After Georgia voters mailed in an unprecedented 1.1 million absentee ballots and chaos at the polls, the June 9 primary election is finally offering up some winners.
Democrat John Ossoff avoided a runoff to advance to the November general election and face Republican David Perdue for the U.S Senate.
Incumbent Fulton District Attorney Paul Howard will face his former employee, Fani Willis, in his bid for reelection, in the Aug. 11 runoff.
Similarly, Fulton Sheriff Ted Jackson has a commanding lead over his four opponents, but still short of the 50 pecent plus one vote necessary to avoid a runoff. He’ll face Patrick “Pat” Labat in August..
In the Georgia Supreme Court race, incumbent Charlie Bethel fended off a challenge from Beth Beskin, while incumbent Sarah Warren bested Hal Moroz.
The results came after what some officials termed a “meltdown” at the local polls.
In Fulton and DeKalb counties, long lines due to a reduced number of poll locations, long lines due to COVID-19 social distancing, malfunctioning machines, poll worker confusion, and not enough provisional ballots outraged voters. Polls were kept open until 9 p.m. in Fulton, while at least one station in DeKalb was open past 10 p.m.
While voters decried the broken process and expressed grave concerns about voter suppression on social media, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger blamed ineptness on county election officials and said his office would investigate.
Local officials placed the blame squarely on Raffensperger, including DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond.
Local leaders pushed back on the secretary of state’s comments, including DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond. “The Election Day issues relating to the use of state-purchased voting machines represent an attack on the democratic process. The Secretary of State’s office has alleged these issues resulted from a failure of county leadership. If there was a failure of leadership, it starts where the buck should stop, at the top. The eradication of any ‘learning curve’ rests squarely at the feet of the Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his office,” Thurmond said in a statement.