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Election updates: Early voting, Hice challenge, high-profile visits and more

Published: Dec. 22, 2020 at 7:16 AM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Early voters continue to come out to cast their ballots in the Georgia Senate runoff.

More than 1,400 people voted Monday in Richmond County yesterday, bringing the total of ballots cast to nearly 12,000.

The Columbia County Board of Elections says almost 3,000 early voters cast a ballot at both of their polling locations Monday. Add 9,000 absentee ballots returned, and that makes 26,000 total votes so far in the county.

Early voting schedule:

RICHMOND COUNTY

Bell Auditorium, 712 Telfair St.

  • Dec. 21-23: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Dec. 24-25: No voting
  • Dec. 28-31: 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Jan. 1: No voting

Robert Howard Community Center, 103 Diamond Lakes Way, Henry Brigham Community Center, 2463 Golden Camp Road and Warren Road Community Center, 300 Warren Road

  • Dec. 28-31: 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Jan. 1: No voting

COLUMBIA COUNTY

Building G-3 at the government complex in Evans and the old Euchee Creek Library in Grovetown

  • 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays

If you are voting by mail and choose not to mail in your ballot, secure drop boxes are open in Richmond County at:

  • Augusta-Richmond County Municipal Building, 535 Telfair St.
  • Robert Howard Community Center at Diamond Lakes Regional Park, 103 Diamond Lakes Way
  • Henry Brigham Community Center, 2463 Golden Camp Road
  • Warren Road Recreation Center, 300 Warren Road
  • Augusta Service Center, 3463 Peach Orchard Road

Kamala Harris, Ivanka Trump visit Georgia

Democratic and Republican leaders are flocking to Georgia ahead of the Senate runoffs.

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka were in the Peach State rallying for their parties on Monday.

Harris stopped in Columbus joined by Democratic nominees Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.

Ivanka Trump joined Republican incumbent Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue in Milton.

“You allowed people around this nation to say, ‘Uh huh, don’t ever put us in a box and tell us who we are; we will tell you who we are,’” Harris said.

In Milton, Ivanka Trump touted her father’s accomplishments.

“Getting a vaccine from start to finish that’s safe and effective in nine months is extraordinary,” she said.

She urged Republicans not to fall asleep during the Jan. 5 runoffs.

Hice plans formal challenge of results

Georgia Congressman Jody Hice says he plans to join a formal challenge of the state’s presidential election results.

In a tweet posted Monday night, Hice says he will “lead an objection to Georgia’s electors” when Congress meets Jan. 6 to tally electoral votes.

Hice met Monday with President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Trump’s legal team. He said the Supreme Court refuses to hear the president’s legal cases, but says they’re going to make sure the people can.

GOP activist’s voter challenges raise questions in Georgia

A conservative activist whose organization is challenging the eligibility of thousands of Georgia voters ahead of high-profile U.S. Senate runoffs is claiming a loose alliance with the Georgia Republican Party in what she bills as a widespread election integrity program.

True the Vote and its founder, Catherine Engelbrecht, are drawing fire from liberal counterparts who blast the efforts as coordinated voter suppression with early voting already having begun ahead the Jan. 5 runoffs.

Those critics also question the organization’s compliance with IRS and Federal Elections Commission rules.

Engelbrecht says all her activities follow federal tax and campaign finance law.

Georgia election leaders honored

Five election officials, mostly from Georgia, were selected for recognition by Arnold Schwarzenegger for their leadership roles during the 2020 election.

The Hollywood star and former California governor’s Democracy Action Hero Awards go to Brad Raffensperger, Georgia secretary of state; Christopher C. Krebs, former director for cybersecurity and infrastructure at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; Shauna Dozier, director of elections and registration in Clayton County, Ga.; Nancy Boren, director of elections and registration in Muscogee County, Ga.; and Chris Hollins, former county clerk in Harris County, Texas.

The online award ceremony will be streamed at https://www.youtube.com/c/ArnoldSchwarzenegger.

State makes history with Black sheriffs’ election

From President-elect Joe Biden’s surprise win to two Senate runoffs, Georgia keeps headlining election news.

For the first time ever, voters in the Peach State elected Black sheriffs in all four of the most populated counties around Atlanta.

They call it a major milestone in changing the Deep South.

“The community really doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” said Patrick Labat.

Keybo Taylor said: “But these young folks have to have a seat at the table. And we have to invite them in and we have to include them.”

Also in the news

  • Protecting the runoff election is at the top of the list for Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. He’s sending 8,000 letters to people requesting absentee ballots despite moving out of state. He says anyone tampering with the runoff will be held accountable.
  • Gov. Brian Kemp is expected to cast his ballot early. He plans to do it at 4:15 p.m. today in Athens-Clarke County.

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