‘It Needs To Be Done’: Local Journalist Runs Clayton Crescent, Brings Election News To County
All eyes are on Georgia as fewer than 2,000 votes separate the presidential candidates, and many absentee ballots are still left to be counted in metro Atlanta’s Gwinnett County.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has also said he expects a recount with such tight margins between Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and Republican President Donald Trump.
State law mandates candidates can request a recount if the race comes down to a half-percent or less.
Georgia's Voting System Implementation Manager Gabriel Sterling
And like everyone else watching Georgia and preparing for the latest updates, local journalists are fidgeting, scanning for ballot numbers, scrambling for caffeine and getting an unhealthy amount of sleep this week.
Early Friday morning, Clayton County’s finalized votes pushed Biden past Trump. One local journalist, Robin Kemp with The Clayton Crescent, was there reporting across Clayton for almost 24 hours.
Laid off from a local paper due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kemp wrote in an editorial that she decided to run The Clayton Crescent on a little over $1,400 of donations, her own shallow pockets and inertia.
“I am doing this because it needs to be done,” Kemp wrote on her website, adding that Clayton’s ever-changing demographics and massive geographic stretch across the metro area make it politically complex.
Her reliability and on-the-ground reporting during this election cycle gained her thousands of Twitter followers overnight.
Kemp talked to WABE’s “All Things Considered” host Jim Burress about how she’s keeping up with the coverage with her own, citizen-journalist platform, and that she believes the people of Clayton deserve and need serious ongoing news coverage, despite newspaper layoffs during the pandemic.
Lily Oppenheimer contributed to this report.