By now, you’ve heard the news. Democratic organizers and the people of Georgia have turned the state into a full battleground that Biden currently seems likely to win. And Georgia has not one, but two Senate races. If Democrats win both these races, the Senate will be 50/50, and the tie-breaking vote will likely be Kamala Harris in the Vice-President’s presiding role over the Senate.
People from outside of Georgia have asked me for information on ways they can help, and so I wanted to put a few different ways to help into one place so that people can easily share it. What are some ways you can help?
TL;DR – Show Them The Money
Here are direct links to action if you don’t feel like reading my whole analysis.
Donate to Warnock For Senate
Donate To Ossoff For Senate
Donate to the DPG
Donate to DeKalb Democrats (ATL)
Donate to Fulton Democrats (ATL)
Donate to Gwinnett Democrats (ATL)
Donate to Cobb Democrats (ATL)
Donate to Henry Democrats (ATL)
Donate to Douglas Democrats (ATL)
Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock both have put together formidable campaign organizations, and donations to candidates are always appreciated and well received. What do candidate donations go to? Well, one way to think of it is that you’re funding a startup that has one product — a candidate — and one mission — get that candidate into office (or keep them there). There are professionals that know how to run aspects of the marketing campaign, manage the field organization, or keep up with the finances, and those people have to be paid. There is literature to print, ads to run, signs to post. Candidates do not get to use the money for living expenses or anything not directly related to getting their message out.
You can donate up to the Federal limits (currently $2,800) as an individual to a Senate campaign.
Voters and Dates
If you will be 18 years old on Election Day, January 5, 2021, you can register to vote until December 7. If you missed this election, you can still vote in the runoff. If you are not registered to vote, you can register to vote and vote in this runoff. There’s no such thing as too late.
Here are the key dates:
December 7 – Voter Registration Deadline
December 14 – Early Voting opens in Georgia
January 5 – Election Day
County and State Parties
Every state in the Union, including Georgia, has a State Democratic Party. The parties organize volunteers, set the policy platform that the Democrats in that state will advocate for, and get the word out about endorsed candidates. In Georgia, each county has a state party committee which operates as an entire organization with executive leadership, subcommittees, and voting members, that we colloquially refer to as “the county party”.
It’s not commonly understood why the party will endorse some candidates and not others, particularly in races like the one Warnock just went through. The party’s objective is to elect Democrats who support the party’s platform to office and keep them in office. As such, the party must take a neutral stance on any race where there are multiple qualified and declared Democrats. There was several in Warnock’s race due to its nature as a special election. Ossoff went through a traditional primary process and so emerged as the single qualified Democrat, which allowed the party to act on his behalf. While you may see encouragement to vote for a Democrat in a multi-player race, the party was not free to endorse Warnock until he emerged as the leading Democrat and thus the only Democrat entering the runoff.
The county party is where the action is if you are interested in volunteering. I’m going to link several party pages, and each one will have both Donate links and Volunteer links. Unlike the campaigns themselves, the state and county parties have no limits on the donations they can receive. You can give $1,000 or $10,000, or more. What do the parties use that money for? Two words: ground game.
I’m a post seat holder chair (which is a fancy way to say I’m a voting member of my County Committee and am responsible for organizing efforts in my state house district) in DeKalb, a suburban county that contains the eastern bit of the city of Atlanta and several communities of various socioeconomic strata.
I can tell you, when DeKalb Democrats get a dollar, they stretch it. We can create flyers and marketing materials for candidates to help their dollars go further, use our extensive field organization and volunteer base to canvass, phone bank, text bank, or do lit drops door to door. The precinct captains and volunteers can use their deep and personal relationships to get turnout going on an intimate, one-to-one basis. What’s more, county and state party members serve as poll workers, poll observers, and even work to count and judge ballots alongside Republican and non-partisan counters.
You can and should donate to the state party. Donations to the state party support county efforts and statewide initiatives such as voter protection. County donations are used directly in the districts the county covers.
Here are links to county sites for the Atlanta metro area, where more than half of Georgia’s population lives.
DeKalb County (Atlanta Metro)
Estimated Total Population (2019): 759,297
Biden % in 2020 Election: 83.1%
Clayton County (Atlanta Metro)
Estimated Total Population (2019): 292,256
Biden % in 2020 Election: 85.0%
Fulton County (Atlanta Metro)
Estimated Total Population (2019): 1,063,937
Biden % in 2020 Election: 72.6%
Gwinnett County (Atlanta Metro)
Estimated Total Population (2019): 936,250
Biden % in 2020 Election: 58.4%
Cobb County (Atlanta Metro)
Estimated Total Population (2019): 760,141
Biden % in 2020 Election: 56.3%
Henry County (Atlanta Metro)
Estimated Total Population (2019): 234,561
Biden % in 2020 Election: 59.7%
Douglas County (Atlanta Metro)
Estimated Total Population (2019): 146,343
Biden % in 2020 Election: 62.0%
Many activities are also organized through Mobilize, a site that organizers use to publish volunteer opportunities. All the phone banks that the Democratic Party of Georgia and the counties will be putting on will be listed here. You can use the filter button to put in a Georgia ZIP code and find opportunities to phonebank, text bank, or if you live close enough, to get into the field.
I encourage you to donate to the candidates and if you have more money or time you wish to give, please give it to the counties. I know DeKalb firsthand and I know my county will steward your resources well and turn out more Democrats for the coming runoff.