Biden Cabinet pick hyped dossier, promoted conspiracy about Russian hackers changing votes


Neera Tandem, one of President-elect Joe Biden’s Cabinet picks, has vigorously upheld the results of the November election, yet past tweets show her promoting the anti-Trump Steele Dossier as well as conspiracies about Russian hackers influencing the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

Biden announced on Monday that Tanden, a former Clinton and Obama adviser, would serve as director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Neera Tanden, president of Center for American Progress, speaks during an introduction for New Start New Jersey at NJIT in Newark, NJ, Monday, Nov. 10, 2014.
(AP)

Since Biden’s presidential victory over President Trump, Tandem has tweeted multiple times in defense of the outcome – going so far as to suggest it was a win for “defenders of democracy.”

Yet Tanden struck a noticeably different tune after Trump’s presidential victory in 2016. In the weeks after, she promoted an article that argued that “members of the electoral college should not make Donald Trump the next president unless he sells his companies and puts the proceeds in a blind trust.”

NEW YORK TIMES EDITOR LAMPOONED AFTER CLAIMING PAPER WILL COVER BIDEN ‘JUST AS THOROUGHLY’ AS TRUMP

Tanden also perpetuated allegations that Russians played a direct role in Trump’s 2016 win, tweeting just before his inauguration that “Russians did enough damage to affect more than 70k votes in 3 states.” 

And despite the infamous “Steele Dossier” being debunked, Tanden continued defending its findings well after it had been discredited.

In February 2018, Tanden insisted that the Steele Dossier had “been mostly proven to be true.” Nearly a year later, Tanden hadn’t been swayed, tweeting: “What parts of the dossier have been disproven? I will wait.”

Ex-British spy Christopher Steele compiled the dossier as part of opposition research paid for by the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party through the firm Fusion GPS.

Tanden’s nomination has already ruffled feathers in GOP circles. Senate Republicans are signaling they’ll oppose confirmation.

A spokesman for Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said on Sunday that Tanden “stands zero chance of being confirmed.”

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., claimed Tanden’s rhetoric was “filled with hate & guided by the woke left.”

At OMB, Tanden would be responsible for preparing Biden’s budget submission and would command several hundred budget analysts, economists and policy advisers with deep knowledge of the inner workings of the government.

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If Democrats should win runoff elections for Georgia’s two GOP-held Senate seats, Tanden’s job would become hugely important because the party would gain a slim majority in the chamber. That would allow them to pass special budget legislation that could roll back Trump’s tax cuts, boost the Affordable Care Act and pursue other spending goals. OMB would have a central role in such legislation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.





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Trump says he will leave White House if Electoral College votes for Biden


President Donald Trump participates in a Thanksgiving teleconference with members of the United States Military, at the White House in Washington, DC, on November 26, 2020.

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds | AFP | Getty Images

President Donald Trump said on Thursday he will leave the White House if the Electoral College votes for President-elect Joe Biden, the closest he has come to conceding the Nov. 3 election, even as he reiterated his unfounded claims of massive voter fraud.

Speaking to reporters on the Thanksgiving holiday, Republican Trump said if Democrat Biden — who is due to be sworn in on Jan. 20 — is certified the election winner by the Electoral College, he will depart the White House.

But Trump said it would be hard for him to concede under the current circumstances and declined to say whether he would attend Biden’s inauguration. The electors are scheduled to meet on Dec. 14.

“This election was a fraud,” Trump insisted, while offering no concrete evidence of such voting irregularities.

Biden and Trump both stayed close to home to celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday as the coronavirus pandemic raged across the country.

Biden spent the holiday in the small seaside town of Rehoboth, Delaware, where he and his wife Jill have a vacation home. The Bidens are hosting daughter Ashley Biden and her husband Dr. Howard Krein for the holiday meal.

The former vice president, appearing with his wife in a video message posted to his Twitter account on Thanksgiving, said his family typically holds a large gathering on the island of Nantucket off Massachusetts, but would remain in Delaware this year “with just a small group around our dinner table” because of the pandemic.

In the presidential-style address to a nation that has lost more than 260,000 lives to the coronavirus, the Democratic president-elect said Americans were making a “shared sacrifice for the whole country” and a “statement of common purpose” by staying at home with their immediate families.

“I know this isn’t the way many of us hoped we’d spend our holiday. We know that a small act of staying home is a gift to our fellow Americans,” said Biden. “I know better days are coming.”

Republican President Trump often likes to celebrate holidays at his Mar-a-Largo resort in Florida. But on Thursday he remained in the Washington area, spending part of the morning at his Trump National Golf Club in Virginia where he played a round of golf.

It was a far cry from last year when he made a surprise visit to Afghanistan, where he served turkey to U.S. troops before sitting down to eat Thanksgiving dinner with them.

This time, Trump spoke by video link from the White House to members of the military.



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Thousands protest in Bangkok after Thai parliament votes on constitutional reform


A youth-led movement has held regular demonstrations for the past five months, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha — who seized power in a military coup in 2014 — the dissolution of parliament and changes to the constitution that they say entrenches the military’s power.

Protesters have also broken long-held taboos and risked lengthy prison sentences by calling for reform of the monarchy to curb the King’s powers and ensure he is accountable to the constitution. The movement is the biggest challenge to the establishment the country has seen in decades.

The vote came a day after the worst night of violence in the country’s five-month protest movement saw live ammunition used for the first time and left 55 people injured. Thousands of protesters on Wednesday again took to the streets of Bangkok.

Members of Thailand’s Senate and the House of Representatives on Wednesday voted on seven motions that included degrees of reform to the constitution put forward by the government, the opposition and one proposal from the people.

Among the reforms discussed was the undemocratic power of the Senate, of which all of its members — currently 245 — are handpicked by the Thai military and have the voting power to appoint the prime minister jointly with the lower house.

None of the six proposals included monarchical reform.

The seventh motion was brought by Thai social reform NGO iLaw and has received huge support from pro-democracy protesters. Their proposal would abolish the current constitution and pave the way to rewrite a new charter that would cover every chapter, including the monarchy.

That motion failed to win enough votes for approval, receiving only 212 votes from the joint sitting parliament of 732 members. It needed at least half the vote and at least a third of the Senate to pass.

Two proposals were adopted that would allow for discussion of constitutional change without affecting the monarchy. A drafting committee is to be set up after these motions are endorsed by King Maha Vajiralongkorn.

Protesters calling for constitutional reform rallied outside the parliament building in Bangkok on Tuesday, where they clashed with police and pro-monarchy groups in pitched street battles. Police used tear gas and water cannons with chemical-laced water to disperse protesters who had cut through wire barricades that separated them from police lines outside parliament.

At least two people were shot with live rounds during the protests, police confirmed on Wednesday. Police said one civilian was shot in the hip and a pro-democracy protester was shot in the left thigh.

Four others are believed to have sustained gunshot wounds, but police have not yet been able to talk to them so cannot confirm whether their injuries are from live rounds, according to police spokesman Maj. Gen. Piya Tawichai. They are all being treated in hospital.

Piya said the shots were fired after the police and fire brigade had withdrawn from the area and the two opposing factions had confronted each other just after 8 p.m. local time (8 a.m. ET).

Thai Members of Parliament attend a vote on proposed constitutional amendments at Parliament in Bangkok, Thailand, 18 November 2020.

Police denied using live rounds or rubber bullets, and said they are investigating the source of the shots.

“We didn’t apply measures deemed unnecessary. Measures used were matching with the protesters’ behaviors. Metropolitan Police Bureau would like to reiterate that, there were no rubber bullets. Rubber bullets were not used during our operation last night. And live ammunitions were certainly not used during our operation,” Piya said in a news conference Tuesday night.

The violence on Tuesday started when a group of protesters tried to cut through wire barricades surrounding the Thai parliament.

Protesters wearing multi-colored rain ponchos, goggles and hard hats threw smoke bombs and paint at police. Police responded by firing water cannon and water laced with a chemical irritant to push the crowds back. Some protesters carried inflatable yellow ducks and used them as shields against the water jets.

Fights also broke out between groups of pro-democracy protesters and royalist supporters, who wore yellow shirts and had been holding a counter-protest outside parliament. Pro-democracy protesters broke through police lines and the two sides began hurling stones and debris at one another — the worst confrontation between the two groups since the start of the protests.

Pro-democracy protesters take cover with inflatable ducks as police fire water cannons during an anti-government rally near the Parliament in Bangkok, on November 17, 2020.

Later in the evening, police retreated from their positions and protesters took over an abandoned water cannon truck, spraying it with graffiti. It is at this time that police said the live shots were fired.

As the chaos unfolded outside the parliament building, located next to the Chao Phraya River, several lawmakers left the area on boats.

The palace has not responded to the protests. But earlier this month, King Vajiralongkorn told CNN and Channel 4 that “Thailand is the land of compromise.”
Previous attempts by lawmakers to address the protesters’ demands have failed. An extraordinary session of parliament earlier this month didn’t produce any results to ease the political crisis; instead the formation of a national reconciliation committee was proposed.



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Lin Wood: President Trump won 400 electoral votes


Attorney L. Lin Wood speaks to the media about his client. (Photo by Apu Gomes/Getty Images)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 4:30 PM PT – Thursday, November 19, 2020

A pair of attorneys discussed the legitimacy of the election and argued the left got caught red-handed in stealing the vote.

On Wednesday, attorney Lin Wood and talk show host Mark Levin weighed in on the ongoing legal challenges. The two pointed out the “real” results showed President Trump won by a massive margin.

“This election was a fraud,” stated Lin Wood, attorney for the Trump campaign. “Donald Trump won, I believe, a 70% plus landslide election in the nation. He probably won over 400 electoral votes.”

Meanwhile, Wood noted the President’s legal team continues to uncover numerous instances of voter fraud in battleground states. He mentioned absentee and mail-in voting were marred by partisan corruption.

In addition, Dominion Voting Systems continues to remain the target of much scrutiny from Republicans. According to Wood, Dominion contained software that was manipulated within a network of corporations around the globe.

He added that it took 36 days to resolve the electoral dispute during the 2000 Election, but we are currently only on the 15th day of legal proceedings.

Wood also cited potential foreign influence from China. He mentioned the far left’s attempts to get rid of the Constitution by overthrowing the current administration under the guise of an election.

“They’ve infiltrated our government at [the] state, local, and national level…A number of people have been corrupted by Chinese money and even subject to extortion,” the attorney claimed. “We the people are not going to let somebody come in here and take over our government and take away our freedoms.”

Wood urged Americans to ignore Joe Biden’s claims of victory and stated President Trump won this election.

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Republican canvassers ask to ‘rescind’ their votes certifying Michigan election results


Both Monica Palmer, the Republican chair of the county board, and William Hartmann, a Republican member, said after they initially voted against certifying the results, they were “enticed” Tuesday into affirming the election results after they said they were given assurances by the board’s vice chairman, Jonathan Kinloch, that the votes would be independently audited.

When asked late Tuesday night if she would commit to a comprehensive audit, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, hedged and only said she would look into it.

Kinlock confirmed to ABC News that he gave this assurance but added that he had been unable to reach the secretary of state on Tuesday night to get her commitment.

A spokesperson for the secretary of state is shooting down the possibility of the two Republican members rescinding their vote, saying it is out of their hands at this point.

“There is no legal mechanism for them to rescind their vote,” the spokesperson said. “Their job is done and the next step in the process is for the Board of State Canvassers to meet and certify.”

The number of votes at issue is too small to influence the outcome of the election. President-elect Joe Biden currently holds a substantial edge over Trump in Michigan, leading by nearly 150,000 votes, which is almost 15 times the president’s margin over Hillary Clinton in 2016. In Wayne County, the state’s largest, Biden is ahead by over 300,000 votes with nearly 70% of the vote.

Nevertheless, the two GOP members, suggesting that they feel misled, are now reverting to the earlier positions, arguing that they still have too many concerns about what they called “out of balance” precincts in Detroit, in which the number of votes cast and the number of voters signed in at the polls are mismatched, to certify. They both said that in their review of the results, more than 70% of Detroit’s 134 poll books “were left unbalanced,” –which according to the Detroit News, also happened during the certification process in the August primary and the November 2016 election, but did not keep the board from certifying.

Benson said that the discrepancies are common clerical errors with the paperwork and not signs of irregularities in the vote tally, such as a voter spoiling a ballot, or showing up and then not voting.

“I rescind my prior vote to certify Wayne County elections,” Palmer wrote in the affidavit.

“I voted not to certify, and I still believe this vote should not be certified,” Hartmann wrote in his affidavit. “Until these questions are addressed, I remain opposed to certification of the Wayne County results.”

Kinloch, a Democrat, pushed back against this latest maneuver by his Republican colleagues, saying that the vote to certify “is final.”

“It is a wasted attempt to unravel a lawful vote, in order to calm the Republican rancor we all knew would occur after they left the meeting. This certification is secure from yellow belly politricks, which are trying to reverse Donald Trump’s misfortune in Michigan,” he told ABC News early Thursday morning. “Upon certifying the election, we took a subsequent vote to waive reconsideration of the certification vote. It is final, this goose is cooked.”

It is not clear whether the compromise vote on Tuesday night was binding or could be reversed — or if even this latest change of heart could halt the ongoing certification process. It’s also unclear if the two Republican members officially signed any of the necessary paperwork to formalize their previous decision to certify.

“The two harassed patriot Canvassers refuse to sign the papers!” President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday morning, an early sign of a possible fight over whether the GOP members signed documents related to the certification.

ABC News has reached out to the Wayne County board of elections, and the two Republican members of the board, to confirm that all four board members officially signed any necessary documents related to certifying the result but did not hear back as of Wednesday.

On Tuesday, a chaotic few hours unfolded when Palmer and Hartmann initially refused to certify the county’s election results, which was widely criticized as a partisan move, only to change their votes later that same night.

The Republicans said they felt pressured by the “public ostracism,” as Hartmann put it, and by the threats against them and their family members, as Palmer wrote in her affidavit.

“The public comment continued for over two hours and I felt pressured to continue the meeting without a break,” Palmer wrote.

The unprecedented step to temporarily block the certification of results in Wayne County, which is home to Detroit, a city where Black residents make up nearly 80% of the population, prompted hours of public outrage from voters, volunteers, poll workers and local officials.

Benson announced on Wednesday, prior to the affidavits being filed, that all 83 counties certified the results. The state board of canvassers is set to meet on Nov. 23 to finalize the results statewide.





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Republican Canvassers Rescind Their Votes to Certify Wayne County, Michigan, Results



Two Republican members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers in Michigan rescinded their votes to certify the election results, saying Wednesday they were bullied into changing their original votes, and state authorities had refused to conduct an audit.

As Breitbart News reported Tuesday, the board originally deadlocked 2-2 along partisan lines and failed to certify the results because of discrepancies between ballots and voter rolls. But after public abuse and threats, and with the video stream down, the two Republicans agreed to change their votes, saying that they’re promised state authorities would audit the results.

Justthenews.com reported:

In an extraordinary turnabout that foreshadows possible legal action, the two GOP members of Wayne County’s election board signed affidavits Wednesday night alleging they were bullied and misled into approving election results in Michigan’s largest metropolis and do not believe the votes should be certified until serious irregularities in Detroit votes are resolved.

The statements by Wayne County Board of Canvassers Chairwoman Monica Palmer and fellow GOP member William C. Hartmann rescinding their votes from a day earlier threw into question anew whether Michigan’s presidential vote currently favoring Democrat Joe Biden will be certified. They also signaled a possible legal confrontation ahead.

Their pronouncements come just 24 hours after a chaotic meeting in which the county’s election board initially failed to certify the Nov. 3 election results during a 2-2 deadlocked vote when both Palmer and Hartmann voted against certification. But after hours of contentious public comment and criticism — including Democratic allegations of racism and threats against their safety — the two GOP members struck a deal to certify the elections in return for a promise of a thorough audit.

Palmer and Hartmann have each submitted affidavits. Palmer, the board’s chair, said in her affidavit that “more than 70% of Detroit’s 134 Absent Voter Counting Boards (AVCB) did not balance.” She then voted not to certify the results.

She added: “After the vote, public comment period began and dozens of people made personal remarks against me and Mr. Hartmann. The comments made accusations of racism and threatened me and my family.” She said that she was advised that she could not oppose the certification and that voting to certify “would result in a full, independent audit of Detroit’s unbalanced precincts.” She later learned that Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson did not view the agreement as binding on her. Consequently, Palmer said, she was rescinding her vote.

Hartmann said that he agreed to certify the results after being “berated” and after being told by Wayne County counsel that the discrepancies in the vote were insufficient reason not to certify the result. He added that he was promised that the state would audit the results, but later learned that Benson had no intention of doing so.

It is not clear whether the decision to rescind votes after the fact has any legal value; litigation is likely to follow.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.





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NSW koala bill dumped after Liberal MP Catherine Cusack votes against Government


The controversial koala bill that previously threatened to split the NSW Coalition has been scrapped.

Just months ago, the policy jeopardised the unity of the Coalition when Nationals Leader John Barilaro threatened to move to the crossbench, claiming the new protections went “too far” in favour of koalas.

Rather than have the bill examined by a parliamentary inquiry, the Government made the snap decision tonight to dump the legislation altogether.

This follows more than six months of negotiations between Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Mr Barilaro to find a balance between koala protection and land rights.

During debate in the Upper House, a vote was put forward to refer the koala bill to a committee which triggers a parliamentary inquiry.

Liberal MP Catherine Cusack crossed the floor and voted with Labor, the Greens, the Animal Justice Party and Independent Justin Field in favour of the inquiry.

Ms Cusack’s vote was the decider, leaving the Liberals, Nationals, Fred Nile and One Nation one vote short.

The ABC understands Ms Berejiklian personally tried to persuade Ms Cusack from voting against the Government, but ultimately failed.

Ms Cusack was subsequently sacked as parliamentary secretary.

“Following her decision today to move a non-Government amendment to a Government bill, I have made the decision to immediately remove Ms Catherine Cusack as a Parliamentary Secretary,” Ms Berejiklian said in a statement.

Gladys Berejiklian (L) sacked Catherine Cusack (R) as parliamentary secretary.(Supplied)

Just months ago, Ms Cusack was a vocal supporter of the Premier when Mr Barilaro publicly declared he would not support Government legislation if the koala bill proceeded.

Ms Cusack accused Mr Barilaro of treating Ms Berejiklian with “extreme contempt” and said his “whole strategy is 100 per cent bullying”.

The Nationals leader eventually backed down when Ms Berejiklian offered an ultimatum — remain in the Government, or give up your ministerial portfolios to sit on the crossbench.

With the bill now dead in the water, the Government will revert to its former policy on land management under the State Environmental Planning Policy despite the fact it has already expired.

“In the new year we will develop a policy to protect koalas and the interests of farmers,” the Premier said.

It’s understood there is now tension between the Premier and Planning Minister Rob Stokes, who had carriage of the now failed bill.

He said the old rules were “rudimentary” and needed modernising.

The NSW Government will now end 2020 back at square one on an issue that threatened to tear it apart just months ago.



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Wayne County GOP members rescind votes to certify election, claim Dems ‘bullied’ them


The two Republicans on Michigan’s Wayne County Board of Canvassers claimed in signed affidavits Wednesday that they were bullied into siding with Democrats and have now rescinded their votes to certify.

The two Republicans — Monica Palmer and William C. Hartmann — were involved in a brief deadlock in the county’s election certification process Tuesday before initially voting to certify.

Wayne County, which includes Detroit, is Michigan’s most populous county, with more than 1.7 million residents.

Both Republicans say they were called racists and subjected to threats for raising concerns about ballots that Democrats said were from predominately Black communities, Jenna Ellis, a lawyer for the Trump 2020 Campaign, told Fox News on Tuesday.

SEAN HANNITY BLASTS ZOOM CALLERS OVER ‘TRULY VILE SMEARS’ DIRECTED AT MICHIGAN GOP COUNTY CANVASSERS

Hartmann said in the affidavit that he observed about 71% of Detroit’s 134 Absent Voter Counting Boards “were left unbalanced and many unexplained.”

He said he voiced his concerns and said if the votes did not match, there should have been some kind of explanation. Powell said she spotted the same discrepancy. 

“I voted not to certify, and I still believe this vote should not be certified. Until these questions are addressed, I remain opposed to certification of the Wayne County results,” Hartmann said in his affidavit, according to JustTheNews, which was first to report on their decision to rescind.

Palmer said in her affidavit that she faced “accusations of racism” and threats to her family.

“After the vote, my Democratic colleagues chided me and Mr. Hartmann for voting not to certify,” she said, according to the affidavit obtained by Fox News. “After the vote, the public comment period began and dozens of people made personal remarks against me and Mr. Hartmann. The comments made accusations of racism and threatened me and members of my family. The public comment continued for over two hours and  I felt pressured to continue the meeting without a break.”  

Neither Palmer nor Hartmann could be reached for further comment by Fox News late Wednesday.

The pair said state officials indicated they would not honor an earlier compromise to audit the ballots, which contributed to their decision to rescind.  It was unclear if their decision to rescind could change their earlier vote to certify.

They had been praised by Republicans — inclluding President Trump — for standing up to brutal personal attacks from Democrats who called them racists during a live Zoom meeting.

Ned Staebler, chief executive of TechTown, who, according to the New York Times, is a poll challenger at the TCF Center in Detroit, said in the viral Zoom meeting, “The Trump stain, the stain of racism that you, William Hartmann and Monica Palmer, have covered yourself in, is going to follow you throughout history.”

He said the two would “forever be known in southeastern Michigan as two racists who did something so unprecedented that they disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of Black voters in the city of Detroit.”

Joe Biden defeated Trump in Wayne County, a Democratic stronghold, by more than a 2-1 margin and won Michigan by 146,000 votes, according to unofficial results.

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Ellis said in an interview with “Fox News @ Night” that President Trump is focused on making sure that every legal vote is counted and every illegal vote is tossed. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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Ga. GOP: Biden got 9,626 votes in Dekalb County by mistake


Election workers handle ballots as part of the recount for the 2020 presidential election at the Beauty P. Baldwin Voter Registrations and Elections Building on November 16, 2020 in Lawrenceville, Georgia. (Photo by Megan Varner/Getty Images)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 3:55 PM PT – Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Observers in the ongoing vote recount in Georgia found a major mistake in the ballot-counting process. On Wednesday, Georgia GOP said 9,256 votes in Dekalb County were erroneously given to Joe Biden.

Officials said the initial count labeled 10,700 ballots for Biden and gave only 13 ballots to President Trump, a margin similar to those in Cuban and North Korean elections. In reality, Biden got less than 1100 of those ballots.

The Georgia GOP has submitted an affidavit of that violation to election officials and is demanding an investigation.

MORE NEWS: Rep. Hice: ‘Questions Will Come Back To Deal’ With ‘The Future’ Of Ga. Secy Of State





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