‘Democracy is at stake in this election’: Voter mobilization efforts in Georgia ramp up ahead of Senate runoff elections

If Georgia Democrats win a pair of U.S. Senate runoff races in January, they will take control of Congress in addition to the White House next year. If not, Republicans will retain the Senate — and their ability to stifle any attempts at passing progressive legislation. Despite widespread election fatigue, local organizers are ready to mobilize Georgia voters for the next nine weeks in the run up to the runoff elections. “Democracy is at stake in this election,” Deborah Scott, executive director of Georgia Stand UP, a progressive activist group, told Yahoo News.

Video Transcript

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DEBORAH SCOTT: Democracy is at stake in this election. And it's so fitting that it's happening right here in Georgia, a southern state, right, a former slave state that this is happening. And the base of it is Black women.

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Hi. Deborah Scott, Georgia Stand-Up. So Georgia Stand-Up is about 16 years old. I've been the executive director since it began.

And so we built a base. When voter registration wasn't cool, we were doing voter registration all across the state and in key areas. And so we realized that in order for people to receive their progressive power, they have to get engaged with this political process. So it starts with getting folks registered to vote, getting them educated, getting them engaged in the political process, getting them connected to issues that are affecting them.

Over this past year, we have not only registered thousands of voters-- even in the midst of a pandemic-- we also engaged them. We have a virtual phone bank, and we were able to do over a million-plus calls and texts throughout Georgia. And our focus was on black women and first-time voters. And so what we were doing was really targeting who we think is the base of progressive movement here in Georgia-- or should be-- and making sure that we spoke to the issues.

When we look at what's going to happen over the next nine weeks, we know that there are going to be a lot of people that want to come to Georgia, and they want to help. And the reason they want to help is, is they see that this is a moment in time that they can actually make a difference in their democracy and even in their volunteerism. I've had calls all across the country asking what can they do to help, because people realize and connect to that you have these two Senate seats that really hold the balance of power for the Congress and for the Senate. And so if everything happens in Georgia and people actually turn out, then we can actually shift some of the progressive policies that need to be in place.

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