Poll worker Jumaine Russell looks over an advanced early voting form at Johns Creek polling station Saturdays March 14, 2020. STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC
Photo: Steve Schaefer
Photo: Steve Schaefer

Georgia Democrats launch program to boost vote-by-mail

With the coronavirus crisis throwing Georgia’s election calendar into disarray, Democrats are preparing to launch an aggressive texting campaign to encourage voters to cast their ballots by mail.

The Democratic Party of Georgia and the Democratic National Committee said Wednesday the effort will enlist hundreds of volunteers to text more than 1 million Georgia voters urging them to fill out ballot request forms mailed to their homes. 

Only about 7% of Georgia voters cast absentee ballots by mail in 2018, and party officials worry that many might be unfamiliar with the process. The initiative will rely on a trove of cell phone numbers purchased by the DNC in January. 

Scott Hogan, the state party’s executive director, said it was an example of “innovating to reach Georgians right where they are” during a pandemic that’s forced millions of residents to shelter in place. 

Election officials are encouraging voters to cast their ballots by mail ahead of the May 19 primary, and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office sent absentee ballot request forms to the state’s 6.9 million active voters.

But a growing number of Republican officials have pushed for the primary to be delayed, and several county elections officials told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution they’re worried the situation is deteriorating as poll workers quit and precincts close. 

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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