New voting laws may impact Georgia Senate runoff

Liberal Opinion

Rashad Richey

National TV Political Analyst, Talk Radio Host, Univ. Prof.
Archive |

Democrats defied most pundits and retained narrow control of the Senate in the midterm elections. They could expand their majority in Congress’ upper chamber if incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock wins the Dec. 6 Georgia runoff over Republican candidate Herschel Walker. Neither candidate garnered 50% plus one vote required by state law, so Peach State voters will cast ballots once again. Straight Arrow News contributor Rashad Richey warns Democrats that recently-passed voting laws may impact the Georgia Senate runoff election.

So let me first start with what’s called the constitutional mandate to govern. According to the Georgia Constitution, in order to govern in a statewide elected race, you must receive 50% plus one vote. Some publications will say 51%. They are wrong. It is 50% plus one. If nobody gets 50%, plus one or more, it goes into an automatic runoff, and that’s what you have here. Some laws were passed a few years ago that we deemed voter restriction laws in the state of Georgia. 

Well, what did those laws actually do? Well, a lot of people paid attention to it creating criminals out of people who simply wanted to bring water to a voting precinct; it made that a misdemeanor. That’s bad, that’s really bad. But there are some things that are actually worse. For example, they shortened the time, the window that you have, from general election to go and vote in a runoff. They shortened it. Why? Why would Republicans take that away from voters, especially during the holiday season? They did that because all of the data was clear; when Democrats have a longer time to fundraise and to get the message out, they tend to do better in the overall outcome. When there is a shorter turnaround time, the conservative candidate tends to do better due to the natural demographics of Georgia. So they shortened the window. They passed this two years ago. 

Chess is what they’re playing and not checkers. What’s the difference? And I hope Democrats especially will take at least this page out of the playbook. Many of them are still playing checkers. I’m talking about my Democratic brothers and sisters as it relates to these major campaign dynamics. Checkers is when you use power to gain position. Chess is when you use position to gain power. Republicans passed these laws two years ago and some even longer in order to give their side an advantage. Now, is that right? No. Is it unethical? Of course it is. 

Okay, let me give you the meat and potatoes of what’s happening in the state of Georgia as it relates to Senator Raphael Warnock and candidate, Republican candidate, Herschel Walker. There is a run off because of a third-party candidate named Chase Oliver. Chase Oliver is a Libertarian. Chase Oliver was able to garner 2.1% of the vote, forcing a runoff in this election. Now, there are some interesting dynamics connected to Georgia law as well as previous laws that were passed that directly impact this campaign. 

So let me first start with what’s called the constitutional mandate to govern. According to the Georgia Constitution, in order to govern in a statewide elected race, you must receive 50% plus one vote. Some publications will say 51%. They are wrong. It is 50% plus one. If nobody gets 50%, plus one or more, it goes into an automatic runoff, and that’s what you have here. Some laws were passed a few years ago that we deemed voter restriction laws in the state of Georgia. 

Well, what did those laws actually do? While a lot of people paid attention to it creating criminals out of people who simply wanted to bring water to a voting precinct; it made that a misdemeanor. That’s bad, that’s really bad. But there are some things that are actually worse. For example, they shortened the time, the window that you have, from general election to go and vote in a runoff. They shortened it.

Why? Why would Republicans take that away from voters, especially during the holiday season? They did that because all of the data was clear; when Democrats have a longer time to fundraise and to get the message out, they tend to do better in the overall outcome. When there is a shorter turnaround time, the conservative candidate tends to do better due to the natural demographics of Georgia. So they shortened the window. They passed this two years ago. 

Chess is what they’re playing and not checkers. What’s the difference? And I hope Democrats especially will take at least this page out of the playbook. Many of them are still playing checkers. I’m talking about my democratic brothers and sisters as it relates to these major campaign dynamics. Checkers is when you use power to gain position. Chess is when you use position to gain power. Republicans passed these laws two years ago and some even longer in order to give their side an advantage. Now, is that right? No. Is it unethical? Of course it is. 

There’s another dynamic: Military personnel. If you’re serving overseas, and you live in the state of Georgia, you literally cannot vote in the runoff election. Technically, the way they do it when Georgia passed this law, they did not think about the fact that those serving our country overseas, they needed to still vote in the runoff. But you shortened the amount of time so much, you forgot about them. There’s not enough time to turn around the vote in a runoff because they shortened it. So what did they do? The state of Georgia created a ballot system for military personnel that basically told them they have to choose all these folks in hypothetical elections that don’t even exist. 

That’s how they vote. They vote before the election is even here. It’s a fictional scenario. That’s how they get it in. These things, all of these things, are contrary to the sentiment of transparency in the United States of America, and especially in our democracy. Now, we can debate and argue if Herschel Walker has the capacity; my answer is hell to the nah, he does not have the capacity to be a US senator. His own campaign says this. 

But if Democrats keep saying things like, “I can’t believe people vote for Herschel Walker,” or they minimize him because of his lack of intellectual prowess, you’re missing the point. The point is, there are people that Herschel Walker connects to in ways that you may not understand. There are still individuals however, who care about progress. 

My advice to Senator Warnock: Keep this runoff election about policies that impact the outcomes of Georgians. That’s my two cents.


Get unbiased straight facts, context, and perspective!