All eyes are on Georgia.
Voting rights advocates are still hard at work on the ground in the state, continuing to mobilize and educate voters as control of the U.S. Senate remains up in the air. Currently, Democrats hold 48 seats to the Republicans’ 50.
There are two contested Senate seats in Georgia, and, depending on the outcome, these seats could determine which party controls the Senate.
On Jan. 5, Georgia voters will participate in two elections, one between and , and another between and . None of the candidates received the mandated 50 percent of the votes required to win a senate seat during November’s election, mandating a runoff election to determine the winners.
This all means voter turnout is more important than ever.
The New Georgia Project, a nonpartisan civic engagement organization that helped bring about an impressive turnout of Georgia voters this year, hasn’t stopped its efforts to register and encourage voter participation. The organization’s CEO, Nse Ufot, believes this is an important democratic moment. “It was never just about voter registration,” Ufot said. “The idea was to build an active and more engaged, more informed, more confident electorate.”
Leading up to the November presidential election, the project focused on “registering and educating and mobilizing what is known as Georgia’s ‘New American Majority,’ which is a coalition of people of color,” Ufot explained. That work isn’t over, with a new goal to knock on 1 million doors in the next two months. According to Ufot, the New Georgia Project has already received almost 10,000 volunteer requests post-election, but they’ll need more. “Our team is committed to seeing this thing all the way through. Part of our mission is ‘every voter, every election,’ and these two Senate races are no exception.”
New Georgia Project hopes to build off of the unprecedented momentum of new political participants in what Ufot calls “America’s newest swing state.”
This election season may feel endless, but so is the fight for a fair and free democracy. Fortunately, there are some simple ways to stay involved.
If you’re a registered voter in Georgia, here are the important deadlines:
- Register to vote in Georgia by Dec. 7.
- Make sure to request your absentee ballot. They will be sent out beginning Nov. 18.
- Early in-person voting begins on Dec. 14.
- Election day is Jan. 5, 2021,
- All absentee ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on Jan. 5, 2021
Check your registration status on the Georgia Secretary of State’s website. Registered voters who received absentee ballots for the Nov. 3 election due to disability, age, military, or overseas status will automatically receive absentee ballots again.
Call the Georgia Secretary of State voter hotline at 470-312-2635, or the nonpartisan Election Protection Hotline at 866-687-8683, if you have a problem registering or casting your vote.
Both Georgia residents and non-residents around the country can also support those on the ground:
- Host a voter registration drive in your community. State guidelines for these events can be found .
- Volunteer to phone or text bank, canvass, or engage in other traditional get out the vote initiatives. You can sign up with campaigns directly, or for the party of your choice.
- The New Georgia Project is still actively seeking monetary contributions and volunteers. Sign up to volunteer or donate here.
- Georgia STAND-UP engages in education and lobbying efforts to alleviate poverty and other systemic barriers to communities around Georgia. Read about the organization’s STAND UP and Vote! campaign to register and educate voters, or donate to the organization’s broader outreach here.
- Fair Fight, the voter protection organization founded by former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, will continue to register voters ahead of January and has compiled an easy guide to voting for Georgia residents. Donate to Fair Fight here or sign up to volunteer either virtually or on the ground in Georgia.
- All Voting Is Local is a national campaign to remove voting barriers in eight states, including Georgia, through bureaucratic lobbying. You can support the campaign’s efforts by signing the three Georgia-based petitions addressed to Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
- Black Voters Matter is also registering voters ahead of January. Volunteer or donate here.
- Mijente is a Latinx and Chicanx led organization partnering with the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights to mobilize the Latinx vote in Georgia. Volunteer with both organizations or donate to Mijente here and GLAHR here.
- Vote Save America, Crooked Media’s voter engagement initiative, has compiled a list of volunteer opportunities for those who want to help get out the vote in Georgia. You can also virtually “adopt” Georgia, which allows you to donate to campaigns on the ground, receive election updates, and learn more about the race here.
- Four Directions, a nonpartisan Native-led organization working to increase voter participation in Native American communities, will also work to mobilize this population in Georgia. The organization prioritizes Native American volunteers to assist in community-oriented, culturally sensitive outreach — find more information on Facebook. Otherwise, the best way to support the organization is to donate.
This list highlights only a small portion of activists working on the ground in Georgia. As for the New Georgia Project, the next few months will be an “all hands on deck” effort, according to Ufot. “America is counting on us to deliver and counting on us to show up again… I fully expect that to happen.”