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WABE’s Week In Review: Georgia Is Counting Ballots Again

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger addresses the media on Oct. 26 at the Georgia state capitol.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger addresses the media on Oct. 26 at the Georgia state capitol.
Credit Emil Moffatt / WABE

The presidential results in Georgia were so close that the Trump campaign could and did request a recount. That recount, essentially the third counting of these ballots, is now underway.

Trump has been very critical of Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s handling of the close race, and other members of the Republican party have echoed the criticism.

And, as Raffensperger told WABE’s Lisa Rayam, there have been death threats and vile texts sent to him and his family.

Still, Raffensperger said he’s not leaving the GOP.

Another Presidential Visit… 

President Donald Trump says he’ll come to  Georgia next Saturday to campaign for Republican Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler.

“And we’ll have, you know, tens of thousands of people show up. And then I may go a second time, depending on how they’re doing, I may go a second time,” said Trump on Thanksgiving at a White House briefing.

Trump’s planned Dec. 5 visit comes as polls show tight races in the January runoff between Perdue and Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff and Loeffler and her opponent Raphael Warnock.

Some Trump supporters want another review of ballots… 

Gov. Brian Kemp has called for a sample audit of signatures on absentee ballots in Georgia but has not provided evidence that any fraud took place. (Emil Moffatt/WABE)

 No evidence has been presented that there was widespread fraud or irregularities with absentee ballots in Georgia in the November election.

But as Emil Moffatt reported, that hasn’t stopped President Trump’s supporters from calling for an audit of the signatures on absentee ballots.

“It seems simple enough to conduct a sample audit of signatures on the absentee ballot envelopes and compare those to the signatures on applications and on file at the Secretary of State’s office,” said Gov. Brian Kemp shortly after he certified Georgia’s election results on Nov. 20.

Turning out the vote… 

Clark Atlanta University doctoral student, Alexis Harris
Alexis Harris, a doctoral student of political science at Clark Atlanta University, spoke with WABE about how she’s keeping the momentum going among friends and family to make sure they vote in January. (D’Eligant Harris)

So as Georgia voters get ready to vote on Jan. 5 for who will be in the U.S. Senate, more Get Out The Vote efforts are taking place across the state. After all, the two Senate races could decide the majority in the chamber.

WABE’s Roxanne Scott spoke with Alexis Harris, a doctoral student of political science at Clark Atlanta University, about how she is trying to get people to vote in the runoff.

2020: A most stressful year… 

Even if you’ve managed to hold on to a job, keep food on the table, stay healthy, keep the kids learning, and not get too overwhelmed by politics, this is an incredibly stressful time.

On our coronavirus podcast, “Did You Wash Your Hands?” guest host Molly Samuel talks with Dr. Vaile Wright, senior director for healthcare innovation at the American Psychological Association. Wright says chronic stress, as so many people are experiencing, can have long-term effects, even once the pandemic is over.

Eviction filings haunt some Georgians for years… 

Bryson Williams, a renter in Southwest Atlanta, feels like the eviction notice he received at the start of the pandemic has ruined his life.
Bryson Williams, a renter in Southwest Atlanta, feels like the eviction notice he received at the start of the pandemic has ruined his life. (Stephannie Stokes/WABE) 

There are thousands of eviction cases pending in courts around metro Atlanta. Many are on hold because of COVID-19. A federal order has halted evictions for unpaid rent until the end of the year. That means those tenants are safe from getting evicted, but what many don’t know is the eviction notices have already hurt their record.

Our Stephannie Stokes reported a story about how even eviction notices will follow tenants for years.