How to accomplish an election do-over in Georgia

By Jo Blu

Georgia plans a runoff vote for both senators in early January.  Why not expand it a bit to test the reliability of the November election?  In other words, add a presidential line to the ballot to see if the Biden win can be replicated.  With tightened procedures*, this will serve two purposes: enhance turnout to hopefully assure retention of the Senate, and provide an independent check of the November results.

It appears that while the presidential vote was close, that's not enough to force a runoff.  A win in Georgia requires a majority of the votes cast.  But is this immutable?  Can there be an exception?  Would the current controversy allow a redo — perhaps as a pro-active remedy for the ongoing lawsuits?

Undoubtedly, the Democrats would cry foul.  Unfair.  Too costly.  The voters have already spoken, etc.  But given the low-hanging cloud of fraud, might the Legislature embrace such a simple way to clarify the situation?  And as political cover, it could be pursued as a non-binding "sentiment" indicator.  The final decision would, as always, still be up to the Legislature (but with the implication that an "odd" contrary decision would be at the legislators' peril). 

What about certification?  By then, the vote will probably have been certified.  But what does the law say about rescinding certification?  This could go to the Supreme Court.  Alternatively, a presidential "sentiment" vote on the ballot would provide the Georgia Legislature the excuse it needs to defer certification.  Legislators could argue that they will decide on certification after the new vote.  This would still allow time for a subsequent U.S. House vote if Georgia continued to refuse certification.

Another hue and cry will concern the WuFlu.  But this should be of little concern if one "follows the science."  First, vaccines should be modestly available.  And the FDA might be enticed to make a special exemption for Georgia citizens to receive theirs early — perhaps even at the voting stations. 

Second, at least some evidence indicates that voting station infection susceptibility is negligible.  A recent comparison of the rate of infections associated with the election timeline showed that the post-election increase (second week in Nov.) was actually higher in a lockdown state (N.J.: 50% jump with ~0% in-person votes) than in an 'open' state (Fla.: 31% with 88% in-person votes).  In addition, a map of the locations of high infection rates across the country shows relatively low rates in the circumferential states (such as Ga.) vs the interior states (Iowa, Kan., N.D., N.M., Okla., S.D., Wyo., etc).  This appears to be correlated with the former having been hit the earliest, and now being somewhat on the wane in comparison.

In conclusion, given the slim margin between the candidates, it's likely that most fair-minded Georgia voters would welcome another chance to clear up this mess.  So why not? 

No cost.  Easy to implement.  Improved reliability & clarity.  What's not to like?

*  Some recommendations :

- Permanently separate mail-in ballots from in-person ballots.

- Assure strict observance of all verification and reliability rules.

- Assign equal numbers of party observers to each major and/or contested precinct.

- Assign state police to assure that rules are observed.

- Video-record the entire operation through final counting, at least in the more contested areas.

- Immediately perform a manual count under the same meticulous conditions.  Perhaps allow the machines to provide a rapid (but unofficial) initial count but only after all the votes are in.  Under these conditions the machines will likely operate correctly.  For those who decry a manual vote, ask why it could be done in Florida but not in chadless Georgia.

Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.

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