Democrats text over 1 million Georgia voters to boost mail voting efforts

Democrats text over 1 million Georgia voters to boost mail voting efforts

The Georgia Democratic Party and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) are teaming up to text more than 1 million Georgians and encourage them to vote by mail amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Georgia, which postponed its primary from March 24 to May 19 over health concerns, is mailing absentee ballot request forms to all of its nearly 7 million voters to try to maintain turnout in its presidential and down-ballot primaries. Democrats said in a statement the concept may be “unfamiliar” to many voters and that hundreds of volunteers are texting residents to inform them of the process. 

“Our team is putting in the work to make sure every Georgian can make their voice heard, and innovating to reach Georgians right where they are. This program means that Georgia Democrats will reach more voters than ever before — and we know that when every eligible Georgian is able to cast their ballot, Democrats will win in November,” said Scott Hogan, the executive director of the state Democratic Party.

ADVERTISEMENT

The texting campaign is part of a broader effort by state and national Democrats to reach voters in Georgia. The DNC in late January purchased tens of millions of cellphone numbers across the country, including in Georgia, to improve voter contact, work the party says is “paying dividends” as campaigns try to reach voters who are self-quarantining or observing social distancing guidelines. 

However, the party may face an uphill battle in encouraging voting by mail, which has not been popular in Georgia in past cycles — 95 percent of voters did so in-person in 2016 and 2018. 

The Peach State is a top Democratic target and is expected to be a key battleground in both presidential and down-ballot races. 

Georgia’s presidential primary, which is worth 105 pledged delegates, is believed to heavily favor former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenDonald Trump and Joe Biden create different narratives for the election Poll: Biden widens lead over Trump to 10 points Biden: 'We are a nation in pain, but we must not allow this pain to destroy us' MORE over Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersExpanding tax credit for businesses retaining workers gains bipartisan support The battle of two Cubas Coronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Rep. Ro Khanna MORE (I-Vt.) given the high number of black voters there, and Democrats are also eager to build on momentum from Stacey Abrams’s 2018 gubernatorial campaign to make the state competitive in the White House race against President TrumpDonald John TrumpDonald Trump and Joe Biden create different narratives for the election The hollowing out of the CDC Poll: Biden widens lead over Trump to 10 points MORE.

Georgia is also home to one of the country's most closely watched Senate races. Sen. Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerGOP women's group rolls out endorsements ahead of contested races Senators ask DeVos to adjust FAFSA form due to the coronavirus pandemic Bossie, Lewandowski warned Trump he was in trouble in 2020: report MORE (R) will face off against Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsGOP women's group rolls out endorsements ahead of contested races Bossie, Lewandowski warned Trump he was in trouble in 2020: report The Hill's Campaign Report: GOP beset by convention drama MORE (R) to fill the remainder of former Sen. Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonJustice Department closing stock investigations into Loeffler, Inhofe, Feinstein Loeffler runs ad tying Doug Collins to Pelosi, Sanders, Biden The 10 Senate seats most likely to flip MORE’s (R) term. A January runoff will be triggered if no candidate reaches 50 percent support.