An election can be easily swayed through two simple methods: the good ol’ gerrymandering, which Republicans have been accused of for decades, and money. According to Harper Collins dictionary, gerrymandering is defined as “dividing (a voting area) so as to give one political party a majority in as many districts as possible or weaken the voting strength of an ethnic or racial group, urban population, etc.”
Gerrymandering and Money in Politics
Republicans have resorted to gerrymandering to silence racial minorities and the working class, two groups that routinely vote blue. The tactics can include very few polling stations for the entire population of a county or shifting district lines.
Swaying an election with money is now easier than ever, especially after the Citizens United v. FEC ruling in 2010 which removed the cap on political donations. The Democrats have been benefiting from the ruling too because they were able to raise more money – Jon Ossoff’s war chest was $23 million, with candidates combined spending on the Georgia special election a whopping $50 million, making the House race the most expensive in U.S. history.
Republicans benefited from the ruling because they were able to lure in richer donors such as corporations and bankers. In return, donors receive deregulation of their businesses if the candidates they poured money in actually winning.
Georgia’s Special Election Was A Nail-Biter
Both issues were present in the Georgia 6th Congressional District election that occurred June 20. The special election starred Washington political aide Jon Ossoff and former state secretary Karen Handel, who competed for a House seat left open by Rep. Tom Price who resigned to become Trump’s DHHS secretary.
It is worth noting that Ossoff lost to Handel by 5%, in a district where Democrats usually lose by 20%. In other words, Ossoff needed 9,703 more votes to defeat his Republican rival.
Reportedly, thousands of voters showed up to cast their ballot, but they were turned away because they were no longer living in District 6th. The voters said that the news confused them because they were still paying taxes to DeKalb County like everyone else did.
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