To no one’s surprise, the lead-up to the Jan. 5 Georgia U.S. Senate runoff election will continue to spur divisiveness and will have the potential for violence.
And now it’s an official concern, according to a Department of Homeland Security report obtained by Yahoo News.
The possibility of “ideologically motivated violence” and – in another predictable development – a foreign influence campaign are chief concerns.
The Dec. 22 DHS report states, in part:
“We judge that Georgia faces a potentially heightened physical threat environment over the course of its U.S. Senate runoff election cycle, which may drive ideologically motivated violence or threats of violence similar to those seen nationwide during the 2020 presidential and state election season.
“We further judge that violent extremists or other actors could quickly mobilize to violence or generate violent disruptions or otherwise lawful protests in response to a range of issues, including possible disputes over the results of the U.S. presidential election.”
The dual elections between incumbent GOP senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler and Democratic challengers Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock are finding intense scrutiny. If the Democrats sweep the two races, they will control the Senate.
Potential flashpoints include locations near the state capitol in Atlanta, as well as the capitol itself, courts and other sites employing elected officials or election workers.
The report cites incidents including one on July 25, 2020, when “approximately 100 people chanting ‘burn it down!’ smashed windows and ignited fireworks embedded with nails in an attempt to set fire to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) building” in Atlanta, and on Nov. 21 when “members of groups with opposing ideological views engaged in assaults and physical altercations” at the capitol.