The presidential election is past, but there are still two critical races left that will determine the control of the U.S. Senate. The state of Georgia, which has a widely documented history of voter suppression, will hold January 5 runoff elections for two U.S. Senate seats. On November 3, none of the candidates in the two races for those seats garnered the minimum 50% of the votes required by state law to win, so both races will be settled in runoffs. The deadline for Georgians to register to vote in the January 5 election is December 7. The UUCSS Defending Democracy Committee encourages you to help ensure robust participation in those elections. There are a variety of organizations that need help to maximize voter participation in Georgia. Here are the various ways you can get involved.
Vote Forward has launched a campaign to write letters to underrepresented groups in Georgia. Vote Forward is a 501(c)4 nonprofit with a mission is to empower grassroots volunteers to help register voters from underrepresented demographics and encourage them to vote. The letters are nonpartisan and do not promote any candidates. The goal is to encourage more people to engage in the democratic process, in keeping with our UU 5th Principle. Depending on timing there are likely to be more campaigns encouraging people to register to vote before the Dec. 7 deadline, followed by Get Out The Vote (GOTV) campaigns. If you already have a Vote Forward account you should receive an email when the campaigns are available. If you don’t have an account but would like to get involved, you can register at votefwd.org. It may take a day or so for your account to be activated so if you are interested in writing letters you should register right away.
Reclaim Our Vote is a non-partisan, people-of-color-directed project based in Virginia and active in elections all over the country. The group has phone banks in 5 counties, with more than 100,000 numbers and more to come. They are calling deregistered voters to ask them to check their registration and reregister by the Dec. 7 deadline if necessary. If you would like to participate: Check out Phone Bank Central for trainings, schedules, and other information. Additionally, you can schedule a custom phonebanking training session for your group, by emailing: ROV.DCMV@gmail.com.
UU the Vote is is working with Reclaim Our Vote to do voter outreach in Georgia throughout the coming weeks. Please check out their website for updates on the next phone bank opportunity. Training will be provided. They will be using a manual dialer to leave voicemails with important non-partisan voting information about deadlines, voter registration, absentee ballot requests, early voting and more.If you are interested in a training or support role in one of the many upcoming phone bank campaigns, Reclaim Our Vote is offering training sessions on how to run a phone bank campaign on Open VPB (a manual dialer, different from ThruTalk). Please join them at one of the following Training for Trainers this week: Thursday, 11/19 7:30p ET: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81972895778, or Friday, 11/20 7:30p ET: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81467470773
The Environmental Voter Project (EVP) will be calling and texting unlikely-to-vote environmentalists in Georgia ahead of the upcoming Senate runoff elections to ask them to vote. Go to environmentalvoter.org/events to sign up for an online volunteer training. After you sign up, you will receive an email with the link to access the training, which will last approximately 45 minutes. EVP plans two phone-banking sessions before the Dec. 7 Georgia voter registration deadline, so sign up right away if you want to encourage new voters. EVP will continue Get-Out-the-Vote efforts through December and likely up until Jan. 5.
Black Voters Matter is very actively engaged in the registration and turn-out efforts in Georgia. You can donate funds and/or volunteer for things that can be done from afar—check interests on their volunteer page for phone banking, texting, etc. Go to blackvotersmatterfund.org/donate and/or blackvotersmatterfund.org/volunteer.
The New Georgia Project (the Georgia-specific organization initiated by Stacey Abrams) is a non-partisan effort to register and civically engage Georgians. To help through donations, go to newgeorgiaproject.org.
March For Our Lives Georgia, the state chapter of the youth group working to end the nation’s gun violence epidemic, will take to social media to encourage young people to register to vote for the runoff. The nonpartisan organization will use social media to highlight the candidates and their positions based on survey questions the organization sent the candidates in September. March For Our Lives Georgia will drop postcards with similar information on college campuses around the metro Atlanta area. The organization is encouraging its members to share information about the runoffs with their classes, whether it be on video calls or in person, taking two minutes at the end of class to talk about the elections or to drop a voter registration link into their class chats. You can provide some financial support to the movement here.
When We All Vote is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization that is on a mission to increase participation in every election and close the race and age voting gap by changing the culture around voting, harnessing grassroots energy, and through strategic partnerships to reach every American. It was launched in 2018 by co-chairs Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monae, Chris Paul, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw. When We All Vote has “My School Votes” programs in high schools across the metro Atlanta area, including in Atlanta and DeKalb and Clayton counties. The group says it will encourage students to participate in the runoffs by voting themselves if they are of age or encouraging others to vote if they are not. Click here to learn how to donate.
The Georgia Youth Poll Workers Project recruited 1,000 poll workers ages 18-25 to work the polls in the general election. In the next three weeks, the group is planning a holiday-themed voter registration event for high schoolers and working with schools across seven counties in the metro Atlanta area. The young organizers will be holding get-out-the-vote weekends between now and January 5, phone banking, text banking and encouraging young Georgians to “get their peaches to the polls.” Donations can be made by clicking here.
Other options are available here.