The 2020 election cycle was fraught with allegations of fraud, especially in the swing states.
A handful of must-win states from Georgia north to Michigan and Wisconsin, which were expected to be competitive, all experienced the same election day irregularities and with the GOP candidates in the lead.
But, after stopping the ballot counting for a few hours, once restarted, the ballot results shifted from being with the margin of error to an unusually very high percentage of the remaining votes going to the democratic candidates.
The sudden shift in the ballot results led to countless lawsuits being filed, with the GOP candidates, especially former President Trump, looking for hand recounts and audits of all the electronic voting machines.
To the dismay of tens of millions of Republican voters and the campaigns, judges from local courts up to the Supreme Court treated the cases as hot potatoes, with none of them seriously giving credence to the arguments in their lawsuits.
One of the candidates who benefited from the extra drop boxes and universal mail-in balloting due to COVID, the ballot counting shutdowns, and the final count was Raphael Warnock.
Without any of the candidates receiving 50% of the vote in the GA U.S. Senate races, special run-off elections were scheduled.
Some of the frustrated republican voters, in protest of the GA presidential election results, did not turn out for the special elections, allowing Warnock to become the next U.S. Senator from the Peach State.
With them running neck and, Warnock’s re-election campaign just received some bad news. The first-term Senator is being accused of using campaign money to cover legal expenses for a lawsuit relating to his time as a church minister.
The lawsuit began in 2019 when Atlanta resident Melvin Robertson made allegations against Warnock dating back to his time as a pastor in 2005.
The suit was dismissed by a federal district court judge, but Robertson refiled a similar case in 2021 when Warnock was in the Senate.
This election has national importance as it could determine if the Senate Majority Leader in January is Chuck Schumer (D-NY) or Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
The issue for Warnock is whether this was a proper use of campaign funds.
Charlie Spies, a Republican attorney specializing in political law, said the bottom line is whether Warnock would have incurred the expense as a private citizen.
“If Warnock is using campaign money to pay for a lawsuit thatpredates his running for office, then by definition it existed irrespective of his candidacy and would be impermissible to use campaign funds on,” Spies said.
“The seriousness of the violation will depend on whether the FEC considers it to be knowing and willful,” Spies added.
In the nation I grew up in, Warnock would be found guilty of misusing his campaign funds, which would most likely cost him the election.
But, just like Slick Willy, former President Bill Clinton, Warnock who received a very high percentage of the black vote in the Atlanta metro area, will most likely be able to deflect any public criticism and avoid legal repercussions for his actions.
This is why turnout will be the deciding factor in 2022, hopefully, void of any election issues this time.