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Trump pressures Georgia governor to overturn election results

In yet another example of the lengths that Donald Trump will go to hold onto power, the Washington Post is reporting that the outgoing president pressured Georgia’s Republican governor to overturn that state’s election results. A third official count – the initial count plus two recounts – confirmed that Biden won the state with a nearly 12,000 vote lead.

According to the Washington Post:

President Trump called Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) on Saturday morning to urge him to persuade the state legislature to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the state and asked the governor to order an audit of absentee ballot signatures, the latest brazen effort by the president to interfere in the 2020 election.

Hours before he was scheduled to hold a rally in Georgia on behalf of the state’s two GOP senators, Trump pressed Kemp to call a special session of the state legislature to get lawmakers to override the results and appoint electors that would back him, according to a person familiar with the conversation who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the private call. He also asked the governor to demand an audit of signatures on mail ballots, something Kemp has previously noted he has no power to do.

Kemp declined the entreaty from Trump, according to the person.

Trump sent out a tweet on Saturday to his millions of followers, questioning the loyalty of two of Georgia’s leading Republican state leaders, Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

Trump is scheduled to appear at a campaign rally on behalf of Georgia’s two incumbent Republican senators. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue find themselves in tight races with control of the Senate on the line. It’s unclear how Georgia voters will respond to Trump’s continued attempts to subvert American democracy.

Photo Credit: Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead

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Michael Flynn calls on Trump to declare martial law, overturn election results

Fresh off of a pardon, disgraced retired lieutenant general Michael Flynn has called on President Trump to declare martial law, suspend the Constitution, and overturn the presidential election results.

Flynn – who was forced to resign as Trump’s first National Security Adviser after serving for just 24 days – lent his support to a newspaper ad from a fringe Tea Party-affiliated group called We the People Convention. The ad reads like a screed decrying “leftists,” “socialists,” “domestic and international communists,” and other imagined enemies.

However, the most notable section from the ad calls on Trump to assume dictatorial powers:

When the legislators, courts and/or Congress fail to do their duty under the 12th Amendment, you must be ready Mr. President to immediately declare a limited form of Martial Law, and temporarily suspend the Constitution and civilian control of these federal elections, for the sole purpose of having the military oversee a national re-vote.

Needless to say, it is highly unusual for a retired lieutenant general to call on the president of the United States to declare martial law. It’s even more unusual when that person is a former National Security Adviser and campaign adviser to that very same president – a president who had granted his own former official a pardon for a crime that Flynn pleaded guilty.

While many will be tempted to write off Flynn as a kook, the man has both a large following (over 1 million followers on Twitter, to be precise) and the ear of Donald Trump. Again, despite admitting to lying to the FBI, Trump granted this man a pardon just days ago.

Retired Army officer Paul Yingling put it in starker terms: “Flynn’s anti-election propaganda is an essential precursor to violent terrorist attacks on legitimate electoral outcomes,” Yingling told The Daily Beast. “When the bombs go off, the blood is on Mike Flynn’s hands.”

Even if no violence results – which is hardly guaranteed at this rate – the damage that Trump and Flynn are inflicting on American democracy is real and will last long after this presidency ends.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore, Flickr

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Arizona certifies Biden win as AG Barr admits no widespread voter fraud

The state of Arizona certified President-elect Joe Biden’s win on Monday. Typically a formality, the certification process has gained attention as President Trump levies false allegations and attempts to overturn election results in states that he lost.

According to CNN:

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, certified the election results Monday morning, saying the elections process was the most secure in recent history, “despite unfounded claims to the contrary.” The state’s Gov. Doug Ducey and Attorney General Mark Brnovich, along with Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Brutinel, witnessed the certification, as required by state law. These three officials are Republicans.

Joe Biden won Arizona with a 10,457 vote margin, according to the Arizona Secretary of State’s office. This is the first time that a Democratic presidential candidate has won Arizona since 1996.

The traditionally Republican state became a top target of Democrats after the party won a Senate seat in 2018. After Senator-elect Mark Kelly’s victory this year, Democrats now hold both Senate seats in Arizona.

Trump attacked Arizona’s incumbent Republican governor, Doug Ducey, who signed the certification. Trump alleged that Ducey “betrayed the people of Arizona.”

According to the Arizona Republic, Ducey defended the integrity of the election and responded to the outgoing president’s tirade:

Here’s what the law says. It requires the Secretary of State, in the presence of the Governor and the Attorney General, to canvass the election on the fourth Monday following the general election. That was today. This can ONLY be delayed if counties DECLINE to certify their results. ALL 15 counties in Arizona — counties run by both parties — certified their results. The canvass of the election triggers a 5-day window for any elector to bring a credible challenge to the election results in court. If you want to contest the results, now is the time. Bring your challenges. That’s the law. I’ve sworn an oath to uphold it, and I take my responsibility seriously.

Meanwhile, Attorney General William Barr – a Trump appointee known for his fierce loyalty to the president – admitted that the election results were legitimate.

“To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election,” Barr told the Associated Press.

Last month, in an unusual directive, Barr ordered U.S. attorneys to launch federal investigations into voter fraud. The order circumvented longstanding Department of Justice precedent that prohibited launching investigations before states certified election results. The move prompted the DOJ’s top election crimes prosecutor to resign in protest.

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The voter registration deadline for Georgia’s Senate runoff is December 7

The deadline to register to vote for Georgia’s upcoming Senate runoff elections is fast approaching.

Voters who are not currently registered or who need to update their registration must do so before the December 7 deadline.

To register to vote in Georgia, you must:

  • Be a citizen of the United States
  • Be a legal resident of the county
  • Be at least 17 1/2 years of age to register and 18 years of age to vote
  • Not be serving a sentence for conviction of a felony involving moral turpitude
  • Have not been found mentally incompetent by a judge.

You can register online or by mail. To register by mail, you will need to download and complete the postage-paid voter registration application and mail it to the Secretary of State’s office.

The runoff is necessary because no candidates in either of Georgia’s two US Senate races received a majority of the vote on November 3. The runoff is scheduled for January 5. Early voting begins on December 14.