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Georgia mayor creates firestorm with Election Day post

A metro Atlanta mayor got a quick lesson in social media exposure Tuesday.

As voters across Georgia went to the polls, Jefferson Riley posted this on his personal Facebook page, which identifies him as the mayor of the Newton County city of Mansfield:

“Remember the voting days: Republicans vote on Tuesday, 11/8 and Democrats vote on Wednesday, 11/9.”

He said it was a joke. Others thought it was out of line.

“Sorry,” Nancy Bush wrote in a Twitter post. “May have been meant as a joke but a stupid and irresponsible one.”

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Riley deleted the post, but the exposure — and the screenshots — remained.

On social media, some slammed Riley, while others defended him.

“A Georgia mayor giving out incorrect voting info without a disclaimer,” Twitter user @onestarr23 wrote. “Wooooow.”

“How could you see this as anything other than a joke,” user @Logan__Swartz wrote in a post.

Riley said he wasn’t trying to be ugly.

“People take things so seriously,” he told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “You can’t joke about anything anymore — especially on social media.”

Also, a group called the Democratic Coalition against Trump said it has filed a complaint with the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice over the post.

“While Mayor Riley seems to think his actions were a joke, it is clear that they were not. As a public official, you have the obligation to provide your constituents with correct information, not with partisan nonsense,” said Scott Dworkin, senior director of the group. “Attempting to prevent voters from voting by tricking them goes against the Voting Rights Act, plain and simple.”

 

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