Georgia’s new slogan might just be, “Don’t come here, you’re not welcome.”
At least that would be the message to Californians who are reportedly planning to move to the state just to vote in two upcoming Senate runoff elections.
“Democrats in the Golden State have been hounding political organizers with questions about how they can travel to Georgia to volunteer for Democratic candidates Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock,” Fox News reported, citing the San Francisco Chronicle.
And much of that would be legal: Visiting the state to help canvass for Democrats or to work at phone backs is allowed. But moving there just to vote is not.
“In order to be able to register to vote in Georgia, you have to be a Georgia resident,” said Gabriel Sterling, Georgia’s voting system manager. “That means you have to believe you are staying in Georgia.”
“Let me be clear about this: If you want to move to Georgia and be a part of the No. 1 state in America to do business, we are happy to have you,” Sterling said, according to Fox News. “But … if you voted for Senate in one state and moved here to another state, I know that’s another thing that could potentially go before the courts, because you’ve already cast a vote for a body that could be seated in January. Don’t game our system.”
The U.S. Senate is now 50 Republicans, 48 Democrats (including two independents that caucus with the party). The two last races are in Georgia, where winners must top 50% or the race goes into a runoff. Republican incumbent Sen. David Perdue holds just below 50% of the vote in the state over Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff, so the pair will go into a runoff on Jan. 5. Also that day, Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Democrat Raphael Warnock will face off for the state’s other Senate seat.
Since Election Day, some top liberals have suggested that Democrats move to Georgia, hoping they can change the outcome of the elections.
“The best thing we could do for Joe is to get him a Democratic Senate,” former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang wrote on Twitter. “There should be coordination of resources. Everyone who campaigned for Joe should get ready to head to Georgia. I’ll go. It’s the only way to sideline Mitch and give Joe a unified government,” he wrote, referring to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Joe Biden.
“There isn’t much time,” Yang added. “The earliest date for absentee ballots to be mailed for the runoff is Nov. 18. The registration deadline is Dec. 7. The In-person early voting begins Dec. 14.”
Yang also wrote: “Great news #yanggang – Evelyn and I are moving to Georgia to help @ossoff and @ReverendWarnock win! This is our only chance to clear Mitch out of the way and help Joe and Kamala get things done in the next 4 years. More details to come but let’s go!!!”
Great news #yanggang – Evelyn and I are moving to Georgia to help @ossoff and @ReverendWarnock win! This is our only chance to clear Mitch out of the way and help Joe and Kamala get things done in the next 4 years. More details to come but let’s go!!! ???? https://t.co/egcdwqC1qZ
— Andrew Yang??? (@AndrewYang) November 8, 2020
Yang isn’t the only one urging Democrats to move to Georgia. “I hope everyone moves to Georgia in the next month or two, registers to vote, and votes for these two Democratic senators,” New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman said in a CNN interview this week.
And abortion-rights activist Tamara Stevens, with the progressive group Handmaids Coalition of Georgia, made a similar plea on Facebook, National Review reported. “Hey all you Northern Democrats! You are all invited to spend the Winter in Georgia!!! Come on down and we will cook for you too!!! Y’allywood … start ramping up productions and get all those West Coast Liberals here too!”
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