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SavannahNow65 karma

The pandemic really threw a wrench in the works for Georgia, and a lot of people had to learn about the absentee process quickly. For the June 9 primary, the SOS mailed a request out to every registered active voter. We've had no-excuse absentee since the 2000s, but most folks, myself included, had never used it.

That was as close as we got to true mail-in voting. The mass mailout didn't happen for Nov. 3, but they opened an online portal to request a ballot, and made ballot drop boxes an option for returning ballots, which really cut down on the USPS reliance of the process.

I talked to the SOS in October about these changes and whether they'd stick around, and they said these innovations would likely continue and be part of voting in Georgia permanently now.

Democratic voters made use of absentee ballots more than Republican voters did this time around, despite a push by local Republicans to vote absentee. From my perspective, the positive response will usually come from the party it benefits, and vice versa. In this case, it benefitted blue voters, as evidenced by Biden's gains once absentee ballots were counted.

Good question!

SavannahNow54 karma

The key to the runoff hopes of the Democrats is what you are alluding to -- Democratic voter turnout. Traditionally, GOP candidates do much better in runoffs than Democrats (that said, we saw the opposite in a Savannah mayoral runoff last year, so there are exceptions to the rule). You can bet the Republicans will be out strong with control of the Senate on the line. If you are asking me to handicap the runoffs, I would say at least one Republican will win, probably two. -- Thanks, Adam Van Brimmer, opinion editor

SavannahNow54 karma

Brian Kemp and Stacey Abrams. That's it. Abrams resisted running for U.S. Senate, which she would have won, for only one reason, and that's for another crack at governor. Then she will be in position to run for president in 2028 or 2032.

SavannahNow34 karma

From story I wrote last week ...

Abrams founded the New Georgia Project in 2013 in the midst of her tenure in the Georgia House of Representatives, where she rose to be the chamber’s minority leader. The New Georgia Project focused on registering minority voters, particularly young women of color, and claims to have registered 500,000 new voters between its founding and September 2019.

Abrams left the Georgia House in 2017 to run for governor. A year later, she received more votes than any Democratic gubernatorial candidate in the state’s history in losing to Brian Kemp by a mere 55,000 votes. She missed forcing a runoff by 8,745 votes.

She launched Fair Fight, a voting rights organization, as part of her challenge to the results of that election. And while she failed in that bid, Abrams leveraged the national attention she received to expand Fair Fight’s advocacy efforts. The group has a political action committee that funds voter protect programs and a legal arm that targets voter suppression.

Fair Fight’s core mission, though, is similar to that of the New Georgia Project -- voter mobilization.

Between 2016 and today, Georgia’s number of registered voters has grown from 6.9 million to 7.6 million. More than 60% of voters to register since the 2016 presidential election are people of color.

Abrams didn’t recruit them all -- among other contributing factors was Georgia’s implementation of automatic voter registration in September 2016. However, Abrams did create significant awareness about the voting process among the state’s minority residents, and her controversial high-profile loss to Kemp not only energized young Black Georgians but turned many of them into activists.

For more on that story ...


SavannahNow30 karma

Very slim. Democratic turnout for runoffs is traditionally weak, and without Donald Trump on the ballot to draw them to the polls, Republicans have the edge. What's more, with control of the Senate on the line, the GOP voters will come out and come out strong. Warnock has a puncher's chance against Loeffler, who is unpalatable to most moderates, but Ossoff will need a miracle to beat Perdue. It will be interesting to see what the Democrat strategy is in terms of increasing turnout.