A leaked document from the campaign of U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn has been much in the news for reasonsdirectly belkow – and deservedly so. But few if any seem to have picked up on one element that goesto the heart of a free and fair election in Georgia come November.
Michelle Nunn can come across as a “lightweight,” “too liberal,” not a “real Georgian.” While she served as CEO for the Points of Light Foundation, the organization gave grants to “inmates” and “terrorists.” And her Senate campaign must feature images of her and her family “in rural settings with rural-oriented imagery” because the Atlanta-based candidate will struggle to connect with rural voters.
On page 2o of the 144 page document document under the header of “Voter Protection,” sub-section “staffing,” the Nunn campaign details how they intend to “recruit, train, and deploy” Nunn supporters to work at the polls. While the approach may play within the letter of the law, so-to-speak, it appears the intent is clearly meant to impact the results of the election. A partisan operating under the guise of a poll worker mightbe able to find ample opportunities to perform in ways that benefit a particular candidate, as opposed to the democrat process they’re meant to uphold in a particular role as a volunteer.
The Voter Protection Program has three basic pieces (1) Recruit, train, and deploy people to watch (campaign/party observers) and work (election department staff) at polls, (2) advise campaign on election law and (3) respond to voter protection incidents with campaign and state party counsel.
Given the significant number of attorney volunteers and the relatively early start on voter
protection, we have an opportunity to effect both the staffing by each county’s Voter
ation and Election Department (Election Department) and the campaign’s
observers. While it is not a requirement that either of these positions be filled with attorneys, this is a place that many attorneys and law students feel is appropriate to their expertise.
In most campaigns across the country, the voter protection team spends all of its time on recruiting observers at the polls. Observers are the people the campaign or state party places in the polls to watch what is happening. While they are an important part of the voting process, they have limited opportunities to effect the election beyond documenting the process. Given the incredibly difficult lift in changing the outcome of an election through a recount, these individuals are only useful in getting the Elections Department to clarify election law in a given poll on election day
However, Victory 2014 can recruit and encourage individuals to apply to the counties’ Election Department to work in the polls. These individuals are responsible for the smooth functioning of the election. While they wouldn’t work for us, it is in the best interest of the campaign to have election staff that understand the opportunities and restrictions of the election law and are comfortable with technology.
To this end, the campaign will identify the deadlines for the recruitment of Election Department staff in our top 38 counties by January 15th. We will then work with the county Democratic Party, our RFD’s and FO’s and other interested parties to ensure the Election Departments have enough talented staff to meet the needs of the primary and general election.