Norwood seeks evidence of ‘voter intimidation’ in Atlanta mayor race

Atlanta mayoral candidates Mary Norwood (left) and Keisha Lance Bottoms. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Councilwoman Mary Norwood asked voters Thursday to report “administrative problems and voter intimidation” as she awaits the results of a recount in the vote for Atlanta mayor.

Norwood has yet to concede to Councilwoman Keisha Lance Bottoms after finishing 759 votes behind her in the runoff. She insisted the “race was too close to call” while awaiting uncounted military ballots, provisional ballots and other outstanding votes. It’s unlikely those tallies will sway the votes in her favor.

Norwood, who lost to Mayor Kasim Reed in 2009 by roughly the same margin, has canceled all appearances and said little publicly since Tuesday. But her tweet Thursday offered a glimpse into her strategy as she prepares to potentially contest the election.

“Many voters have come forward to describe the administrative problems and voter intimidation that occurred on Election Day,” she said in the tweet. “If you experienced a problem when you cast your vote, contact the Secretary of State using their Stop Voter Fraud website.”

Her campaign has not alleged voter fraud in Tuesday’s election, but she has detailed extensively what she claimed was a widespread attempt to sink her 2009 chances on the campaign trail this year.

In one meeting that was secretly recorded, Norwood said she suspected many of the voters who helped Reed win in 2009 were fraudulent, and accused his campaign of “busing people in” who were not legitimate voters.

The mayor called those claims “verifiably false” and said she didn’t challenge the results in 2009 because she had no proof they were invalid. And Bottoms seized on the issue late in the campaign, accusing Norwood of using “coded language” to denigrate black voters.

In a statement late Thursday, Bottoms’ campaign criticized Norwood for working to “delay the certification” of the election.

“The voters have spoken and from a clear and decisive victory, Mayor-elect Bottoms will be the 60th Mayor of Atlanta,” the campaign said. “The campaign is over; the time for governing has begun.”

You’ll find more on PoliticallyGeorgia.com, including these stories:

Atlanta’s mayoral runoff as a mirror image of Trumpian politics

Recount unlikely to favor Norwood

Women rock Tuesday’s runoffs in metro Atlanta

In Atlanta’s mayoral runoff, Keisha Lance Bottoms borrowed Kasim Reed’s playbook

A rough round of runoffs for LGBT candidates

‘It is not over yet.’ Mary Norwood demands recount in Atlanta mayor race

Reader Comments 1

16 comments
MichaelJohnson
MichaelJohnson

Girl bye! Voter turnout was dismal at best. Anyone could have won, but only 90,000 people voted.

LifeScanner1967
LifeScanner1967

The Black Machine is Live and Well in the City of Atlanta And Would Be Highly Threatened By Having a White Mayor, Even Though She Is a Liberal/Independent. Mary Norwood Might Eventually Thank Her Lucky Stars That She Wasn't Elected Mayor Because I Personally Think That, Had That Been the Case, Her Very Life Might Have Been in Jeopardy.

MichaelJohnson
MichaelJohnson

I blame voter turnout. It was anyone’s election to win.

UniteATL
UniteATL

The Atlanta region is not just Atlanta, it includes DeKalb, Cobb, Etc. The mayor of Atlanta can only control traffic in the city limits. What this is saying is that reluctant areas like Cobb have to realize that each city within the Atlanta region effects the others when it comes to traffic. People leave Atlanta to go to work in each of the surrounding counties and vice versa each day. Consequently you have to pass mass transit legislation with the interest of the region in mind not just your county. Or the State of GA has to step in and say the Atlanta Region is too important for the state and the southeast to let each county decide individually what they want to do about mass transit. Instead we are going to pass legislation that is in the best of the region as a whole.

MG2
MG2

I begrudgingly voted for Norwood after supporting Cathy Woolard. The way Norwood is acting since losing the election really makes me regret not voting for Bottoms.

theflock
theflock

That confirms Mary is a secret Republican since whenever a Republican loses an election they claim "Voter fraud! Voter intimidation!"

TruthReallyHurts
TruthReallyHurts

@theflock YES! Did you see all those mean ol' Black Lives Matter and Black Panther Party thugs scaring folks away from the polls? LOL!

Aheadabove44
Aheadabove44

I know a few folks who do not live in the city that voted for Norwood.  She better be careful what she is wishing for......

AmyintheATL
AmyintheATL

It was a close race, and it truly could have gone either way.  There were a lot of shenanigans in this race, with many of them focused on KLB (the fake robocalls, questions about her home purchase), as well as not-overly-fair comparisons of Mary to Trump.  But it's time to bury the hatchet and find ways to work together and make this city a great place for all its residents. This isn't the way to do that. 

UniteATL
UniteATL

Now Mary, show some class! Let’s not grasp 4 straws, U said at your election night rally that voters will determine the winner, let’s not change the game now that they have chosen against U! I know this is hard to swallow since @ajc @wsbtv had you up by 6% in their “Scientific” poll. It’s time to unite the city and go out with class and your dignity intact.

Another comment
Another comment

Look at the huge number of votes for Keisha in several of the west side districts. 1000 to 1500 votes. When other districts have 50-60. These are in districts that have boarded up house after another. Along with empty lots. Someone needs to check and see if people live in these places.

Once again it looks like people were bused to vacant lots and given Walking around money.

Until we have a bunch of white retirees working in the black polling places, like we have the black retirees working in the white neighborhoods we won’t know if it is legitimate.

UniteATL
UniteATL

😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂 I’m laughing because this has to be a joke, but you're doing exactly what Mary wanted u to do when she blew the dog whistle. She by state law has ever right to ask for a recount, but please stop with the dog whistle come out and say you were disenfranchised politics!!!

Bill
Bill

Voter intimidation where she got her votes, Buckhead. Yeah right.

BTC
BTC

Grasping at straws!

daddo
daddo

She is now a two-time loser and this desperation will further diminish her credibility.  She knows the votes are not there, so this is the new strategy.  It is time to show some class and do the right thing: concede.

Trackbacks

  1. […] been officially called yet, but Norwood is contesting the outcome in quite a testy fashion: She’s alleging that some voter intimidation might have occurred. If Norwood were to win, she would be the first white mayor since 1969. The […]

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