ELLIJAY. Ga – Fulton County filed a motion to dismiss the election integrity lawsuit. Henry County Superior Court Judge Brian Amero issued a motion to stay in the case until he could rule on it.
Friday, May 28, was originally the day plaintiffs’ and Fulton County’s council convened to decide a process for reviewing the unsealed November 2020 election absentee ballots. However, Fulton County’s motion to dismiss resulted in a delay of the case until June 21.
Plaintiff Garland Favorito, of VoterGa.org, explained that Fulton County’s attempting to get out of the lawsuit and place the case solely on the shoulders of Fulton’s Board of Elections and Registration. VoterGa.org originally sued the board of registration and elections, but the court added Fulton County to the suit. Amero’s interpretation of Georgia’s new sovereign immunity law in such a way that the county would need to be included.
Fulton County’s hired the law firm Garland, Samuel, and Loeb to represent it. The firm specializes in three areas criminal, personal injury, and business litigation.
Favorito commented that the new motion “doesn’t appear to have a ton of validity” and is hopeful the judge will throw it out at the next hearing. His group is currently working on their response.
As for the Department of Justice becoming involved, Favorito doesn’t believe the federal government will intervene with the state’s case.
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) has gone on record supporting legal investigations into election integrity while condemning corruption in Fulton County. His office has also filed an amicus brief in this case, trying to protect voter’s rights, but Judge Amero decided to unseal the ballots anyway.
Favorito added the plan to review the ballots will probably continue after July 4 unless Judge Amero dismisses the case.
ELLIJAY, Ga – November 2020 election integrity lawsuit plaintiff Garland Favorito labeled the obstacles facing the ballot audit a “battle between establishment and grassroots” Republicans.
On Friday, Henry County Superior Court Judge Brian Amero granted the motion to unseal ballots in Fulton County.
The ballots will be scanned to produce 600 dpi dots per inch) high-resolution images for a forensic audit. However, only the court and Fulton County employees will be allowed to handle the ballots.
Petitioners and Respondents council along with the court will convene on Friday at the ballot’s location to discuss further protocols.
Following the order, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger released a statement:
“From day one I have encouraged Georgians with concerns about the election in their counties to pursue those claims through legal avenues. Fulton County has a long standing history of election mismanagement that has understandably weakened voters’ faith in its system. Allowing this audit provides another layer of transparency and citizen engagement.”
Favorito remarked the statement was “carefully crafted as not to lie” when read the statement. He asked if Raffensperger was in favor of election transparency then why did his office file an amicus brief against their lawsuit through the Attorney General.
He added that the Secretary of State has issued more “roadblocks” than Fulton County itself. He stated that Raffensperger is “adamantly opposed to election transparency in the state.”
The Secretary of State’s Office has conducted three recounts of the November Election, including a hand recount.
All three came back confirming the election results. During the almost daily press briefings following the November election, Gabriel Sterling, Secretary of State Election Official, tried to quell claims of widespread voter fraud and asked individual voters to report and suspected issues to their office.
Earlier in the year, the state board of election aced on more than 300 cases of voter fraud, several were referred to the Attorney General for prosecution.
Raffensperger’s also voiced support of Georgia voter reform efforts, claiming it would not result in voter suppression. He added on Twitter that he’s always encouraged voters to use legal channels when pursuing election disputes in their counties.
ELLIJAY, Ga – Former State Representative and Trump ally Vernon Jones continued to flirt with the idea of running for Georgia Governor as a Republican.
Jones switched the Republican Party in January after previously stating he had no plans to do so. However, his tweets “if I were governor” suggested he wants to primary current Governor Brian Kemp (R).
At 10 a.m. at Liberty Park on Friday, April 16, Jones will make an announcement whether he is running or not. If he does announce, it’s like Trump will endorse him.
He’s promised an “overhaul” of Georgia’s election system if he was governor but didn’t go into details.
As for switching parties, Jones asked for the same treatment as past Republicans who started out as Democrats, such as former Governor’s Sonny Perdue and Nathan Deal. If reelected, Kemp will be the first life-long Republican to reattain the office since Reconstruction.
Jones added that not everyone agrees, and no one should expect 100 percent agreement. He claimed that Democrats disagreed with his conservative nature for 30 years, and now, he no longer has to abide by their rules.
Kemp’s leadership or lack there of was the focus of Jones talking points. He wanted to know why Kemp let MLB pull the All-Star game from Georgia, what actions did he take to prevent it? Did Kemp speak with Delta about their objections to SB 202. According to Jones, Kemp’s failures to address voter integrity issues months ago, cost Georgia money.
Accusing Kemp of hiding and letting the General Assembly clean up his mess, Jones attacked the governor for not taking a proactive role in November 2020. He didn’t call a special session to discuss election issues. Several Democrats and Republicans have praised Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) for not bending to the will of Trump during that time.
However, other Georgia voters lost faith in the system after the General Election. Legislators spoke at length during the 2021 Session about constituents calling to express their voting concerns.
ELLIJAY, Ga – State Senator and Majority Whip Steve Gooch (R – Dahlonega) outlined the senate plan to prevent voter fraud accusations in the future.
The state senate is holding an Oversight Committee hearing on Thursday, December 3 at 10:00 a.m. in Room 450 of the State Capitol. They will be evaluating the election process to ensure the integrity of Georgia’s voting process.
Later, a Judiciary Special Subcommittee will convene on Thursday, December 3 at 1:00 p.m. in Room 450 of the State Capitol. They will take testimony of elections improprieties and evaluate the election process to ensure Georgia’s voting integrity.
Livestreaming will be available at https://livestream.com/accounts/26021522/events/8730585
“We will be able to look at the process of this election and all elections going forward,” Gooch explained. “We’ve got to start today. First, we’ve got to start today to get both Senators David Perdue (R) and Kelly Loeffler (R) reelected, but we also have to start today on election reform in Georgia.”
They want input from the public and people with evidence of any election wrongdoing to come forward so that they can take swift action. However, the state oversight committee doesn’t possess the same subpoena power enjoyed at the federal level.
The Georgia General Assembly can’t call a special session without a 3/5 majority unless the governor calls them back to the Capitol. Right now, the oversight committee hearing is their best option until the Assembly opens on January 11, 2021.
“We want to get to the bottom of some of the allegations put out there,” Gooch said. “If anyone has done anything wrong, they need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I don’t care who that person is.”
According to Gooch, Governor Brian Kemp’s emergency powers are “narrowly defined” to only address the COVID-19 issue. He couldn’t call a special session to address the election using these powers. Also, Georgia Code 38-3-53 outlines that the General Assembly can meet “through the initiative of the members thereof following an emergency or disaster resulting from manmade or natural causes or enemy attack impending or affecting this state.” No mention of potential voter fraud or elections.
Also, the Democrats won’t vote to go into a special session to overturn election results.
“Can the Georgia State Senate overturn the results of November 3? I don’t think we can. Can a court system do that? Possibly. I think that’s where the course of action has to take place at this point in time. It has to come from the court system. I don’t know anything that we’re going to get done in the next eight to ten days that’s going to overturn what’s happened,” Gooch stated.
Georgia Voter Confidence
The Majority Whip went on to address the lost confidence in the voting system among Georgians.
“I believe voters have lost confidence in the system as it is today. They do not trust the integrity of the voting system that we have in place right now. Whether that is a correct feeling or not, that’s the assumption that I get when I hear from my constituents,” he said.
Gooch went on to say it was “imperative” that the judge’s rule on the election lawsuits as soon as possible. If the Dominion system proved corrupt, then there is a possibility of removing the machines before the runoff.
“We have to have that proof. We have to have that documentation,” Gooch affirmed. “We have to that ruling from a court system in order to establish the fact that those machines are tainted, and they can’t be relied upon in this January 5 election.”
According to Gooch, the most likely area for Georgia’s voter fraud occurred in the absentee ballots’ verification process. He added that no one in Georgia should be allowed to sign their name and send in an application to receive a ballot. Everyone should “show up in person and show a photo ID.”
“I personally would like to do back to the original way we voted, and that is everybody came and voted in person unless you were in the military or you had a specific reason why you could not show up to vote on election day,” Gooch explained.
He’s also against ballot drop boxes, calling them “a book drop at a public library.”
“January 5 has just become the most important election in our lifetime. We have to preserve some balance of power in the U.S. Congress. Otherwise, you have Democrats running the U.S. House, the U.S. Senate, and the Presidency, and that could have devastating impacts on us for decades into the future. We have to get out the vote,” he finished.
NORTH GEORGIA – Earlier tonight, Andrew Clyde said, “I’m declaring victory tonight” to a room full of supporters in Commerce, Ga. after he clinched the GOP nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives Ninth District seat.
The night ended fairly early for the gun shop owner and Navy Veteran with the race being called before 10 p.m. on Tuesday, August 11. Clyde won 55.96 percent of the vote with 85 percent reporting. Gurtler received 44.04 percent of the vote. He carried at least 15 of the 20 counties in the Ninth District. Gilmer County was still out at the time this article was published.
President Donald Trump has already called Clyde to congratulate him on winning a hard-fought race.
Now that the runoff is over, Clyde and company will turn their eyes to November. The Republican candidate will face Democrat Devin Pandy, who also won his runoff tonight.
Whoever wins on November 3rd will take Representative Doug Collins (R) seat in the House of Representatives. Collins is currently in a race for Kelly Loeffler’s (R) senate seat.
Clyde will be appearing on FYNTV.com with Brian Pritchard on Thursday at 8.am.
See how all the statewide races in FYN’s coverage area turned out, here.
Interested in viewing local races? Visit the specific county to see who won their runoffs.
UNION COUNTY, Ga – The polls have closed for the August 11 runoff election. To review the unofficial election returns for your local, state, and federal races, check out the list below. Please remember all the results are unofficial until certified by the Secretary of State.
Precincts: 100% reporting
U.S. House of Representatives District 9
Andrew Clyde -1,851 votes
Matt Gurtler – 2,765 votes
Devin Pandy – 476 votes
Brooke Siskin – 216 votes
Andrew Clyde – 190
Matt Gurtler – 289
Andrew Clyde – 230
Matt Gurtler – 307
Andrew Clyde – 138
Matt Gurtler – 220
Andrew Clyde – 199
Matt Gurtler – 302
Andrew Clyde -188
Matt Gurtler – 229
Andrew Clyde – 207
Matt Gurtler – 339
Andrew Clyde -71
Matt Gurtler – 81
Andrew Clyde – 96
Matt Gurtler – 163
Andrew Clyde -132
Matt Gurtler – 217
Andrew Clyde -162
Matt Gurtler – 296
Andrew Clyde – 238
Matt Gurtler – 322
To see the state election returns, click here. This article contains the overall race winner and identified runoffs for State House, State Senate, U.S. House, and U.S. Senate in FYN’s coverage area.
The General Election is scheduled for November 3 as well as the jungle primary for Senator Kelly Loeffler’s seat.
ATLANTA, Ga – InsiderAdvantage has called Georgia for President Donald Trump with almost all the votes counted.
“InsiderAdvantage Chairman Matt Towery says, ‘I was amazed that Georgia was not called last night. There are not enough votes available to bring this race much closer or to create a contested situation. There was no Democratic wave in Georgia, despite what most pollsters and the national media had trumpeted.'”
Towery is a veteran pollster and has accurately polled the winner of every state so far.
Georgia has 16 electoral college votes and will take Donald Trump to 229. Joe Biden currently has 238 electoral college votes.
See the complete InsiderAdvantage story, here.
BLAIRSVILLE, Ga – With the Georgia Primary less than a month away, Steve Townsend (R) hopes his message of principled politics, religious freedom, and small business liberties win over voters in Ga-8.
Townsend entered the race in the eleventh hour. He just made the Friday deadline on March 6 because he was only approached about running on Thursday, March 5.
Conceding, he didn’t have a lot of time to think about the prospect of becoming a representative. Townsend started making phone calls and praying about it.
“People kept saying go for it,” said Townsend. “The Lord began to confirm over and over to run this race.”
One of the calls he made was to current District 8 Rep. Matt Gurtler who Townsend considers to be a good friend. Gurtler encouraged him to enter along with several other Rabun Republicans. However, Gurtler hasn’t endorsed Townsend at this point.
According to Townsend, the rest of District 8 has responded with enthusiasm to his bid even though no one can meet because of the coronavirus shutdowns. Social distancing presents unique problems to all those seeking office in 2020, but Townsend believes people are beginning to resonate with his message.
One could feel the animation in his voice when he spoke about representing the “good old, rugged individuals” found in the North Georgia mountains and his plans for the area.
The biggest issue facing Union, Rabun, Towns, and White is the economy. Townsend commended former Gov. Sonny Perdue and Nathan Deal for incentivizing Georgia for businesses but believes more actions could be taken to make small businesses more lucrative. Namely, eliminate the state income tax to put more money back in Georgian’s pockets. Sales tax would be used in place of the income tax. People would only be taxed on what they spend.
“If people have money in their pocket, they still spend it,” explained Townsend. “People would still put [money] in the economy if we eliminated income tax.”
Townsend believes that Georgians and Americans, in general, are taxed too much and only 40 to 50 cents of every dollar ends up in a person’s personal bank account. He also spoke about providing tax relief to retirees who live on a set income and many of whom live in the mountains. As a country, Americans need to “cut down the appetite of the government,” and tax reform is how Townsend wants to accomplish it.
Also, now that Georgia’s slowly returning to normal, he said now is a good time to find new opportunities for the mountains. Up here, people can spread out and take advantage of all the space safely.
Additionally, during the times of “cancel culture,” when individuals and businesses are bullied for voicing differing opinions, Townsends wants all businesses to have the right to operate according to the owner’s belief systems. Yes, he means if a gay couple requests a cake with sayings on it that contradict the baker’s beliefs, then the baker can refuse to fill their order.
“Good, conservative business owners have the right to stick to their beliefs,” affirmed Townsend. He brought up the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which grants owners the protection to operate according to their “conscience and deeply held religious beliefs without fear of attack or repercussion.”
Another principle that Townsend doesn’t believe will win him any favor with Georgia House Speaker David Ralston is his support of HB 982 or Hailie’s Amendment. The bill would change the legislative leave clause and eliminate trial continuances for sexual and violent crimes.
As the interview progressed, it became apparent that Townsend doesn’t necessarily approve of everything Ralston does in the General Assembly.
When questioned about his ability to work with Ralston, he said, “I’ll work with him; I’ll work with anybody. I’m a preacher I’m used to working with people, but would he be willing to work with me?”
Townsend also suggested that the group of Stan Gunter supporters in Rabun County are also Ralston supporters and that the speaker would like for Gunter to win the race. Gurtler expressed a similar line of reasoning before he decided to run for the U.S. House of Representatives District 9.
However, Gurtler earned the reputation of “Dr. No” because he often wouldn’t compromise with his fellow legislators to move agendas forward.
When pressed if Townsend would continue this tradition of no votes, he conceded that District 8 shouldn’t suffer because of political squabbles.
“I would represent the whole Eighth District not just my own personal agenda,” he said. However, if he felt something was morally wrong or sent Georgia into debt, he would be compelled to vote against it.
Townsend agrees with the job President Trump as done so far even if Trump wasn’t his first choice in the primary. Trump keeps his promises, which you don’t see from politicians expounded Townsend.
As for Townsend’s background, he moved to Clayton, Ga on Jan. 1, 2001, and served as a preacher for 14 years. After resigning he thought he would go to another church, but he ended up at Write Your Congressman, an organization dedicated to informing elected officials on the opinions of their constituents. He and his wife have five children, three daughters and two sons.
The Georgia Primary takes place on Tuesday, June 9. Please find out from your local election office about any special protocols in place due to COVID-19.
Read our interview with the other District 8 Stan Gunter, here.
ELLIJAY, Ga. – State House Representative Matt Gurtler spoke with FYN CEO Brian Pritchard in a live FYNTV interview, Feb.13, on the state budget cuts, related HB 4, and his announcement to run for the 9th Congressional District seat vacated by U.S. Senate-seeking Representative Doug Collins.
Gurtler, who is running on a platform of limited government, free markets, and individual liberty, said that the decision to run for U.S. Congress did not come lightly, and reached through deliberation and prayer. “We looked at the State Senate seat, we looked at the Congressional seat and had an opportunity to go up to Washington D.C. to meet with the conservative leaders in the House and also the Senate, and theses individuals and individuals reaching out to me across the District really encouraged me to run,” Gurtler said. “They’ve been watching me, and that I’ve been standing up to the powers that be, and the insiders in Atlanta and the special interests and the bloated budgets, and so it was sort of flattering that they noticed me there. And so we came back, and me and my family prayed, and we made the decision for Congress. We feel that we have a lot of support around the District. We’re going to work our tail off. We’re going to put tens of thousands of miles on the car again and wear the soles out on our feet and just bring the message of limited government to a wider audience, and a national audience if we are elected, so that we can really educate people.”
Gurtler said that members of the House and Senate voiced a need for “revolutionaries” to educate people on a national level, specifically against socialism. The State House Representative, who was in Washington D.C. during the telephone interview, divulged that he met with the Young Americans for Liberty, Freedom Caucus, and Club for Growth – an organization that is spending millions to fight Congressman Doug Collins in the U.S. Senate race.
Gurtler added that he received an endorsement from Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.
The 8th District representative later shared his support for the Second Amendment in a social media post. “Our founders understood the right of self-defense is a natural and God-given right,” Gurtler wrote. “Red Flag laws and gun confiscation legislation like we see in Virginia, are dangerous to the principles of a free society and go against our constitutional rights. I will stand up for our 2nd Amendment rights in Washington DC just as I have done from day one at the State Capitol these past 4 years.”
Continue to follow FYN for local, state, and national campaign coverage as the May 19 primary election approaches.