ATLANTA, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Georgia State Capitol was buzzing on Tuesday as state senators and state house members reconvened for day one of the emergency legislative session called by Governor Nathan Deal.
“I hereby call the special session of the Senate to order,” Lt. Governor Casey Cagle said Tuesday morning.
Georgia General Assembly members came together to discuss solutions to the devastation Hurricane Michael left behind in South Georgia.
Despite the initial purpose of the session, another pressing issue took the forefront. Both residents and state leaders took the Tuesday following election to show their opposition to several mishaps that occurred on the day of.
“Today, we met and had our press conference to let Georgians know that their vote matters and counts,” District 142 State Rep. Miriam Paris told 41NBC.
Paris and other members of Georgia’s Democratic Party spoke at a news conference following a separate news conference held by members of the American Civil Liberties Union and religious leaders from across the state.
“We are here today to say every Georgia vote must count,” said Bishop Reginald T. Jackson during Tuesday’s news conference.
Just a few hours later, the sound of protesters could be heard echoing the halls of the state capitol building.
“Count every vote, county every vote, count every vote,” dozens of Georgia residents chanted.
Many religious groups, Democratic Party leaders and voting advocates had one message: calling for every one of the absentee, military and provisional ballots that were submitted to be counted.
“A federal judge delayed the actual certifying of the election until Friday,” said District 26 State Senator David Lucas.
Several people were even escorted out of the building in handcuffs–including District 39 State Senator Nikema Williams.
As the emergency session continues, it’s uncertain what will happen in days to come. But legislators will need to come together at some point for the sake of South Georgia residents.
Members of the Republican Party of Georgia have filed a counter suit to stop the votes from being counted.
Governor Nathan Deal and members of the general body will be in session over the next five days hoping to amend the state’s FY19 budget to get some additional funding for the relief effort.
Stay with 41NBC for the latest updates as we continue coverage through out the week.