focus that discloses “Paid for By.” One could understand if the publisher missed one ad but it seems he missed them all! Why not show who is paying for the campaign ads, it’s a campaign finance rule?

Sheriff Dane Kirby spent $0 with the Fannin Focus and placed no ads in its paper.

The publisher of the Fannin Focus is Mark Thomason. If Thomason decided to give the advertising to the candidates for free, the Fannin Focus would still have to be listed on the candidates campaign finance reports with an “In-Kind” amount. If an “In-Kind” was the desired result to benefit the above listed candidates by Thomason, the amounts have far exceeded the campaign contribution limits.

Some questions…Did Mark Thomason extend $13,460.30 of free advertising to three Fannin County Sheriff candidates? Why just the Sheriff candidates? Could they have been in cahoots (colluding or conspiring together secretly)? Wonder how the other candidates who paid for their ads must feel? Wonder what the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission will think?

Click to read campaign finance reports.

Johnny Scearce 6302016

Jack Taylor 6302016

Larry Bennett 6302016

 

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Related story: Fannin Focus Mark Thomason Arrested, Journalist or Vendetta

 

 

 

State National 5/10/16

Opinion

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Morning Monologue 4/7/16

Election, Politics

See BKP’s full Morning Monologue with Doug Collins and the 9th District.
You can also see the interview on its own further below.

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GMFTO

Political Analyst Jennifer Hazelton joins BKP for a walk through the elections, candidates, and VP possibilities.

Dr Paul Broun 4/5/16

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Candidate Dr. Paul Broun talks 9th District Congressional Elections and Voting.

Morning Monologue 3/31/16

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The American Hustle…

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