By: Ally Bernstein-Naples
Georgia’s position as a swing state in the 2020 election is somewhat unexpected. The state of Georgia has not elected a Democratic governor since 1999 and has been largely considered a safe red state. With no significant demographic changes in Georgia, this pattern, in theory, should hold this election. In 2018, Democratic candidate for governor Stacey Abrams led a movement to register a record number of Black voters and galvanize them to vote. Abrams’ focus on relational organizing led to an upset when she began rapidly encroaching on then-Secretary of State, now Governor Brian Kemp’s lead in the polls. As Secretary of State, Kemp was in charge of facilitating the state election and he turned to many classic forms of voter suppression: stricter voter ID laws, voter registration purges, the shutting down of polling places, etc.. This led to lines that were over eight hours long in many of Georgia’s urban communities. In the end, Kemp won the election by less than two points--a signal to many Georgians, that the state was losing its position as a Republican stronghold. Between 2018 and 2020, Abrams and her non-profit, Fair-Fight-Action, have continued to register record numbers of young, minority voters and challenge many discriminatory election practices in court. For Joe Biden, the state of Georgia will be an issue of turnout. If he is able to galvanize his base, it is likely that he will pull out a win in the state. On the other hand, if the new voters who turned out for Abrams do not turn out for Biden, it is likely that Trump will emerge victorious. Stick with the Conard Courant for more updates on the progression of Georgia on election day.