Bloomberg Government subscribers get the stories like this first. Act now and gain unlimited access to everything you need to know. Learn more.
Georgia voters face new obstacles to casting mail ballots in the closely watched run-off election due to changes from a controversial law passed last year, according to voting rights groups.
The law cut in half the time between a general election and a runoff, making it hard for voters to request, receive and return a mail ballot in time for the Dec. 6 election to determine the state’s Senate seat.
“It’s really frustrating,” said Crystal Greer, Protect the Vote GA co-founder. “Voters are confused and organizers are scrambling.”
The fight over vote-by-mail is already the subject of a legal fight in Georgia over whether to allow early voting on Saturday because of losing a day to the Thanksgiving holiday. A number of larger, Democratic-leaning counties plan to offer it, but Republicans are asking the state Supreme Court to block it.
Georgia does not have a permanent mail voter list, which means most people have to request a mail ballot for the runoff even if they voted by mail in November.
More than 248,000 Georgia voters cast a mail ballot in the Nov. 8 election, about 6% of the total vote, according to the Secretary of State’s office. In that election, Democrat incumbent US Senator Raphael Warnock led Republican and ex-football star Herschel Walker by about 38,000 votes — shy of the 50% needed to avoid a run-off. The seat will determine whether President Joe Biden’s party expands its thin majority in the chamber after Republicans took control of the House in the midterms.
The shorter runoff was one of a number of changes in SB 202, the 95-page law signed in 2021 to change how Georgia elections are run. In a speech in Atlanta in January, Biden attacked the law and others like it as “Jim Crow 2.0,” referencing the notorious restrictions on voting in the pre-Civil Rights era. Read more
Happening on the Hill
House Republicans James Comer (Ky.) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.) said TikTok may have provided misleading or false information about its data sharing and privacy practices related to China and they’re seeking additional information from the company.
Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) wants to block a Biden administration proposal that would reduce the number of immigrants denied green cards based on their likelihood of receiving certain government benefits.
Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) are demanding information from a software company owned by private equity firm Thoma Bravo LLC over concerns its algorithm is driving up rents across the country.
Elections & Politics
Donald Trump’s lawyer faced a panel of skeptical federal appellate judges who questioned the legal grounds for a special master reviewing documents seized from the former president’s Mar-a-Lago home and an order blocking prosecutors from using those materials in the meantime.
An accountant who handled the tax returns of some Trump Organization executives told a jury that Trump reported a total of about $900 million in operating losses over two years.
A New York judge scheduled an October 2023 trial in the state’s civil fraud lawsuit alleging Trump and his sprawling real-estate company inflated the value of his assets for years.
CNN asked a judge to toss out Trump’s defamation suit against the network over its coverage of his 2020 election conspiracy theory and critical reports about his demeanor.
Twitter Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk is restoring a string of accounts previously suspended for harassing transgender people, rolling back protections for the LGBTQ community as the country confronts the aftermath of a shooting in a Colorado gay club that left five people dead and dozens wounded.
Around the Administration
- Biden has no public events scheduled.
The Biden administration is reminding health-care providers to remain vigilant about making Covid 19 vaccinations, treatments, and boosters available for staff and residents in congregate settings like nursing homes.
California has lost out on a full year’s worth of rain and snow since 2020, according to a state-funded study, leaving the most farmland idle in recent memory across a region that supplies a quarter of US fresh food.
A Christian advocacy group’s first-of-its kind lawsuit before a Trump-appointed Texas judge poses the greatest legal threat in years to access to abortion pills in America.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday threatened to start a long-suspended offensive against US-backed Kurdish forces in Syria to push them further from its southern border.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul (D) has signed one of the most restrictive laws in the US on regulating cryptocurrency mining.
To contact the reporter on this story: Michaela Ross in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org