The special election in Georgia’s sixth congressional district is over. It was the most expensive House race in history, with some $50 million being spent in former Rep. Tom Price’s district. Price vacated his seat to serve as Health and Human Services secretary before resigning over his use of billing taxpayers for his corporate jet rides. It pitted Republican Karen Handel and Democrat Jon Ossoff against each other. In the end, Handel prevailed. For Ossoff and the Democrats, it was a $30 million venture that ended with their guy not being able to break 48 percent. The Left had their reasons for the loss; MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow blamed the rain, saying it had “partisan implications.” Yet, as people forget now with Virginia, it’s a state that was carried by Clinton. Georgia was carried by Trump and GA-06 is a GOP district.
So, even though turnout was at its highest for Democrats in ten years for this race, as Ossoff’s pollster noted, they simply ran out of Democratic voters. There was also a drop-off in black voter turnout. So, while in bluish Virginia—a strong Democratic turnout will trounce Republicans, it cannot be said for the rest of the country. As you saw in a reddish district, like GA-06, it’s not a sign of a sweet win. And these are the seats that Democrats will need to win in order to retake the House. Frankly, it still comes down to reaching voters, which is what the Americans for Prosperity Georgia chapter did very well. Yet, for some people, like Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), he finds more solace that Handel “stole” the election, or something (via NBC 11 Alive):
Georgia Congressman Hank Johnson says he thinks Republicans may have stolen an election from his fellow Democrat, Jon Ossoff. Ossoff lost a special congressional election to Republican Karen Handel in June in the most expensive congressional election in US history.
A difference of about 3200 votes," recalled US Rep. Hank Johnson. The Democrat had employed Ossoff as a congressional aide. Ossoff stayed consistently ahead in most polls leading up to the runoff – then lost on election night.
"I think it’s quite possible that Jon Ossoff won that election and the election was stolen from him. That’s my suspicion," Johnson said Monday.
Johnson points to some delayed election results that came from Fulton County that night. He points to other races in 2014 where Democrats like Jason Carter and Michelle Nunn polled ahead before the election, but lost on election night.
More importantly, he points to issues with the Kennesaw State University’s Center for Election Systems – which runs the electronics that store and tabulate votes in Georgia. Less than a month after Ossoff lost the runoff to Handel – the KSU center wiped a hard drive that Johnson thinks may have been able to answer with certainty whether that election was corrupted.
A spokeswoman for KSU said in a statement: In March 2017, a Center for Election Systems’ server involved in an alleged data breach was turned over to the FBI. While the server was in the possession of the Bureau, a forensic image or copy of all the data on the server was made and held by the agency. Following the notification from the FBI that no data was compromised and the investigation was closed, the server was returned to the University’s Information Technology Services group and securely stored. In accordance with standard operating procedures, an after-action report was prepared. This report outlined hardware improvements for the Center, including repurposing the impacted server and surplusing servers that had exceeded end of life. As part of the report, the original server that had been investigated by the FBI was designated to be repurposed, and the drives on the server were erased and the server made available for alternative uses.
For those of you who don’t remember, Johnson is the congressman who thought the island of Guam could tip over due to overpopulation. Even Ossoff’s people conceded defeat. This was not a stolen election, Hank. The GOP just won.