World News – GB – United States: Georgia in our minds


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Ahead of the current US election of 2016, New York Magazine asked, « Could Hillary Clinton win Georgia? » That same year, The New York Times ran an op-ed saying, « Why Hillary Clinton Could Win Georgia »

In 2017, in a special election held to fill the seat left vacant by then-representative Tom Price, who resigned to become Donald Trump’s Health and Human Services Secretary Jon Ossoff, a Democrat, finished first in a multi-party primary – but since it won less than 50% of the vote, Georgia’s sixth congressional district advanced to the run-off election It was endorsed by civil rights icon and congressman John Lewis, by progressive superstar and Senator Bernie Sanders, and by House of State Democratic leader Stacey Abrams Ossoff broke national fundraising records Yet his opponent, Republican Karen Handel, won with 519% of the overall vote

In 2018, Stacey Abrams ran against Brian Kemp for governor Kemp retained his post as Georgian Secretary of State, which oversees the elections, while running for office His office, which had canceled more than one million voter registrations between 2012 and 2018, announced he was investigating the Georgian Democratic Party two days before the elections for « possible cybercrime » Yet Abrams had a chance She was charismatic, and she reportedly made history as as first black female governor She was endorsed by Sanders, Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama She lost by 50,000 votes

Here the story changes: Abrams, in her concession speech, announced that she would create Fair Fight Action, a non-profit voting organization Today, as Biden votes in the 2020 presidential election and Democrats hold their breath that history will not repeat itself, the question isn’t just, « Will Georgia go blue? » But also: « Are there any unfair obstacles that could keep all voters who want to vote at the ballot box and prevent every vote from being counted? »  »

Charles Bullock, III, professor of political science at the University of Georgia, said the south is dividing Some Republican states are becoming more Republican and some Republican states are becoming Democratic Georgia appears to be in the latter camp

For years, the Georgian population has been widely divided between white and black Georgians In 2000, for example, the population was 651 percent white and 287 percent black Now, however, not only is the black population increasing, but Asian-American and Hispanic populations are also increasing From 2000 to 2012, the number of Asian Americans registered to vote doubled and the number of ballots actually cast by Asian Americans increased by 168% during from the same period

Non-white voters are historically more likely than white voters to vote Democrats In addition, thousands of people are moving to Georgia from outside the south, with some bringing their Democratic-leaning voting preferences with them: in 2018, 69,106 people moved elsewhere in the United States to Georgia, making it the country’s fifth-largest destination for the state migration to the state, with residents from Florida, New York, Tennessee, Texas and California

What about traditionally older, whiter Republican voters? “To put it very simply,” Bullock said, “Republicans die and their grandchildren vote Democrat”

Not all votes in Georgia are cast or counted equally On the 2018 election, Andra Gillespie, associate professor of political science at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga., Noted that Brian’s retention Kemp as Secretary of State while running for governor was « technically legal, [but] the optics were deeply problematic » The person overseeing the election was also present

Additionally, Georgia put in place some other policies that could have effectively, if not intentionally, suppressed voters Polling stations were closed statewide following the 2013 Supreme Court ruling that overturned the Voting Rights Act, which previously required local governments to seek permission from the federal government before changing voting practices The 2017 reinstatement by Kemp and the Georgia General Assembly of “exact match”, a policy which means that a voter information must be an “exact match” with records held by the Georgian Department of Driver Services or the Social Security administration, has had a negative impact on voters of color, according to a lawsuit filed by voting rights groups and there is the specter of voter suppression, Gillespie said, in the suspicion that some voters feel that some constituencies serving African American and low-income areas see their voter turnout consistently underestimated, meaning they receive fewer resources on election day, which in turn means more lines to vote « We’ll never be able to quantify who dropped out of the line, » said Gillespie, « who went home and didn’t come back »

« Georgia is not a red state, » Abigail Collazo, former Abrams spokesperson wrote in an email to the New Statesman, « it is a blue state with a history of electoral repression »

This doesn’t necessarily mean history will repeat itself Georgia has strayed far from the « exact match » Fulton County, in which Atlanta is located, is apparently working to resolve electoral issues

And voters are different too In Georgia, said Collazo, there is « a newly engaged electorate that is more determined than ever to be represented by those who put our families and communities first. »

“Grassroots awareness is increased,” Gillespie said. This is partly because of the 2018 governor’s election, she added, and partly because the “baseless allegations of electoral fraud” and « Suspected post office slowdowns » mean people are « legitimately worried » whether their mail-in ballots will be received on time The high turnout at early polls and high recourse to postal voting are due to the pandemic, but also because there are, according to Gillespie, « people who had their guards looking for evidence of voter suppression »

“People on the ground here take nothing for granted, which is why most organizers are paying more attention to ensuring that voters have the resources they need to vote safely and securely than. ‘they don’t pay in the last polls,’ Collazo said

That’s not to say Democrats – not only Biden, but also Jon Ossoff, who runs to overthrow Senator David Perdue, and Reverend Raphael Warnock, who runs to topple Kelly Loeffler in a special election – will win Georgia.

Georgia’s new Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has warned of long lines in the last week of early voting The level of voter enthusiasm shown by these lines is not unexpected, according to Callazo, and « there will be no excuse for the Secretary of State’s office to claim that they were not prepared to assume their responsibilities »

In a close election, the reality of black Americans and low income voters having to spend hours online to vote could make a difference A small margin of people deciding to stay home could also make a difference

According to figures available this week, Gillespie said: “Black voters are turning to early voting at a slightly slower pace than their voter registration numbers. »This is not good news for Biden, whose » quest to win Georgia depends on the participation of minorities  »

Bullock thinks another group matters too: Suburban white women To win, Bullock said, Biden will need black voters to make up 30% of the overall vote, as well as getting at least 30% of the white vote. « The first part is more achievable, » he said « The challenge has been to get that 30% of the white vote No recent Democrats have come close » And well-educated white women from the suburbs « are evolving not democratically as fast as similar women in some other states  »

Either way, Georgia today is not the Georgia of two or four, ten or 20 years ago. « Recent election results show that the advantage Republicans have enjoyed has been shrunk over time, « Gillespie said « The double-digit wins of mid-August have been replaced by single-digit wins »

And unlike in years past, Democrats and Republicans must make an effort to « get out the vote, » Gillespie said « You can no longer take for granted that there are more Republicans than Democrats in the state »

Georgia, Democratic Party, Joe Biden, Stacey Abrams, Republican Party

News from the world – UK – United States: Georgia in our minds


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