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Glen McDaniel Headshot

Geogia Voters Adopting Operation Chaos

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2012-03-08-20120306_183128_768.jpg

It took me all of 10 minutes to cast my vote Tuesday in Georgia. Arriving at Kimberly School in Southwest Atlanta I was surprised to see a packed parking lot.

Inside the polling station all 5 processing tables and the 15 or so polling machines were all busy. A poll worker told me that voting has been very steady and much busier than anticipated. Processing was very fast however and I had voted and was out in about 10 minutes.

I tried to catch the attention of several voters as they left. Most did not want to talk but a few were more than happy to speak with me. An older gentleman who wanted to be identified only as "Billy" said he voted for Newt Gingrich. He supported Herman Cain and thought he was very unfairly herded out of the campaign by a relentless press.

In this largely African American community I was not surprised that several people said they were there to vote for Barack Obama although he was unopposed on the Democratic ballot. Jayson Tyson a 19-year-old college student said he was especially proud to cast his first vote ever for Obama.

A spirited group of men and women who did not want to be identified by name actually came over to me and volunteered that they had decided to vote for Rick Santorum in an effort to prolong the Republican selection process. This is a strategy similar to "Operation Chaos" pushed by Rush Limbaugh in 2008 when he encouraged Republicans to vote for Hillary Clinton against Barack Obama to "cause chaos" in the Democratic ranks.

"The entire Republican field is a joke; not one is suitable for president, "said one young lady. "I figure if we vote for Santorum that's a smaller percentage of votes for Gingrich."

"Think if Santorum actually faced President Obama. That would be a shoo-in, "chimed in one young man," laughing.

Asked if they knew of others who were adopting this strategy, they said several of their friends had agreed to do this since Georgia has what they called "an open primary."

Also on the ballot was an initiative to authorize a 1 cent sales tax to pay for upgrading and maintenance of the city's water and sewer infrastructure. Without the Municipal Option Sales Tax (MOST) consumers should expect to see a 30 percent hike in rates according to Atlanta Mayor Kaseem Reed.

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332 206
Obama leading
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Popular Vote
33 out of 100 seats are up for election. 51 are needed for a majority.
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Holdover
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Democrats* Republicans
Current Senate 53 47
Seats gained or lost +2 -2
New Total 55 45
* Includes two independent senators expected to caucus with the Democrats: Angus King (Maine) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.).
All 435 seats are up for election. 218 are needed for a majority.
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