stephen fowler Profile picture
covers state politics+voting rights+election administration in Georgia 🎧🎤 @gpbnews+@npr+etc. | hosts podcast "Battleground: Ballot Box"
So Into Italy My Blood is Rated DOCG🍝🇮🇹🇮🇹🍝 Profile picture Aviva Gabriel Profile picture 2 added to My Authors
17 Jan
Here’s the facts:

@mtgreenee’s district lagged in GOP turnout while she spread misinformation and lies about Georgia’s election system - which she still doesn’t seem to understand *she won on.*

Guarantee you she can’t explain anything about how it works.
Fact, Congresswoman @mtgreenee: No evidence of widespread fraud exists with Georgia’s absentee ballots.

Judges of every partisan stripe at every level have dismissed cases seeking to question the outcome.

Law enforcement found no substantive absentee fraud auditing Cobb Co.
Fact, Congresswoman @mtgreenee: your district had a lower early voting turnout than other parts of the state, and people we talked to cited messaging from you and the president as reasons they weren’t voting.
Read 11 tweets
12 Jan
Good morning from Bartow County, about an hour northwest of Atlanta!

The Jan. 5 runoffs aren't within a recount margin, but the elections director in the majority-Republican county is doing a full hand audit to boost voters' confidence in elections after misinfo+attacks. #gapol
The margins in this race aren't even close, but about a dozen teams will still examine 43,034 ballots as a way to both practice the post-election audit process *and* hopefully show people they can trust the voting machines+absentee ballots after Trump+others attacked it.
It's important to note this is not some ploy to delay certification! The audit should wrap up tomorrow, and the deadline for all 159 counties (that's a lot y'all!) is Friday. It's not likely the races get certified any faster (or slower) than normal.

Read 14 tweets
12 Jan
NEW: final “Battleground: Ballot Box” looks at Georgia’s historic Senate runoffs.

What’s old is new, with fights over who we vote for+how those votes are counted.

And what comes next after dozens of Republicans openly tried to overturn democracy? #gapol

gpb.org/news/2021/01/1…
We’ve talked for weeks now about Republicans’ attacks on Georgia’s election integrity.

Looking now to the results of the Senate election that saw incumbent Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler lose, we see the effect some of that rhetoric had.

gpb.org/news/2021/01/1…
As the news of President Trump’s call with SoS Brad Raffensperger resonated across the country, both Biden and Trump headed to the Peach State last Monday for a final push to get voters to the polls in a contest that would decide Senate control.

gpb.org/news/2021/01/1…
Read 6 tweets
11 Jan
Good morning from Day One of the 2021-2022 legislative session in Georgia!

It’s my third year covering the General Assembly and we’ve got some doozies on the horizon: voting laws, redistricting, a pandemic budget and more.#gapol

Buckle up!
Tune in to both chambers now on the General Assembly's shiny new website #gapol:

legis.ga.gov/video/all
Now happening: a painfully slow but necessary reading of every single representative and Senator, certified as the winners of their elections, so they can get sworn in.

There are 180 House members and 56 Senators!

livestream.com/accounts/25225…
Read 4 tweets
8 Jan
New - David Perdue concedes the race, which Jon @ossoff has won. Georgia's Senate races have flipped control of the chamber. #gapol

"...now I want to congratulate the Democratic Party and my opponent for this runoff win."
Should note that a) doesn't mention Ossoff by name or if he called him to concede and b) he didn't win the general election... that's why there was a runoff!

c) he isn't Senator David Perdue, he's former Senator David Perdue since his term ended Sunday.

Also - this doesn't necessarily speed up certification, because it still takes time for 159 counties to clear things up.

Read 4 tweets
7 Jan
"On the eve of getting the day in court they supposedly were begging for, President Trump and Chairman David Shafer’s legal team folded Thursday," a statement from @GaSecofState read.

gpb.org/news/2021/01/0…
Here's the letter accompanying the voluntary dismissal, falsely claiming a settlement had been reached (and noting the letter is confidential - also on a public court docket lol)

ImageImage
Here's the response from attorneys for the SOS:

"The letter was not a settlement offer, as you characterize it, but simply a statement that my client was not able to sit down and discuss the issues raised by your clients while there was active litigation." Image
Read 4 tweets
7 Jan
Standby for some Georgia election lawsuit news, including the rest of this fantastic letter posted on a public court docket! Image
NEW: The Trump campaign has voluntarily dismissed four lawsuits challenging November's elections in Georgia after falsely claiming it reached a settlement with the state to review election data. #gapol

gpb.org/news/2021/01/0…
"We are promptly voluntarily dismissing the following legal actions as per your request and consideration of the settlement," reads the letter from Kurt Hilbert, attorney for 4 election challenges.

But lawyers for the state say there was no settlement.

gpb.org/news/2021/01/0…
Read 6 tweets
7 Jan
While grocery shopping Sunday, I received an audio file of the President asking to overturn Georgia's election.

What happened next is why I believe @NPR and its member @nprstations represent the best and the future of impactful local journalism.

npr.org/sections/publi…
Working with @brettneely, @NPRnie and @benswasey nationally plus @josephinetheb @TheDrashman in Georgia, I quickly jumped to confirm the call, seek comment from all parties and tell you about this extraordinary news on the air and online.

npr.org/sections/publi…
The truth is, the only reason I got this story *everyone* read is because of years doing stories *nobody* read - like voting machine contract analysis, COVID cases in rural elex offices, hours of boring court hearings...

None of this happens in a vaccum!

npr.org/sections/publi…
Read 5 tweets
6 Jan
From @GabrielSterling - remaining ballots are from absentees primarily returned Tuesday.

10 AM *known* totals:

Dekalb 17902
Henry 9078
Cobb 8096
Chatham 5318
Fulton 5294
Gwinnett 5068
Thomas 2078
Bryan 1515
Meriwether 1325
Dougherty 1200
Fayette 1139
Forsyth 752

Some <500
Important to note:

One reason decision desks have projected for Warnock and Ossoff is that they're ahead. The other is that most of these counties remaining skew Democratic, as do absentees.

And the margin likely kicks Ossoff above a recount.

Read 4 tweets
5 Jan
ATTENTION: Here is the link for the state's unofficial runoff election results tonight. That's where you should go to see totals come in, and comes from the counties.

Remember, it's unofficial, things will change, but this is official *source.* #gapol

bit.ly/usethisGAresul…
Counties upload results in 3 buckets - early in person, absentee by mail and election day.

Sometimes, they upload into wrong buckets, or upload twice, or have to re-upload a batch.

So remember you're looking at a static snapshot of a dynamic process.

Dang y'all the counties are COUNTing votes so far.

One early takeaway from surface level: it's not surprising to see Warnock run ahead of Ossoff. How far behind he runs could be the difference between recount territory for one race (or both)
Read 21 tweets
5 Jan
Happening at 9:30 - a federal court hearing in Trump v. Kemp, a new federal lawsuit seeking to decertify election.

But Trump's lawyers objected to a live stream or public phone line so the only public access is in the courtroom.

*shrug emoji.*

courtlistener.com/recap/gov.usco…
At least the defendant's attorneys are willing to keep me informed, and at least this is like the fifty-leventh court case making the same arguments that have been repeatedly struck down.

But you've gotta love in the middle of a pandemic the lack of transparency.
I'm sure this also has nothing to do with the fact that in almost every single case, the Trump campaign/GOP attorneys have really struggled with basic facts and election laws in Georgia and it's been written about as such.

npr.org/2020/12/11/945…
Read 5 tweets
5 Jan
Good morning Georgia!

Polls are now open in the runoff elections that will decide control of the U.S. Senate and a seat on the Public Service Commission.

See long lines where you are? Short ones? Problems? Praises?

Let us know as we cover things today. #gapol
There's a few different things to look for to determine who is victorious.

One, it's whoever has the most votes!

Two, it depends on how many people vote - and R's need both high turnout and high composition of that turnout today.

Here's what that would look like.

Some campaign sources estimate Democrats won early voting by 350k votes.

If 1 million people show up today, 675k would have to be R and 325k D to even up the score.

Under a million, the number of Rs needed is lower, but needs fewer D, too.
Read 6 tweets
5 Jan
There's almost no way that 1.1 million voters show up tomorrow given the patterns we've seen so far - including the large number of Election Day 11/3 voters that now voted early in the runoff.

That's a couple hundred more than voted on E-Day in November.
*If* it's a higher E-Day turnout it's coming more from Lawrenceville than LaFayette, if you know what I mean.
I'm looking at early voting turnout at the precinct level, comparing with the general election, as well as who's voting so far.

For example, over 100k that voted on E-Day in November have voted early, feasibly lowering the number of people to expect Tuesday.
Read 4 tweets
5 Jan
It's another Trump rally in Georgia, so it's time to tune in to Right Side Broadcasting Network's YouTube feed to watch, brought to you by MyPillow. And the Georgia Republican Party also sharing this stream on social media!
Sen. David Perdue, via video appearance just said "For weeks now, I've been calling to object to Georgia's electors in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, January 6. "

Pretty sure that's not true and it's a recent development - and irrelevant since he won't be there for it.
President Trump has arrived. He and Sen. Loeffler stepped out without masks in front of a crowd of thousands. Whitfield County, where Dalton is, is a huge COVID hotspot in Georgia.
Read 23 tweets
4 Jan
Here it is: Senator Kelly Loeffler says she will object to the Electoral College vote on Wednesday.

Voters decide Tuesday if she gets to stay a Senator.

Sen. Perdue can’t object, because him term ended this weekend until election is certified. #gapol Image
Reminder that Loeffler is in this runoff because of the same election she’s objecting to! It’s hypocritical!

And it’s for an audience of one, who’s also gonna spread baseless claims of fraud tonight at a rally trying to somehow convince people they should vote tomorrow.
The ??? thing is Loeffler is objecting “on her own” and not part of the OTHER push to overturn the election - like there’s some sort of important distinction!
Read 5 tweets
4 Jan
Greetings from an old Turner Field parking lot in Atlanta, where @JoeBiden is set to rally for @ossoff and @ReverendWarnock this afternoon ahead of Election Day. #gapol Image
Now @ReverendWarnock trots out one of his favorite lines from the trail about his opponent Sen. Kelly Loeffler:

"I'm running against the unelected Senator of Georgia. She was appointed, the people of Georgia have been disappointed." Image
Now @ossoff: "We're running against, like, the Bonnie and Clyde of corruption in American politics."

Like the sign says, he's talking health, jobs and justice.

I heard 481 cars are here at this final drive-in rally. Image
Read 9 tweets
4 Jan
Not true - the recording I have begins *before* the Secretary of State is connected and when everyone is finally conferenced in there's no mention of settlement of pending litigation.

Show me the evidence that contradicts it @DavidShafer.
Receipts:

Here's everything on the call from when the SOS+co were conferenced together, then waiting to join with POTUS to Meadows' introduction that beings the WaPo audio.

I literally have the entire tape, from the first hello to last goodbye. Towards the end, they try to get a meeting set up between Trump lawyers and the Georgia AG’s office (not on the line) to talk further. I’m no expert but that don’t sound like what the GOP chair says it is.
Read 5 tweets
3 Jan
NEW on @NPR: Trump goes nuclear on @GaSecofState in recorded call, pushing Brad Raffensperger to overturn election results before the Jan. 5 runoff .

"You would be respected if this thing could be straightened out before the election," he said. #gapol

npr.org/2021/01/03/953…
Raffensperger, a Republican who's pushed back against voter fraud claims:

"Well, Mr. President, the challenge that you have is the data you have is wrong," Raffensperger said. "We have to stand by our numbers; we believe our numbers are right."

npr.org/2021/01/03/953…
Mark Meadows, Trump's chief of staff, told Raffensperger he was hopeful that in a "spirit of cooperation and compromise" there would be some way to find a path forward to overturn Georgia results.

"We don't agree that you have one," Raffensperger said.

npr.org/2021/01/03/953…
Read 10 tweets
3 Jan
Raffensperger and his office have explained repeatedly all of these falsehoods and lies. I find it hard to believe he suddenly forgot it all on a phone call with a man he accused of “suppressing his own voters” leading to a loss.
That said if anyone on the White House side or the SOS side was on the call too, I would *love* to know how it went... hit me up!
Read 4 tweets
1 Jan
BIG NEWS: You just discovered emergency backup paper ballots, which Georgia law requires counties to have in case the voting machines go down or some other problem occurs.

They're very real, and tracked if they are used.

I won't hold my breath for this to be deleted, though.
Love to actually admit to doing crimes while trying to prove someone else is allegedly doing crimes!

Also hey @PatrickByrne if you're gonna lie and grift people about nonexistent fraud you should at least make sure you don't recycle photos that other people have already used... (and these have been floating around for a while)

Read 9 tweets
1 Jan
Happy New Year!

3,001,017 Georgians have voted in 1/5 runoff so far, after in-person early voting finished.

-2,072,948 in person (155,417 12/31)
-921,072 absentee-by-mail (21,851 accepted 12/31)

See where, and where potential Election Day voters are:

public.tableau.com/profile/stephe…
Runoff turnout is lower than the general - but not equally.

Here's % dropoff from same point pre-11/3.

Notice yellow/red -> 25% or more dropoff, especially in GOP-heavy NW GA.

Greens -> less than 25% dropoff, especially in Black Belt SW GA.

public.tableau.com/profile/stephe…
Heading into Election Day, the Black share of Georgia's electorate is still slightly higher than the general election, which we can see reflected in both Trump-supporting white voters *not* early voting and better GOTV in Black Democratic strongholds.

Read 8 tweets