Q: Shenanigans or Incompetence? A: Yes.

UPDATE: Those rascally vote-suppressors at the AJC have now gotten in on the act! Check out this “typo” in their Morning Jolt!


Original Post: Georgia Republicans are routinely accused of campaign shenanigans, particularly of trying to depress voter turnout. Any Republican political consultant will tell you though, there’s really no way to do that, and if any of us tried, we’d probably screw it up. A case in point comes today courtesy of Greg Bluestein:

Several northwest Georgia Democrats received mailers on Tuesday advertising a Jan. 17 vote in the contest to replace Republican Charlie Bethel, who was tapped by Gov. Nathan Deal for a judgeship. The problem, though, is that the election will be held on Jan. 10.”

The mailer in question looks like this:

Joseph Brannan, who chairs a part of the GOP nowhere near the special election being held on January 10, has copped to what he says is an honest mistake, and “It is with my sincerest apologies this mailer was distributed with incorrect information.”

Some Democrats aren’t buying the apology, though. Cheryl Phipps, who chairs the Democratic party in Whitfield County, says Either they are really inept, or they are trying to lead voters astray.” 

Several Democrats took similar notice of the snafu on social media, so it needs to be said again. Any halfway decent consultant will tell you that voter suppression tricks don’t work. Most voters are a small but determined subset of the general population. They know when and where to vote -even in special election runoffs- and they act accordingly. Trying to fool some of them into not showing would just alert them to the trick, make one look stupid, and likely increase turnout.

Choosing between inept or deceptive puts Ms. Phipps on the horns of a false dilemma. Even if it was deliberately deceptive, it’s still dumbassery -and there’s no reason it can’t be both.


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