Editorial Roundup: Georgia

Recent editorials from Georgia newspapers:

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Oct. 27

The Valdosta Daily Times on early voting at a county in Georgia:

During the early voting period, we often write leads and headlines using words such as “slow start,” “poor showing” and “barely above double digits.”

We will not use those terms for this early voting session.

Early voting in Lowndes County has been robust.

At the end of the first two weeks of early voting, about 27,000 registered Lowndes County voters have cast ballots in person or by mail.

That breaks down to roughly 20,000 in-person voters and more than 6,800 by mail, according to early voting numbers released Sunday night by the Lowndes County Board of Elections.

And voters still have another week of early voting to go before the Nov. 3 election day.

By voting, residents are not just picking candidates. They are opting to be a part of something larger.

They are activating their destiny as citizens.

They are doing something for the common good of their community, state and nation.

They are participating in something greater than themselves.

Whether with an absentee ballot dropped in the mail, or standing in line in person, they are part of the great American experiment.

They are voting.

Voting sets the course for the future.

Voting chooses leaders and representatives on the local, state and national levels.

Voting makes a difference in lives.

So, if you haven’t already voted, what are you waiting for?

We urge voters to take part smartly by being informed and adhering to Centers for Disease Control protocols. Wear a mask. Keep safe distances. Wash hands. Or fill out the absentee ballot and turn it in.

Voting and staying safe are the hallmarks of good citizenship in this pandemic election season.

Online: https://www.valdostadailytimes.com

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Oct. 27

The Daily Citizen-News on Republican Sen. David Perdue repeatedly mispronouncing Sen. Kamala Harris' name at a recent rally in Georgia:

In a press release on his U.S. Senate website from Oct. 3, 2018, Georgia Republican David Perdue talks about the importance of “civility in our country.”

“My Democrat colleagues talk all the time about working in a bipartisan way. Yet when you get in the heat of the battle, nothing could be further from the truth,” he said.

The dictionary defines civility as “formal politeness and courtesy in behavior or speech.” It is something to truly aspire to. We wish Perdue would live up to the important standard he outlined on his website back in 2018.

Because this year, an election year for both Perdue and the presidential candidate he supports, Republican President Donald Trump, Perdue chose to go away from civility and make fun of the first name of the Democratic Party’s vice presidential candidate, Kamala Harris, in an appearance before President Trump’s appearance on Oct. 16 in Macon. And what’s worse, his representatives then lied about it in statements to the media.

“Sen. Perdue simply mispronounced Sen. Harris’ name, and he didn’t mean anything by it,” the statements said.

This is not believable to any objective person who has watched a video of Perdue’s remarks. Perdue pronounces Harris’ first name several different ways, including “Kamala-mala-mala,” and then says “I don’t know. Whatever!” as many in the crowd cheer.

Whatever, indeed.

Perdue has served in the U.S. Senate with Harris for almost four years. They are both members of the Senate Budget Committee. Surely by now he knows how to pronounce both of her names. So there is no excuse for Perdue mispronouncing her first name in an apparent attempt to mock her in front of a crowd of Trump supporters.

We agree with Perdue’s call for civility in our country. It is a great point. In the political arena, Democrats, Republicans, independents and others need to act respectfully and courteously toward members of the other party or those with other political views.

We do not agree with Perdue’s choice to go away from civility for political purposes, to try to score some cheap points at the expense of a colleague from the Senate.

Perdue should apologize to Harris and the public for his lapse in judgment, and vow to live up to the proper standard of civility that he has acknowledged going forward.

Online: https://www.dailycitizen.news/

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Oct. 26

The Brunswick News on an uptick in calls to Georgia's domestic violence hotline amid the coronavirus pandemic:

While the COVID-19 pandemic has brought out the best in a lot of people — from our brave frontline heroes working to save as many lives as possible to those doing what they can to support them — the side effects of the pandemic have also exacerbated some of the worst elements of our society.

The pandemic forced people to stay in their homes. It also shut down our courts and put millions of people in economic peril. That combination was a breeding ground for making the domestic violence problem worse.

Georgia’s domestic violence hotline has seen a 15% uptick in calls during the pandemic. Locally, Georgia Legal Services, which has a project dedicated to helping victims who may not have the financial means to get out of dangerous situations, has seen a 35 to 40 percent increase in phone calls.

The pandemic has forced people to be together more, which can fray the fabric of relationships. Pile on economic uncertainty, jobs lost and just the general fear that comes with living in a pandemic, and you have a volatile recipe for too many.

While the pandemic has magnified the problem, domestic violence has for too long been a black eye on our society. And the problem goes beyond just physical violence. It also includes sexual violence, threats, economic restriction and emotional abuse.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, more than 10 million adults annually in the U.S. experience some form of domestic violence. One out of four women and one out of 10 men will experience physical violence, sexual violence or stalking from an intimate partner that leads to constant safety concerns, post-traumatic stress disorder and/or other issues that victims can spend a lifetime battling.

If you don’t have the economic means for help, reach out to Georgia Legal Services at 1-800-GLSPLAW. You can also call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 for free and confidential help. We also encourage everyone to stay alert for signs of abuse from friends and family. You can find a list of troubling signs at https://ncadv.org/signs-of-abuse.

If you are in an abusive relationship, please know that there are still organizations and people out there to help you. Even during a pandemic, you do not have to stay with a partner who physically, emotionally or sexually abuses you. No one — not even a spouse or family member — has the right to do such horrible things.

Online: https://www.thebrunswicknews.com