For the political junkies and disciples of democracy, this is the week that counts.
Two key voting rights-related battles are unfolding: one in Georgia, one in Congress.
Georgia’s case centers around the validity of 147,000 absentee ballots cast in Fulton County during last November’s presidential election. Nine Georgia voters sued to have the ballots examined based on what the lead plaintiff said: “was evidence of potential counterfeit ballot.”
“We wanted to inspect those to see if, in fact, the evidence and sworn affidavits [from poll workers] are in fact correct,” Roswell resident Garland Favorito told the Atlanta Civic Circle Tuesday. Favorito is the lead plaintiff in the case being heard by Henry County Superior Court Chief Judge Brian Amero.
On Monday, Amero said he needed more time to review the case before issuing a ruling. Efforts to reach Amero were unsuccessful but Favorito, who attended Monday’s hearing, said he thinks it’ll be a couple of weeks before Amero makes his decision.
“This is not an election challenge. It’s a constitutional rights challenge, equal protection, and due process,” Favorito, co-founder of VoterGA, a nonprofit, nonpartisan election integrity organization, said of the lawsuit. He is a long-time critic of Georgia’s election system.
Similarly, a controversial ballot recount is underway in Arizona. The recount, which was expected to be finished Thursday, has now been extended. The results of the audit being done by a team of independent auditors called “Cyber Ninjas” now likely won’t be ready for another month.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate is set to vote on a sweeping voting rights bill Tuesday that could end in a showdown. Or the very least, a filibuster. The For The People Act, which faces major challenges, protects voters’ rights, enhances election security, and requires independent redistricting. The bill, which needs 50 votes to advance, would stop state lawmakers from overruling local election results.
At a Monday town hall meeting on redistricting, former President Barack Obama blasted partisan efforts to derail the H.R. 1 bill, the most comprehensive voting and ethics bill in 50 years.
“In the aftermath of the insurrection and with our democracy on the line… many of these same Republican senators going along with the notion that there were [voting] irregularities…suddenly [are] afraid to figure out solutions on the floor of the senate
They don’t even want to talk about voting,” Obama said. “It’s unacceptable.”