Many Californians and California-based political organizations are ready to head to Georgia to campaign for two Democratic candidates in the U.S. Senate whose victory would have profound consequences for the country’s direction.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Democrats in Golden State are persecuting political organizers with questions about how they can travel to Georgia to volunteer for Democratic candidates John Osoff and the Rev. Raphael Warnock.
Osoff is running against Republican Sen. David Purdue, and Warnock is running against current Republican Sen. Kelly Löfler. Both races went to a run-off on January 5th, after neither candidate won a majority in the November election.
The current balance of power for the coming Senate is 50 Republicans and 48 Democrats. That means Democrats must win both Georgia’s run-offs to turn it into a 50-50 Senate, in which newly elected Vice President Kamala Harris will be the voter, giving his party a majority in the chamber.
The runoff election fired Democrats out of the country. According to campaign finance data, more than 83% of Osof’s campaign funds come from outside Georgia, as well as nearly 80% of Warnock’s fall campaign funds.
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Flip the West, a California-based organization dedicated to harnessing local government to help Democrats regain the U.S. Senate, has filled more than 7,500 phone bank shifts for calls to Georgia, according to the chronicle. In addition, more than 16,000 volunteers signed up to send postcards to voters in Georgia reminding them to vote in the runoff.
Ronnie Cohen, the organization’s executive director, told the store that the number of volunteers “is unprecedented for us.”
“You often have to push people to a telephone bank. It just shows the passion that people have for it, “she said.
Others are willing to physically travel to Georgia. Manny Yekutiel, a political activist who owns a civic engagement space in the San Francisco Mission area, said he was bombarded with calls asking him, “When should I move to Georgia? Where can I stay? Do I have to take a block of hotel rooms? “
Among the highest-ranking people who said they were moving to Georgia just to vote in the election was former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Ian.
“Great news #yanggang – Evenlyn and I are moving to Georgia to help @ossoff and @ReverendWarnock win!” Ian tweeted earlier this month. “This is our only chance to get Mitch out of the way and help Joe and Kamala get things done for the next four years.”
The huge number of people who said they were ready to move to Georgia just to be able to vote in the runoff prompted government officials to abandon the idea.
Gabriel Sterling, head of Georgia’s voting system, warned at a news conference last week that it would violate state law.
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“In order to be able to register to vote in Georgia, you must be a resident of Georgia,” he said. “That means you have to believe you’re staying in Georgia.”
Those who try to vote in Georgia while only visiting the state could face a felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $ 100,000 fine.
Paul Steinhauser and Audrey Conklin of Fox News contributed to this report.