Recounting Again in Gilmer Elections with Chief Registrar Watkins

Election 2020, Feature News, Featured, Featured Stories, News
Watkins

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Gilmer County is performing another recount of the recent presidential election this week after state directives sent Chief Registrar Tammy Watkins and election employees back to the counting machines.

According to Chief Registrar and Elections Coordinator Tammy Watkins, the process began at 9:00 a.m. today, Monday, November 30, 2020. However, she and a small number of employees were in office last night preparing for the recount. Different from the recent recount in the news where the state aligned the recount in Georgia with a scheduled audit, this time, the county’s Elections and Probate employees are re-running the ballots through the machine counters instead of hand counting them again.

Watkins said this means the recount will be much faster than last time, unless any issues arise. Something that has already happened today when Watkins said they had a “hiccup” in the machine process that required a call Dominion for aid in loading and beginning the count. She also said they had another issue when trying to count large numbers of ballots quickly. Now, they are counting ballots 50-at-a-time.

Even with these setbacks, Watkins said she doesn’t expect this recount to take longer than today or part of tomorrow. She noted that she was willing to stay after 5 today to get the recount done if the staff was willing, but she was hopeful that it may not even need a late night.

WatkinsWatkins said that the counters had to be wiped for the recount, but the original voting machines haven’t been cleared yet. She also noted that elections keeps a copy of the elections counts and votes for two years on a back-up system before deleting them.

Watkins said they are again only recounting the presidential election during the recount and are using the full review system through the review board.

Watkins said that she doesn’t expect any issues, but if something does come up in error, they would immediately respond to the state to find out the issue, either to find an issue with their input that caused something or an actual election error.

The confidence was shared as even Republican Party Representative and local GOP Chair Richie Stone, who was present as a monitor of the recount, said that he did not expect any issues in county like Gilmer. Stone said, “I don’t expect Gilmer County to be any different. We have honest people in charge here.”

After the recent Georgia-only recount showed matching results, not many are expecting a difference to appear now. However, Watkins said she is still working diligently through the process because, as she said, “it’s possible.”

However, it’s also stressful in our county, Watkins said she is operating the recount as ordered, but she noted that the registrars and elections in Gilmer could be readying ballots today to go out for the coming runoff in early January. “It’s taking me and my staff away from doing that,” said Watkins when asked about having to do two recounts now.

Watkins noted that she is once again expecting a “higher than normal” turnout for the runoff, but maybe not as many as voted in the presidential election. Early voting for that election begins on December 14 and their are still several key offices up for vote like senate seats for David Perdue and Jon Ossoff or Kelly Loeffler and Raphael Warnock.

This is also pushing unusual days as this early voting will be going on during Christmas and New Years. Watkins said she is expecting to have early voting closed for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, December 24 and 25, as well as for New Year’s Day, January 1, which is actually the final day of early voting. This means Gilmer’s final day of early voting would be the last day of the year, December 31. Watkins was quick to note that this could be subject to change based on circumstances. But as of right now, early voters could cast their vote through New Year’s Eve.

Perdue speaks at Chateau Meichtry in Gilmer

Election 2020, News
Perdue

TALKING ROCK, Ga. – With mere days left until the 2020 Election Day on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, candidates are making their final push around the state, and Republican Senator David Perdue has also been following the trend as he made a series of stops over the weekend, one of those in Gilmer County at Chateau Meichtry Family Vineyard and Winery.

Perdue spoke about Sonny Perdue’s defeat of Roy Barnes in the early 2000’s saying that the same could happen now as a major race for senate and a major race for the presidency. He warned voters not to be complacent, or his supporters could see the same thing happen with an upset in the election turning the Senate seat back over to the Democrats with Jon Ossoff.

Perdue said the vote this year is about the political ethos of the Democrats, not about the individual candidates. He mentioned poverty levels decreasing, a resurgence in economy, and the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court as just part of the legacy of President Donald Trump and the Republicans so far. He called for voters to maintain the way things are and avoid the “Far Left” as it would be a hard “Left hand turn” against the people.

Giving much of the importance to the presidential election, Perdue pushed for people to get out to vote and support him in the Senate Election as well. This seemed to echo his actions as well as Perdue cancelled his appearance at a final debate with Ossoff. According to reports, he will instead be attending a Trump Rally.

Perdue

The last stop of his Friday tour to North Georgia, October 30, 2020, David Perdue speaks with citizens at the Chateau Meichtry Family Vineyard and Winery.

Called a “cowardly move” in other news, Perdue replied to the questions about his cancellation saying, “We’ve had two debates. We heard the same thing from Jon Ossoff out of both of them.”

Perdue went on to comment that with so many lies in the debates that he had heard, he wanted to focus on Trump’s appearance and on getting voters out to support the election. When asked about Ossoff’s comments, Perdue stated, “He’s done that for six months. He has not defended his own agenda which includes defunding the police, open borders, sanctuary cities, he wants to close down two military bases, he wants the Green New Deal, and he wants the Federal Government to take away our private healthcare insurance. He’s not going to talk about any of that. So, what he’s done is, basically, slung mud at me with lies that have all been refuted, by the way. The things that he needs to own up to right now are the agenda and the things that he has lied to the people of Georgia about.”

He reiterated that he felt that the Senate race has had its full discourse, and it is time to trust the voters in Georgia and move, at this time, to efforts to get everyone out to vote.

Times and Sample Ballot for Early Voting in Gilmer

Election 2020, Featured, Featured Stories, News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Early Voting is well underway in Gilmer County with lines stretching around the block some days. Citizens are adamant in exercising their right to vote in this major election.

As people prepare and plan on their trips to the ballot box through either early voting or on election day, November 3, 2020, the Registrar’s Office of Gilmer County is providing all the information available.

Staying open later in the day until 6:00 p.m. and even opening this Saturday, the office is following requirements by law and attempting to maintain social distancing while providing this service. According to Chief Registrar and Gilmer County Elections Manager, Tammy Watkins, the full operation times for early voting are:

Monday October 19th thru Friday October 23rd 8:30am – 6:00pm

Saturday October 24th 9:00am until 4:00pm

Monday October 26th thru Friday October 30th 8:30am – 6:00pm

VotingAs people are continuing to gather in large droves at the  Gilmer County Registrar Office (1 Broad St Suite 107 Ellijay, GA 30540) the office is also providing sample ballots in multiple locations including inside the office, through local media, through the county website, and below this article.

Another new addition comes in the form of the Absentee Ballot Box drop-off located at the Gilmer County Courthouse. Located around the corner from the office, the drop-off box is next to the main entrance of the courthouse (pictured right).

Citizens who wish to find out more or wish to ask questions can contact the Registrars Office at 706-635-4617.

Additionally, for those preparing for voting on Election Day, the Voter Registration page of the County Website provides locations for each of the voting precincts in the county near the bottom of the page.

Voting Voting

Vernon Jones speaks on Trump Rally and crowdsurfing

Feature News, Featured, Featured News
Jones

Fresh off his weekend and an event where he “crowd-surfed” to a young man in a wheelchair because he wanted a picture, Georgia State Representative, Vernon Jones (D) says, “Let me be clear about one thing. I’m committed to this President. I believe in this President. I took a leap of faith and I believed in that crowd and that crowd caught me.”

This was not Jones’ first event in support of President Donald Trump either. He is campaigning for the President in the current elections saying that he is a life-long Democrat, but he would not vote for Joe Biden.

Comparing the two, Jones said that Biden has destroyed black men and women through mass incarceration. He has a record of doing nothing whereas Trump has produced results like the First Step Act restoring families.

Focusing on business and the economy, Jones listed several things as accomplishments in Trump’s Presidency like correcting trade agreements to a fair agreement for America, grew the economy evidenced by businesses expanding and job growth, increased pay for those in military service, and supported historical black college funding.

Jones said, “He has done more in the past 47 months than Joe Biden has done in the past 47 years.”

He added that people are being shamed for supporting Trump by the media and others as they are being portrayed as racists and bigots. But these people are just people. People who don’t care what color you are, people who just love their country.

Many Democrats are turning in support of the President and for himself, according to Jones, because they see the craziness in their own party, the anger in their own party, and the violence in their own party.

Jones referenced the incident over the weekend of a Trump supporter who was attacked and lost two teeth in the beating he took. He said this is the game that these liberals are playing. They are trying to incite fear through violence, fear through the pandemic, and  fear through the media.

In full support of Trump, he said in an interview that the President is the best hope in support of our first and second amendment rights. He later added that voting for Biden isn’t even a vote for Biden as president. “He wouldn’t be the president, it would be Kamala Harris,” he said.

He added that she would be even scarier.

Georgia State Representative, Vernon Jones (D)

Going down the ballot from Trump, Jones also showed his support for Doug Collins and the work he has already done for Georgia as a Representative for the 9th Congressional District. While he didn’t specifically comment on Loeffler, he did say that Warnock was the wrong choice saying, “… it’s a vote for our civil liberties to be lost. It’s a vote for illegal immigration. It’s a vote for taking away the tax cut. He is dangerous.”

However, he didn’t stay long with this race and returned again to the Presidential Election and its importance as he said he was going to continue supporting and campaigning for Trump through his birthday even, October 31. He said that despite the polls, he wants Georgia to be all for the president in his re-election. Especially since the opposition has the major media supporting and propping up Biden’s campaign.

Jones pointed to the media and incidents with Biden meeting with Russian officials. He asks why none of them are asking Biden about it and why he or anyone in his campaign wouldn’t denounce the allegations or answer the questions.

With more events coming and debates on the way, Jones said he is looking to continue campaigning hard as he stands behind his words and endorsements.

It was a common theme during his statements. Constantly focused on the election, on Trump, and on the future of America. Many other stories are focused on his crowd surfing and the meaning or consequences of that day.

Jones stated in the video, “Show me the next crowd. I’ll do the same thing.”

Early Voting gets massive first day in Gilmer

Election 2020, Feature News, Featured, Featured News, Featured Stories, News
voting

ELLIJAY, Ga. – With the presidential election less than a month away, yesterday saw Gilmer County’s first day of early voting with lines stretching far out the door and down the sidewalk in front of the courthouse.

voting

Voters line the street on Tuesday, October 13, 2020, as Gilmer holds its first day of early voting for the Presidential Election.

According to Chief Registrar Tammy Watkins, the county saw a total of 470 people vote early on the first day.

This is no shock, however, as the Registrars Office also reported record breaking turnouts this year in the June elections. At the time, Registrar Sherri Jones said that Friday, June 5, 2020, the final day of early voting, was their busiest day of the entire cycle.

However, that busiest day ended with 161 voters casting their ballots. This Presidential Election is already shattering any expectations from citizens and authorities. The line stretched long well past noon yesterday, and was wrapping around the square today as citizens lined up in the opposite direction.

Early voting has also taken up extra space. The Board of Commissioners, amid budget meetings this week, held their meetings in the Jury Assembly Room. While most of their meetings are being held there currently, due to needs for Social Distancing amid the Coronavirus, they also said their conference room is being used by elections and office staff as the early voting machines are spreading out through the Registrar’s Office to supply enough machines for early voting while also maintaining the same Social Distancing guidelines.

voting

Gilmer’s new absentee ballot drop off waits for the cement to dry for its new location in the courthouse parking lot.

Citizens don’t seem to mind as some, who have never voted, are showing up for the first time ever. One person, who declined to give his name, said he searched and registered this year just to vote against those he saw as attacking the president and the current office.

Gilmer is also adding a new drop-off box this week for absentee ballots. Set in the parking lot of the courthouse, the new box is to be bolted into the ground allowing those dropping off ballots to not have to wait in line.

Watkins said in a meeting with the commissioners last week before early voting that absentee ballots could also be seeing minor issues with some as they originally request an absentee ballot or are on a rollover absentee list, but want to cancel their absentee ballot and vote in person.

Watkins explained that this happened in the last election as a large number of ballots request forms were sent out.

Additionally, if a request is marked with certain health or physical disabilities, these people can be put on a rollover list for absentee ballots as well.

voting

Gilmer’s early voting line stretched down the sidewalk and around the corner of the Courthouse’s parking lot to enter the Registrar’s Office to vote.

While not an issue to handle and fix, the massive turnout already seen will inflate problems in this election as staff are keeping up with the number of people while also dealing with the usual corrections and details that come normally with early voting.

With no clear number on the amount of absentees that could be since we are so early in the cycle, the first day of early voting nearly tripled the busiest day from the last election. As the campaigns continue and more people find time to go to the Gilmer County Courthouse, 1 Broad St., in Ellijay, the numbers are looking like they will only go up from here to shatter previous records in early voting for the county.

Chester Doles speaks on the Proud Boys and Antifa

Featured, Featured News, News, Opinion
Doles

A 5th-Generation born into the KKK. He later denounced the organization and moved on. Chester Doles said, “It comes with maturity, growing, getting to know people, and finding common ground with some of the greatest people across all lines of color.”

Because of his past, Doles says he often gets named or called when media needs a “boogeyman” to blame things on. But today, he says his organizations works towards things like saving the National Anthem, saving the Pledge of Allegiance, and fighting the rise of socialism. These are the political goals that Doles says he holds now.

Those monikers of white supremacy and racist are not correct according to Doles who says the articles and the attacks are just a part of a premeditated narrative, a “dog-whistle” for the public to focus on this boogeyman, this labeled enemy.

Instead, the platforms of constitutionalism and patriotism are the foundations that pushed Doles to found the American Patriots USA. An organization that Doles says supports and brings together those who are constitutionalists. An organization that he notes is based into that political ideal and welcomes all people who share in its beliefs.

Commenting on the recent debate between Trump and Biden,  Doles said the Proud Boys suffers similar attacks as he does, being called white-supremacists. But he says he has met many of those who are a part of the Proud Boys group and many have been Hispanic, Black, White, and other races and that these people are proud to stand and defend America.

He compared a villainizing of the Proud Boys to the free pass that Biden gives to Antifa. Pointing  to Biden’s comments on Antifa being “an idea, not an organization” as the real issue. Doles said, “We have watched them burn our churches, our businesses, assault hundreds and hundreds of police officers. Children have been shot in the head by Antifa and BLM. And they’re just an idea?”

Attending a memorial service for Aaron “Jay” Danielson, where members of the Proud Boys were attending, Doles said it was Antifa who ran over one of the members, crippling him. He said, “Antifa and BLM are running around in wolf packs, out there in the Northwest, looking for targets.”

DolesSince the political debate, many have attacked Trump about the Proud Boys and his comments. Doles questioned where the comments and questions are for Biden sweeping the Antifa riots under the rug as an “idea.”

Doles reiterated that the push for this has come from the media’s narrative and blame for patriots like himself. He said he is the one who has denounced the ways that he used to follow, sharing a story of going to DeKalb County to an all-black church. He also noted that Josie Cruz was there as well. He explains that he went to this church because he wasn’t welcome in many of the churches in his own county. Instead, he visits this church, stands in front of the congregation, and explains his past. Then asked for forgiveness.

Doles again said he has denounced racism and wants to proudly protect America with other patriots. That is how his organization is attempting to help.

One of the major goals that Doles said his group is pursuing, is informing the public and seeking to have Antifa declared a domestic terrorist organization. Referencing the memorial service and many other issues in the Northwest, he states, “You better be prepared to defend yourself. You don’t have to look for trouble… The left is looking for the right out there.”

Doles warns the public that it is on the move as well, stating that the organization is already in Georgia.

Trump Campaign Insider Lee Snover 9/14/16

GMFTO

Exclusive internal polling data on the Presidential Campaign in Pennsylvania. Did the Clinton Campaign Intentionally call Trump Supporters Deplorable to segregate? Lee Snover joins GMFTO from Pennsylvania to bring this and more to our Election Coverage.

State National 8/26/16

GMFTO

BKP is joined by Rick Glueckert and Bruce Conti to talk National News and Politics in downtown Blue Ridge.

Georgia is Not in Play

GMFTO

BKP highlights why Georgia will remain a Red State and is “Trump Country.”

Morning Monologue 8/29/16

GMFTO

BKP brings you “Trump’s Immigration Plan for Dummies” as he breaks down the basics of the Candidates ideas.

GMFTO 2/22/16 State and National

Opinion

South Carolina – Who’s walking away with the people?

Trump’s Big Win in South Carolina causes Cruz supporter to Endorse Trump

Featured, Featured Stories, Politics

Some voters are going the opposite direction of the pundits’ predictions.  All the mathematicians on the Sunday morning shows were figuring out where all the votes would go now that Jeb Bush is out of the race and if Dr. Ben Carson and Ohio Governor John Kasich would get out of the race.

Sixty-seven percent of voters did not vote for Donald Trump in South Carolina. This could be heard by Marco Rubio during all of his Sunday morning interviews. I pick up that Rubio wants to call out Donald Trump on foreign policy.  Rubio realizes a direct attack on Trump about his relationship with democrats or something Trump has said in the past is not working. Watch in the next debate how the media may help Rubio set Trump up on foreign policy. Rubio will call Trump out all week on foreign policy and the moderator will open up with, “Mr. Trump your opponent Marco Rubio has questioned your foreign policy.”  Just say’in.

Trump beat everyone in South Carolina. He beat all the candidates, the sitting Governor Nikki Haley, Congressman Trey Gowdy, Senators Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham, not to mention several other congressmen. The guy you want to be today in South Carolina is Lieutenant Governor Henry McMaster.   McMaster supported Trump and stood behind him during his victory speech in South Carolina.  Trump won every county except two and walked away with all 50 South Carolina delegates. Rubio won the two counties and Ted Cruz did not win a single county.

Ted Cruz campaigned in South Carolina like there was no tomorrow. Cruz looked beaten in all his post election interviews. Although he will not admit it, Cruz knew that if evangelicals voted for Trump he was in big trouble. Cruz is in big trouble.

Cruz voters will not move to Rubio. If Cruz voters feel he can’t win they may just move over to Trump and that has started to happen.

ed singleton

Ed Singleton, owner of Singleton Food Services, Inc (Singleton operates 17 Subway stores in North Georgia and North Carolina) posted Sunday on his Facebook page a picture “Trump 2016” and made the following statement, “After a 3rd place finish in SC for Cruz, I am now jumping on the Trump bandwagon. I believe Trump will be a small business champion for my 17 Subway stores!”  Singleton was previously supporting Cruz.

 

Ted Cruz needs to have wins throughout the south. The best the campaign can come up with this morning is:  Cruz is the only true conservative in the race and the only one who can beat Trump. Cruz may be the true conservative in the race and as for the Iowa caucus he did have the best ground game.   And we still don’t know how many votes went his way after the robocalls telling voters that Dr. Ben Carson was leaving the race.

The Cruz campaign threw everything including the kitchen sink at South Carolina. The establishment will definitely do everything to support Rubio. It’s a battle for the Republican Party. The Cruz campaign may be the ones outside the party looking in.

Back to Top