In the midst of the ongoing election for Georgia’s Governor, there is an ironic and interesting silence from two very important people – former Congressman John Barrow and his opponent State Representative Brad Raffensperger. The two men headed to a December 4th run-off election for Secretary of State.
Considering how up in arms both Republicans and Democrats are about the ongoing counting of ballots and ensuing litigation in the Governor’s race – you would think there would be more noise from the candidates asking people to come out and vote a second time. Does anyone know either of the candidates’ positions on what is happening in the Governor’s race?
Every candidate has the same goal, get their name and agenda out to as many voters as possible to earn their vote. In the world of politics, we recognize two types of media to help get that message out – earned media and paid media. Most candidates pay for digital media on the internet and ads in local papers and magazines. Yet the more coveted media is earned media where the news media mentions the candidate and gives them a platform without the candidate spending a dollar. Being quoted by WSB-tv, on the Georgia Gang, or in the AJC is free press.
Every day since last Tuesday, the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office and its duties have been in the media around the clock. The discussion has not been about the upcoming run-off election for the Secretary of State. I wonder how many Georgians even know that election is coming. Every day that passes during this recount period is an earned media day wasted. If Barrow were my Democratic candidate client he would be at every voter protection event there was working and snapping selfies of him working for Georgia’s voters.
Either candidate could be discussing and challenging their opponent’s views on a variety of issues such as how will they handle purging voters, provisional ballots, 700 stored voting machines, absentee ballots that have not been counted, conflicts of interest, investigating claims, voter suppression, voter fraud, voter education and all the laws or policies they will enact to address these issues. Pick one. It’s an open field. Even if they wanted to avoid the sensitive topics until the dust settles, they could talk about the historic election of Robyn Crittenden or advances in voter technology they wish to pursue. But instead – nothing.
Right now, Georgia and the rest of the country are TALKING about the Georgia Governor’s mansion, but we are all LOOKING at the Secretary of State’s office.
Kennesaw State University political science major and student activist, Alexa Vaca said, “Advocating for voting rights and free fair and open elections isn’t partisan.” Vaca, a progressive, eloquently questioned Barrow’s odd silence in a social media post that I shared with her permission.
The run-off election for Secretary of State and Public Service Commissioner (and maybe Governor) is December 4, 2018.