Strong voter turnout continues at local polls

Election 2018, News
Towns County Election

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Early voting in the Nov. 6 General election has reached its second week, and with two weeks left until Election Day, the Towns County Board of Elections Office has witnessed a surge in voter participation.

As of Tuesday afternoon, 0ver 1900 voters had cast their ballots at the Hiawassee precinct, and the Election Board considers the amount especially high. Election Board Director Tonya Nichols included an additional electronic voting booth to the three already in use last week, once it became evident that voters would arrive in mass, in an effort to eliminate a wait time.

Towns County Board of Election staff and poller, Kathy Norton, reported a steady stream of voters flowing into the precinct at any given time since early voting began on Oct. 15. “It’s definitely a much higher count than usual during a midterm,” Norton told FYN.

Additional counties in FYN’s area of coverage throughout North Georgia are reporting a similar spike in numbers.

State statistics show a nearly double increase amount in absentee ballots returned in 2018, in comparison to during the 2014 midterm election.

A heavy amount of voters continue to arrive at the Old Rock Jail Musuem, which was once the Hiawassee precinct, suggesting many could be casting ballots for the first time in years.

Towns County Board of Elections is located at 67 Lakeview Circle in Hiawassee. Ballots can be cast Monday through Friday during early voting, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The polls at the four Towns County voting precints will open from 7 a.m. to 7 p,m, on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6. Towns County Board of Elections asks voters to have thieir photo identification in hand as they reach the registration area.

In addition to five state amendments listed on the ballot, two local referendums related to alcohol sales appear. The first resolution applies to county liquor-by-the-drink sales at licensed establishments. The second choice concerns the sale of alcoholic beverages on Sundays within Hiawassee city limits, cited as the “Brunch Resolution,” which would allow consumers to purchase spirits at 11 a.m. rather than the currently prescribed 12:30 p.m.

Hiawassee residents will solely have the option to vote on the Brunch Resolution.

Count on FYN to deliver immediate local results as the totals are tallied on Nov. 6.

Towns County GOP draws State candidates days before run-off election

Election 2018, News, Politics
Mayor Jim Conley
Towns County GOP

Vendors set up shop, selling their wares

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Towns County Republican Party hosted an “Old-Fashion Rally and BBQ” on Hiawassee Town Square, the weekend prior to the state run-off election. Towns County GOP Chair Betsy Young organized and orchestrated the event, drawing Gubernatorial candidate Casey Cagle , and Secretary of State candidate David Belle Isle, to visit with constituents.

Commissioner Cliff Bradshawe

Towns County GOP Chair Betsy Young and County Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw review the day’s agenda

Georgia State Senator Josh McKoon spoke on behalf of Lieutenant Governor candidate David Shafer, and former State Representative Stephen Allison represented Gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp. Kemp was unable to attend due to an engagement with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in Macon, Georgia.

 

Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton and his band rocked the Square

Vendors set up shop along Berrong Street, and K&K Killer Kue served smoked pork barbeque sandwiches to guests.

The Republican Party held a bake sale, and the President’s Team manned an information booth.

Radio host of EXtreme Carolina, Michael Levi Borkman, served as Master of Ceremony.

Former Towns County Republican Chair Mark Wolchko streamed music, leading up to the candidate “stumping”.

Michael Levi Borkman

(L-R) Master of Ceremony Michael Levi Borkman and Secretary of State candidate David Belle Isle

Chris Clinton, who serves as Towns County Sheriff, and his band provided live entertainment.

Hiawassee Police Department chipped in, providing not only security, but supplying a needed tent and table for visitors.

Betty Phillips Towns County

Local resident Betty Phillips visits the President’s Team booth

Towns County Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw, staying throughout, and Hiawassee Mayor Liz Ordiales made a brief appearance at the event.

The State Run-Off Election takes place tomorrow, July 24. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

(Feature Image: Blairsville Mayor Jim Conley shakes hands with Gubernatorial candidate Casey Cagle)

Sheriff-elect Bobby Deese to serve Clay County

Election 2018, News
Sheriff Bobby Deese

HAYESVILLE, NC – Clay County elected Bobby Deese to serve as their future sheriff on Nov. 6, with Deese garnering 56.6 percent of the votes. Deese, the successor to retiring, two-term Sheriff Vic Davis, states that he intends to meet with employees and the Clay County Board of Commissioners in the immediate future in order to discuss relevant matters.

“I would like to thank everyone for the overwhelming support I have received during this election,” Deese expressed on election night, “It’s been a long hard process but the election is now over and it’s time to look toward the future. As your Sheriff, I will work for all the citizens of Clay County and do everything possible to give you a Sheriff’s Office to be proud of. Thank you to Steve Byers for the professionalism and integrity of running a clean campaign. We need more of that in today’s politics. Thank you again. I look forward to the next four years.”

While campaigning, Deese avowed to operate a visible, available, professional , and accountable sheriff’s office. Additionally, Deese stated that he intends to “relentlessly pursue those who are supplying our community with drugs.”

Towns County leaders weigh-in on massive early voter turnout

Election 2018, News
Towns County election

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Early voting in the 2018 midterm election came to a close on Friday, and Towns County Board of Elections saw a massive turnout at the Hiawassee polling precinct. Of the 9,386 registered voters in Towns County, 4,030 residents chose to cast their ballots ahead of Tuesday’s general election. A total of 257 absentee ballots had been returned to the election board as of Friday afternoon.

The 2018 turnout rivals that of the 2016 presidential election. Two years ago, 4,564 of the 8,608 voters registered in Towns County turned up to cast early ballots at the polls, with 420 ballots returned by mail. Midterm elections historically do not draw such a high amount of voters to the ballot box.Towns County Election

FYN reached out to Towns County leaders and gathered their thoughts on the phenomenon.

Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton believes that the south-of-the-border “caravan of criminals” that are headed toward the U.S. border plays a part in the impressive turnout at the Georgia polls. “The future of our nation and our state rides on this election. Anyone being honest about these caravans understands what is at stake. If the left wins, the caravans are just the beginning. If the Republicans stay in, I’m willing to bet they turn around,” Clinton warned, “We must stop this madness or we will cease to be a sovereign nation…They aren’t coming for jobs or safety. Mexico offered those. They sure aren’t coming to be Americans. Those aren’t American flags they are carrying during these border assaults.”

Sheriff Clinton recently endorsed Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp, reiterating on Friday that Stacey Abrams’ “radical, socialist ideas are extremely dangerous.”

District 8 State House Representative Matt Gurtler is optimistic that Georgia will remain a “red” state, adding that according to the Secretary of State’s office, Georgia has seen the highest early voter turnout in the state’s history during this year’s general election. “Our district is the most active in the state and the most conservative by far,” Gurtler explained, “I expect to see the 8th House District in the lead once again this coming Tuesday, and I believe and have great faith in the people of Georgia, that we will see a ‘red wave’ sweep the entire state.”

While Towns County Republican Party Chair Betsy Young is enthusiastic,the GOP leader believes that the race for Georgia’s next governor, in particular, is tight. “I think this is going to be close, but if only legal voters vote – all Democrats and Republicans – we will win. The area around Atlanta will be heavily Democrat, but I believe some who have never voted anything but Democrat will vote Republican because of two things: hate by liberals and their awful demonstration of it, along with the economy and immigration.”

“The fate of our state and our county is at stake,” Towns County Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw expressed, “Towns County realizes how important this election is for our future, and I’m very thankful for that.” Commissioner Bradshaw served as Master of Ceremonies at a recent “Get Out the Vote” event sponsored by the Towns County Republican Party.

While the four local leaders agree that the high voter count is good sign for their affiliated political party, the Republicans stressed the importance of an equally healthy turnout at the polls on election day.

Towns County polling precincts will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Count on FYN to deliver local election results as soon as they become available.

 

Local Republicans concerned apathy may turn Georgia blue in November

Election 2018, News
Kemp Abrams Towns County

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – An echoing theme from Towns County GOP Chair Betsy Young, along with Party members in recent months, has been dire concern that voter apathy could shock local Republicans this coming November. “If this is all we’ve got, we’re in trouble,” Young said on Thursday night, referencing the slight attendance at the monthly Towns County GOP meetings, “People seem to think that because (Stacey Abrams) is black and a woman, that she could never become the Governor of Georgia. I fear Republicans will stay home in November. The voters in Atlanta alone can determine who wins this race. We cannot become complacent.”

Towns County GOP

Recent Towns County GOP social media post

Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams is facing Republican candidate Brian Kemp for the Governor’s seat in the General Election on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Tauted as a “progressive champion” by supporters, Abrams is on a mission to win, battling conservative Kemp each step of the way.

Young may harbor a valid point if the lack of voting trend continues. The May Primary Election beckoned a mere 21.6 percent of Towns County’s registered voters to the polls. While the county is composed of roughly 80 percent Republican voters – and if Towns is an indicator of statewide placidity – widespread Republican disregard could potentially swing the election in Abrams’ favor, turning Georgia from red to blue in November.

Towns County GOP meets at 6 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month at the Towns County Civic Center in Hiawassee.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Towns, Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. – FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. – For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

 

Kemp tells the NRA they have been “Casey Cagled”

Election 2018, Featured Stories, Politics, State & National

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Secretary of State of the U.S. State of Georgia and Republican Governor hopeful Brian Kemp accused the Lieutenant Governor of Georgia Casey Cagle of a political stunt and pandering for endorsements.

As the the Georgia Gubernatorial race heats up so do the accusations and claims of who really represents the people and who is running a self-serving campaign.

One such accusation came earlier this week as Kemp sent an email to top NRA lobbyist Christopher Cox telling Cox that the NRA has been “Casey Cagled”.

On Feb. 26 Cagle released a tweet firmly stating, “”I will kill any tax legislation that benefits @Delta unless the company changes its position and fully reinstates its relationship with @NRA.”

Cagle then added, “Corporations cannot attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back.”

Georgia, Governor, Election 2018, Brian Kemp, Casey Cagle, NRA, National Rifle Association, Delta, Jet fuel, Tax Break, HB930, Georgia House of Representatives

A mere two days later, a state Senate committee removed the jet fuel perk from the broad tax bill, and on March 1, the Senate passed a tax bill, with a 44-10 vote that still eliminated this jet fuel tax break.

According to Kemp’s letter, Cagle’s Tweet and the action taken in the state Senate are nothing more than a political show: “That sounds real good. But there’s one big problem with it. The NRA is getting played.”

Recent legislation passed by both the House and the Senate of Georgia paint a different picture of Cagle’s true stance, according to Kemp.

Kemp urged the NRA to look into HB930: “Please have your team review HB930 from this past legislative session. It passed on the last day (aka Sine Die). It is a legislative package to expand mass transit in Georgia, especially in the metro Atlanta area in which Hartsfield-Jackson Airport is located. ”

As promised by Cagle, this bill does not include the jet fuel tax break that Delta Airlines had hoped to recieve, but it does include a tax break of another kind that could greatly benefit the airline company.

Kemp claims the new legislation grants airlines at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport an exemption from a local transportation sales tax, known as Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (TSPLOST).

Georgia, Governor, Election 2018, Brian Kemp, Casey Cagle, NRA, National Rifle Association, Delta, Jet fuel, Tax Break, HB930, Georgia House of Representatives

Section of HB930 describing exemptions for airlines.

“As those of us involved in Georgia politics like to say…..you’ve been “Casey Cagled”. He tells you one thing while cutting secret deals to help Delta down the line,” Kemp stated of his opponent.

Cagle’s campaign manager Scott Binkley replied to these alligations, “The only way this helps Delta is if it lands a 747 in Gwinnett or Cobb County regional airports.”

The Cagle campaign says that the legislation only extends exemptions for sales tax on jet fuels if Cobb and Gwinnett counties were to raise sales tax to join MARTA. According to Cagle’s campaign this in no way affects the Delta Hub located in Clayton County.

With Cagle tweeting one agenda and passing another, Kemp feels that there is only one conclusion: “The facts are the facts. Delta benefits in the near future from this legislation that Cagle supported.”

FetchYourNews is talking with the NRA to gather their opion of the email sent by Kemp and their stance on the recently passed Georgia HB930.

 

Full Letter From Brian Kemp to Chris Cox:

Chris,
As you know, I am a Republican candidate for Governor of Georgia. My opponent Casey Cagle made quite a spectacle trashing Delta Airlines this legislative session trying to show he is a strong supporter of the NRA. I’m quite sure he has been pushing for, if not demanding, your endorsement now that the session is done.
He has probably brought up to you and others this tweet:
Casey Cagle ✔@CaseyCagle
I will kill any tax legislation that benefits @Delta unless the company changes its position and fully reinstates its relationship with @NRA. Corporations cannot attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back.
That sounds real good. But there’s one big problem with it.
The NRA is getting played.
Please have your team review HB930 from this past legislative session. It passed on the last day (aka Sine Die). It is a legislative package to expand mass transit in Georgia, especially in the metro Atlanta area in which Hartsfield-Jackson Airport is located.
This legislation does not include the comprehensive jet fuel tax break that Delta Airlines sought earlier in the year, but it does grant to airlines at Hartsfield (notably Delta) an exemption from a local transportation sales tax known as TSPLOST that Clayton County may levy in the near future.
Clayton County is where Hartsfield Jackson airport is primarily located. The exemption applies to any airport that has more than 750,000 takeoffs and landings per year. In Georgia, the only airport that qualifies is Hartsfield Jackson.
As those of us involved in Georgia politics like to say…..you’ve been “Casey Cagled”.
He tells you one thing while cutting secret deals to help Delta down the line.
I know that Cagle’s team will throw all sorts of confusing jargon and legislative baloney at you trying to deny this. It’s complicated legislation that they will undoubtedly try to make more complicated when they explain it to you.
But the facts are the facts. Delta benefits in the near future from this legislation that Cagle supported.
Chris, I have been a member of the NRA for many years. I hunt, fish, and carry. I have served in the State Senate and have a rock solid voting record on 2nd Amendment issues. Most importantly, I will tell you where I stand and I don’t waver. I do what I say in everything that I do.
In stark contrast, the record of what you get with Casey Cagle is crystal clear.
If you are interested in having someone in this important office who believes as you do and will not play these kind of games, I welcome your support and ask for your endorsement.
Thanks for your time and consideration.
Brian Kemp

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

Author

Natalie Kissel

Natalie@FetchYourNews.com

Homeless Voter Arrested after “Borrowing” Vehicle to Cast Ballot

Election 2018, News

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – The Hiawassee polling precinct was within minutes of closing on Nov. 6, when Sunni Wolfe rushed in to cast a ballot on election night. Wolfe, who spoke on-record with FYN upon exiting the polls, was provided a provisional ballot by election officials due to the fact that Wolfe could not produce photo identification, a requirement in Georgia elections. Wolfe explained to FYN that he had relocated to Towns County from the metro Atlanta area five months prior, and is currently homeless, residing in an area campground. When asked what motivated Wolfe to turn out at the Towns County polls in the nick of time, Wolfe stated that he took an “opportunity” to vote because he had hoped to make his voice heard.

Sunni Wolfe

Sunni Wolfe was charged with driving on a suspended license after casting a provisional ballot in Towns County

That opportunity resulted in not only a futile vote, due to Wolfe being registered out-of-precinct in Fulton County, but in Wolfe’s arrest shortly after leaving the local polls. Sunni Wolfe was charged with Driving while License Suspended/Revoked after the vehicle he had driven to the voting precinct was reported missing by Wolfe’s girlfriend, an employee working a shift at a Hiawassee restaurant.

According to the arrest report obtained by FYN, Hiawassee Police Department responded to the complaint at 8:10 pm, with law enforcement officers still on scene as Wolfe returned the vehicle to the location in which had been reported missing. Upon explaining to officers that he had “taken the car to go vote” and providing a provisional voter receipt to law enforcement, Wolfe purportedly admitted to officers that his license was suspended, was subsequently placed under arrest, and transported to the Towns County Detention Center. FYN contacted Hiawassee Police Department and learned that Wolfe, too, had conveyed to officers that he was homeless.

FYN briefly corresponded online with Wolfe on Nov. 13, with Wolfe stating that although he was unaware that his vote did not count, “the right to vote was clearly, in fact, in my favor.”

During the 2018 midterm election, a total of 21,190 provisional ballots were cast in Georgia. That number is up from 12,151 provisionals cast in the 2014 midterm. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams filed a federal lawsuit on Sunday, asking that election authorities count certain ballots which would otherwise be rejected for “arbitrary reasons.” Of the nine provisional ballots cast in Towns County, all nine were disqualified due to out-of-precinct voting.

In response to a lawsuit filed by Common Cause Georgia on Nov. 5, U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg ruled that Georgia cannot certify the election results before Friday at 5 p.m. which falls four days before the Nov. 20 deadline set forth by state law. Current returns show Republican Brian Kemp leading with a margin that would make him Georgia’s governor-elect. Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams, however, insists that enough outstanding votes remain to be counted, which she claims could push Kemp below the majority threshold, forcing a Dec. 4 runoff.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet, attracting more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Towns, Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, and Murray counties, as well as Cherokee County in N.C. – FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week, reaching between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. –

For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

 

 

Dual alcohol referendums pass on local ballot

Election 2018, News
Towns County alcohol

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Voters in Towns County were given an option on the Nov. 6 ballot to accept or reject a referendum that would allow licensed establishments to serve alcohol-by-the-pour. A total of 66.67% of citizens favored the decree, with 33.33% opposing the mandate.

A second referendum appeared on the ballot for voters residing within Hiawassee city limits, classified as a “brunch resolution” which will permit Sunday alcohol sales to begin at 11 am rather than 12:30 pm. The brunch resolution was accepted by 61.41% of voters. A total of 38.59% rejected the brunch bill.

Hiawassee attempted to include a liquor store referendum on the November ballot by collecting the amount of signatures necessary for an allowance. A state requirement to include the referendum on the ballot stipulated that 35% of valid registered voters from the 2016 General Primary election, currently residing within the jurisdiction, must add their names to a petition in a show of support. The computed amount was set at 233 signatures. Of the 304 signatures collected, 181 voters were verifiable by the Board of Elections. The package store petition contained 56 duplicate names, while 64 signatures were shown to be attached to individuals not registered to vote, residing outside of the city limits, or deceased.

Hiawassee aspires to garner the amount of signatures needed to include a package store referendum on a future ballot.

 

House challenger Mickey Cummings: ‘Public embarrassment, hostility toward leaders, wrong approach’

Election 2018, News, Politics
Mickey Cummings

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Local State House challenger Mickey Cummings made an appearance at Sundance Grill Friday, April 27, 2018, at the Mountain Movers & Shakers forum. While Cummings never mentioned his opponent, Representative Matt Gurtler, by name, insinuation was apparent.

“I believe that public embarrassment and hostility toward our leaders is the wrong approach. Sooner or later, we’re going to need those people to help us to solve our issues and our problems,” Cummings professed. “I don’t believe we should ever burn a bridge unless we absolutely have to.”

Matt Gurtler was elected to the Georgia State House in 2016, and throughout his first-term while representing District 8 – which includes Towns, Union, Rabun, and portions of White County – Gurtler maintained a reputation of boldly challenging the status quo in the minds of his supporters.

The self-professed, ultra-conservative incumbent – a steadfast proponent of limited government, and a stickler for what he considers responsible spending – has proven to be a thorn in the side of leadership, voting against the State House at a rate of 39 percent.

Cummings, who currently holds office as Chairman of Blue Ridge Mountain Electric Membership Corporation (BRMEMC), believes other avenues of negotiation should be explored “before you drop the bomb.”

Candidate Cummings briefly described his method of approach, using a conflict between BRMEMC and another unnamed electric co-op as an example: “We talked about it, and talked about it, and nothing ever happened. We called out the gentleman publicly, and we got what we wanted.”

In addition, Chairman Cummings spoke of the success of BRMEMC, stating that equity has increased by 3 percent since serving on the Board of Directors, at a spike of 1 percent per year.

“That’s unheard of in the electric co-op business to do that much,” said Cummings.

“Our Board has also improved transparency by opening board meetings to our membership. We’ve also become more responsive to our members and their needs,” Cummings stated.

FetchYourNews (FYN) attended the initial BRMEMC session, held Nov. 6, 2017, and reported the requirements for public attendance.

“I’m not a politician. I never planned to be,” Cummings said. “I believe the office should seek the candidate, and with people across the district asking me to run, to provide the leadership they deserve, I felt called to do so.”

Cummings spent 33 years as a county agent, 26 of which were spent in the mountains “working with farmers and saving the lives of youth through 4-H.”

“I’ve also helped to develop our farmer’s market that has helped to revive our vegetable industry, not only in Union County, but in Towns County as well. In 1990, we had roughly 30-to-35 growers in our county, growing specific vegetables,” Cummings explained. “By 2000, that number had decreased to five. The cause of this decline was the death of older farmers, and their heirs found out that they could sell their property, develop the land, and make much more money than they could in farming.”

The creation of the Union County Farmers Market has allowed growers to profit locally, rather than venturing elsewhere to sell the fruits of their labor.

Along with continued support of agriculture, Cummings listed the establishment of widespread rural broadband internet access as a top issue he hopes to tackle if elected to represent District 8.

When the candidate was asked his position on the Second Amendment by a voter, Cummings divulged that he supports the right to bear arms, noting a history of gunsmiths in his ancestral lineage.

Incumbent Matt Gurtler is scheduled to address the Mountain Movers & Shakers in Hiawassee Friday, May 4.

Early voting begins Monday, April 30, with the primary election taking place May 22, 2018.

Count on FYN for continued coverage of District 8 State House race as the election approaches.

 

UPDATE:

FetchYourNews reported on incumbent Matt Gurtler the following week.

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

 

Towns County Runoff Election Results

Election 2018
Towns County voting

Results are for Towns County only.

 

Secretary of State –

Brad Raffensperger

79.95%

Towns County election

Brad Raffensperger

John Barrow

20.05%

 

Public Service Commission

 

Chuck Eaton

78.22%

 

 

Lindy Miller

21.78%

Towns County election

Chuck Eaton

Hunter Hill visits Ellijay

Election 2018

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Continuing his campaign for Governor, Hunter Hill made a stop in Ellijay on May 2 to speak with local citizens about his plans for the office if elected.

Hill spoke to local citizens over breakfast at Mike’s Ellijay Restaurant on Highway 282.

Arriving at 8 a.m., Governor Candidate Hunter Hill steps off his bus to meet citizens at Mike's Ellijay Restaurant.

Arriving at 8 a.m., Governor Candidate Hunter Hill steps off his bus to meet citizens at Mike’s Ellijay Restaurant.

Hill is a former Army Ranger who has been in the State Senate for five years now. After resigning his seat in August to run for Governor, Hill has been focusing on his vision for Georgia and spreading that message to rally voters. Today, he spoke with citizens in Ellijay about the ideals for “less government, less taxes, and more freedom.”

With “career politicians,” as Hill noted, in office, it is an undermining of our values as a nation. He called out those politicians saying they were not even willing to risk their next election to uphold their oath.

Focusing more specifically on the recent issue of sanctuary cities. Adamantly against the topic, Hill said, “If a city or county in this state were to claim itself a sanctuary city, they would not receive a nickel of state funding.”

After his speech, Hunter Hill paused to answer questions from citizens attending his breakfast meet and greet.

After his speech, Hunter Hill paused to answer questions from citizens attending his breakfast meet and greet.

His second point on his vision for the office reiterated his opinions and intention to eliminate the state income tax. With bordering states already without an income tax, the competitive disadvantage is hurting our state, according to Hill. He went on to say replacing the income tax with a consumption tax setup would alleviate the tax burden from honest Georgians and redistribute that to everyone including visitors to the state and even those making money in illegal ways. Hill stated, “A broad-based consumption tax allows us to have more people that we’re bringing money in from, which allows us to do so at lower rates.”

On a personal note, Hill mentioned his faith pushed him to focus not only on the points of pro-life, pro-second amendment, and also religious liberty. FYN asked Hill if he would be seeking a “Faith Restoration Act” in his first year to which he replied, “Very good chance of that, yeah.”

Hill did confirm that he wanted to pursue faith-based adoption as a part of it saying, “We’ve got to protect our faith-based adoption agencies. We’ve just got to do it. A lot of the reasons that faith-based adoption agencies get involved is to be helpful in congruence with their faith. If you don’t protect their ability to do it in congruence with their faith, then they will just stop doing it altogether.”

 

Meeting with Gilmer residents for breakfast allowed Hunter Hill a chance to meet and speak with local citizens about issues and his vision for the Governor's Office.

Meeting with Gilmer residents for breakfast allowed Hunter Hill a chance to meet and speak with local citizens about issues and his vision for the Governor’s Office.

Protecting people of faith and their ability to live and work based on that faith was a focus of Hill’s speech about the governor’s office, but also on his words about his future view of the state. He noted after winning on key policy issues aligned with our values and principals, he wanted to remind senators and house members of the values and principals that they were elected for, providing a singular vision to move forward under.

 

“Fighting for the people of Georgia” is what he says his focus is as Hill says he sees polls with him ahead of Kemp and closing in on Cagle. Separating himself, Hill says he’s not the career politician like Cagle and is very different than Kemp on issues like the income tax and limited government. But when comparing, Hill said he wanted to focus on his campaign and his vision to protect liberties and endorsements like the Georgia Right to Life to be a different candidate.

While most of those present were already Hill supporters like retired Gilmer county citizen, George Winn, who said he’s been a Hill supporter “all the way.” Based upon his stances as a military, Christian conservative who is a believable and trustworthy conservative.

Others like Ken Bailey find themselves supporting Hill as the best candidate. Following the campaign because “Hunter is not a politician. He is a fresh, young face and not a part of the established system, which needs to be broken up I think. I think he’s got good ideas. We don’t need to have a state income tax, that puts a handicap on us.” Bailey went on to say that he liked some of the other candidates and even knew some personally, but felt Hill was the best choice.

He also commented his appreciation of the choice in the election. With fine candidates available, Bailey said its great to not have to pick the best of a bad selection.

Hill continues his bus tour across Georgia with his final stop at the Cobb GOP Headquarters in Marietta on Saturday afternoon, May 2.

Local GOP encourages rejection of Marsy’s Law amendment

Election 2018, News
Marsys law Georgia

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Towns County Republican Party took to social media in an attempt to persuade against “yes” votes on ballot amendments, including “Marsy’s Law.” Towns GOP Chair Betsy Young shared a letter attributed to Georgia resident Dottie McIntosh Honea, addressed to family and friends.

GOP Betsy Young

Towns County GOP Chair Betsy Young

“Amendments are hard to read and written that way on purpose,” Young stated, later adding, “I almost always vote against all amendments.”

While Honea’s letter included opposition to a taxation amendment, the initial segment focused on the crime victim portion of November’s ballot.

“One Amendment (#4) so-called Marcy’s (sic) Law is particularly ambiguous. The TV ad supporting this amendment is compelling; a victim stating her abuser was let out of prison and she was not notified. She begs the TV audience to help the victim by voting in favor of this amendment. Who wouldn’t want the victim to be helped?,” Honea wrote,  “But when the Amendment is read carefully, you will note that it states ‘…the Constitution shall be amended so as to provide ‘certain rights’ to victims against whom a crime has allegedly been perpetrated and allow victims to assert such rights.'”

Honea continued on to assert that the ‘certain rights’ to be granted to crime victims are vague, without clear assurance of notification when a perpetrator is released from prison.

“The victim can assert such rights….what rights? Certain ones? What are they referring to? Will it be left up to a judge to decide what ‘certain rights’ the victim has? No guarantee of being notified of anything. Please do not vote in favor of changing our state Constitution to contain something so non-specific as Amendment #4…’Marcy’s (sic) Law.’ This Amendment will not help Marcy, or you, at all,” Honea concludes.

National opponents of the crime victim amendment warn “Marsy’s Law” could undermine due process.

“Since 2008, a national campaign entitled “Marsy’s Law” has sought to enshrine in state constitutions a specific and lengthy set of victims’ rights,” ACLU Policy Director of New Hampshire Jeanne Hruska stated earlier this year, “Funded by California billionaire Henry Nicholas, the campaign’s goal is to lock its formula into every state constitution and then to amend the U.S. Constitution to include similar victims’ rights. Though well intended, the Marsy’s Law formula is poorly drafted and is a threat to existing constitutional rights. Victims’ rights are not rights against the state. Instead, they are rights against another individual. The Marsy’s Law formula includes the rights to restitution, to reasonable protection, and to refuse depositions and discovery requests, all of which are enforced against the defendant. Such rights do nothing to check the power of the government. In fact, many of the provisions in Marsy’s Law could actually strengthen the state’s hand against a defendant, undermining a bedrock principle of our legal system — the presumption of innocence.

As of April 2018, five states had adopted Marsy’s Law, including California, Ohio, Illinois, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Montana passed Marsy’s Law, although it was later ruled unconstitutional, and subsequently, overturned.

Georgia joins Nevada, Oklahoma, and Kentucky in voting on the crime victim amendment on the Nov. 6 ballot.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet, attracting over 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Towns, Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, and Murray counties, as well as Cherokee County in N.C. – FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week, and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. – For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, dial 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

“Red Wave” rally draws solid turnout for Towns County GOP

News, Politics
Towns County Republican Party

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – While early voter turnout was especially strong in North Georgia throughout the first week of the 2018 General Election, state and local Republican leaders echoed the importance of encouraging friends and family to cast ballots during a Towns County “Get Out The Vote” rally Thursday, Oct. 18 .

A sizeable crowd of constituents attended the town hall meeting, orchestrated by Towns County GOP Chairwoman Betsy Young, and Republican member Donna Barrow.

“We all know that after watching the Kavanaugh hearings, and the things that were going on, it’s very scary, and we have to get out the vote..,” Young urged, “We’re speaking to the choir here, we know that, but we want you to reach out.”

Towns County High School Commissioner Seth Fullerton introduced Colonel Dale Sissell, an author and two-time Purple Heart recipient, to lead in the Pledge of Allegiance. Towns County High School student and vocalist Summer Rahn sang “God Bless America,” followed by the National Anthem.

Towns County Sole Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw served as Master of Ceremonies, opening the meeting by reciting words attributed to former President Ronald Reagan.

(more…)

Nine Provisional Votes Fail to Count in Towns County

Election 2018, News

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Election day has come and gone, and the deadline for provisional voters to prove eligibility in the general midterm arrived today. Towns County Board of Elections reported that of the nine provisional ballots cast in Towns County, all were submitted out-of-precinct, meaning that nine local votes will not increase the state sum.

When a voter’s eligibility is in question, a provisional ballot is used to record a vote in Georgia.Towns County election

FYN was at the Hiawassee election precinct when one such provisional voter arrived at the polls, minutes before the closing bell on election night. After exiting the ballot box shortly after 8 pm, a man who identified himself as Sunni Wolfe agreed to speak on-record with FYN’s reporter. Wolfe, who could not produce identification for poll workers, claimed to be homeless and living at an undisclosed campground in the Towns County area. Wolfe explained that he left the metro Atlanta area five months prior, and did not have a local address to register. Wolfe was provided a provisional ballot by election officials, and when asked by FYN, voiced no issue with the process. A record request obtained on Nov. 8 revealed that Wolfe was registered in Fulton County, however, resulting in a futile Towns County vote.

Election official Kathy Norton imparted that additional out-of-precinct voters arrived at the Young Harris polling location on election day, including a student attending Young Harris College who claimed that he had received an email stating that his vote would count regardless of a lack of local registration. According to Norton, each voter was provided with a provisional ballot.

“Anyone can vote, but every vote doesn’t always counts,” Towns County Board of Elections Director Tonya Nichols explained, “Georgia law requires voters to cast their ballots in the county in which they are registered.”

Towns County Sheriff endorses Kemp, considers Abrams “clear and present danger” to way of life

News
Towns County Election

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton officially endorsed Republican Gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp, stating that it is, “imperative that we protect our state from the insane radicals who would fundamentally change our state, our nation, and even our beloved county…”

“In my brief 50 years, I have not witnessed a time when America was so polarized,” Sheriff Clinton explained, “We live in a time when the mainstream media is actively and openly lying to viewers. We find ourselves living in a day when public officials appear to be encouraging insurrection, perhaps even treason. The left is no longer interested in civil discourse. Evelyn Beatrice Hall’s famous statement, ‘I disapprove of what you say, but I defend to the death your right to say it’ is no longer spoken of in the halls of higher learning. Rather, the left has resorted to the use of paid mobs to bully and intimidate conservatives. Most of us were taught to believe in absolute truth. We are now told we should sit down and shut up as the so-called ‘narrative’ of the left trumps any and all fact. ‘Guilty until proven innocent’ appears to be the new motto of the left.”

Sheriff Chris Clinton Towns County GA

Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton

“Most of us were taught right from wrong, taught to fear God, to respect others, to tell the truth, and many of us were advised that if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all,” Clinton continued, “We were taught to love our country.  In school we learned how our nation’s founders risked their reputations, fortunes, lives, and the lives of their sons to purchase with blood the freedom guaranteed by the Constitution of these United States of America.   These wonderful human beings we call police officers, who place their lives on the line each shift, leaving their own precious families at home to go out and protect others, were the good guys.  We taught our children to trust them and reach out to them if they needed help.  Now children are being taught to fear the police.  Who will they turn to for help?”

“These values represent the Georgia and America that I love and believe in,” the sheriff expressed,  “This is the state and nation in which I grew up and want to raise my children in.  Our home and heritage are currently under siege by the left.  My friend Brian Kemp shares our belief in the greatness of Georgia and America. His opponent, a socialist, wants to erase the Georgia we know and love.  Whereas Brian Kemp has been a friend to Georgia law enforcement, a friend to Towns County and a friend to all Georgians, his opponent is currently suing Georgia in an apparent attempt to find some liberal judge who will allow illegals and non-Georgia citizens to vote in our elections.

“Many Georgians may not know that Barack Hussein Obama’s Department of Homeland Security attempted to hack into our state elections database during the 2016 elections.  Brian Kemp, our Secretary of State, not only stopped them, but under his leadership, the malicious attacks were traced  back to the DHS.  All we heard on the news were red herring reports of ‘Russian collusion.’ The appointed leftist leaders of the formerly revered FBI, were not only leaking information to the press, but were apparently intentionally deceiving federal judges, and the America people with a phony, paid for, deception.  The very same folks were simultaneously clearing Hillary Clinton of any wrong-doing prior to even an interview.  Think about that: the FBI being used as a political weapon.  That is the vision the left has for Georgia and America.”

“These are just some of the reasons it is imperative that we elect Brian Kemp our Governor of Georgia.  I have known Brian personally for many years,” Sheriff Clinton stated, “I consider Brian Kemp a friend and can attest to his deeply held conservative beliefs and values.   More importantly, Brian Kemp is an unflinching leader who is unafraid to speak the truth in the face of a malicious press.  I would be honored to call my friend Brian Kemp my governor.  Brian Kemp is a proven leader we can count on. His opponent presents what I consider a clear and present danger to our very way of life.”

Clinton encouraged voters to elect a team that will support a Brian Kemp administration.

“We cannot allow the insane behavior that has been occurring in Washington, D.C. to infect the State of Georgia,” Clinton concluded,  “I cannot state this strongly enough: to protect Georgia as we know it, we must elect Brian Kemp our Governor, Chris Carr for Attorney General, Geoff Duncan for Lieutenant Governor, and Brad Raffensburger for Secretary of State.  It is imperative that we protect our state from the insane radicals who would fundamentally change our state, our nation, and even our beloved county into a place I wouldn’t want to live, much less raise my children in.  Please stand with me and let us finish this drill by electing conservative, God-fearing, Republican candidates who will protect Georgia.”

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Towns, Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. – FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. – For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

Towns County Board of Elections tests accuracy of voting machines

Election 2018, News
Towns County voting

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Towns County Board of Elections spent Tuesday, Oct. 2, testing the accuracy of local electronic voting machines ahead of the 2018 General Election. “In the simplest terms, the process involves making sure that what is pressed on the machine is what’s recorded,” Towns County Elections Director Tonya Nichols explained to FYN, “It’s something that’s done every election year in Towns County.”

A certified Information Technology (IT) specialist was on-site, conducting the study when FYN visited.

Towns County Board of Elections plans to operate a total of 20 machines on election day, divided between the county’s four voting precincts. Three machines will be available at the main election office in Hiawassee to cast early ballots.

Towns County Board of Elections

Towns County Board of Elections, located at 67 Lakeview Circle in Hiawassee

FYN inquired into reports of public concern regarding election hacking, and whether the Board believes paper ballots would safeguard the integrity of the election process. Nichols assured that it would be extremely difficult to rig the system, as each machine latch where the card recorder is located is secured by lock and key, and the voting ports are not connected to the internet. Nichols went on to say that altering paper ballots is a more viable concern as voters do not always fully complete ballots, leaving portions blank.

Georgia is one of 14 states lacking a paper trail for voters to self-verify.

The deadline to register for the November General Election is Tuesday, Oct. 9. Voters may register in person or online via the Secretary of State website.

Early voting begins Monday, Oct. 15, at the Towns County Board of Elections in Hiawassee. All four precincts will open on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Designated precinct locations are listed on the voter registration card received by mail.

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