Media, and Others, Create False Narrative About No Excuse Absentee Voting Proposal

Add this to the reasons I do not trust the media.

Yesterday the State Election Board (SEB) voted down a proposal by one of it’s members to recommend to the legislature that they pass new legislation eliminating no excuse absentee voting. The motion was brought by Republican member of the board, Janice Johnston, and received an additional vote from the recently appointed, and former State Senator, Rick Jeffares.

Voting against it were Democrat Sara Tindall Ghazal, Republicans Ed Lindsey, and Chairman John Fervier.

Johnston’s reasoning as expressed during the hearing is that no excuse absentee voting creates doubts in elections. She also claims that voter anonymity is sacrificed for the sake of convenience and that, “the State Election Board has received numerous complaints involving absentee ballot requests, duplicate voting by absentee ballot, failure to mail or deliver absentee ballots in a timely manner, defects in the handling processing and recording of absentee ballots, [and] appearance of counterfeit absentee ballots…”

You can read the full contents of her proposal here.

What you won’t notice by reading the proposal is the number of those claims that were valid. But I digress.

What you will see is a proposal to ask the Legislature to take action and not a proposal to end no excuse absentee voting. The difference is huge because it is one thing for the SEB to ask the legislature to change the law, and another thing entirely for the SEB to take matters into their own hands to end no excuse absentee voting. But if you read the headlines from the media who covered the story, you would have thought it was the latter that was being voted on, even though the SEB has no authority to do so.

Take a look at these headlines and tell me where I have gone wrong:

There are more, but you get the point.

The SEB is tasked with carrying out election law, not creating the law. The proposal was to send a message to the legislature to exercise their authority to change the law, but you wouldn’t know that by reading headlines.

Which brings me to this very important point, the proposal, even if passed by the SEB, was a waste of time.

Way back in 2021 when SB 202 was being negotiated between the chambers, the Senate passed another election bill that eliminated no excuse absentee voting. The press went bonkers and we saw early signs of the false narrative that Republicans in Georgia were promoting Jim Crow 2.0. And then Governor Kemp, Lt. Governor Duncan, and Speaker Ralston stepped in and ended the debate by expressing opposition to the Senate Bill and it never came to the floor of the House for a vote.

I mention that for context and explain the fallout we are seeing as a result of the 3-2 vote in the GAGOP Activist Class™ because we have heard some of them are not very happy indeed. For example, Salleigh Grubbs, the Cobb County GOP Chair who spends more time spouting stolen election claims than trying to recruit quality candidates and get electable Republicans, I don’t know… elected, told a group of Republicans, “ED LINDSEY ON THE STATE ELECTION BOARD MUST GO. HE MUST BE REPLACED NOW!!! He just voted to continue to allow no excuse absentee ballots. PLEASE CALL SPEAKER BURNS. YES I AM YELLING!” Followed by 11 angry face emojis.

You almost can’t blame Salleigh on this one, after all, look at how the media covered it. But the truth is that Ed Lindsey didn’t vote to continue to use absentee ballots. He just voted against sending a resolution to the legislature. But who cares about details when you can go on the Steve Bannon Show?

I reached out to Ed Lindsey for comment, and for his part, he sent this statement back, “Over the past two decades, the Republican led General Assembly has been guided by the election law goal to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat. Republicans, including me while I was in the General Assembly, adopted no excuse absentee voting. They also passed legislation to enhance security measures such as voter ID and other measures. Just three years ago Republicans in the General Assembly rejected calls to eliminate no excuse absentee voting and instead toughened security measures. I agree with this long standing goal of Republicans in our State House.”

At this point it bears repeating, in spite of Chairwoman Grubb’s outrage, Ed wasn’t the only Republican on the SEB to vote against the proposal. Why he would be the target of an effort to remove him when the measure couldn’t even get a majority of Republicans on the board to support it is suspect. But like how the media spun a false narrative with misleading headlines, our Republican Activist Class™ seem to be suffering from the same inability to describe the situation fairly and accurately.

Maybe they are both motivated by similar things; Keep you outraged so you will keep listening/watching/reading.


What I will not hold my breath for is the moment the GAGOP praises this guy for calling for the end of no excuse absentee voting back in 2020.

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