Democrats text over 1 million Georgia voters to boost mail voting efforts

The Georgia Democratic Party and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) are teaming up to text more than 1 million Georgians and encourage them to vote by mail amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Georgia, which postponed its primary from March 24 to May 19 over health concerns, is mailing absentee ballot request forms to all of its nearly 7 million voters to try to maintain turnout in its presidential and down-ballot primaries. Democrats said in a statement the concept may be “unfamiliar” to many voters and that hundreds of volunteers are texting residents to inform them of the process. 

“Our team is putting in the work to make sure every Georgian can make their voice heard, and innovating to reach Georgians right where they are. This program means that Georgia Democrats will reach more voters than ever before — and we know that when every eligible Georgian is able to cast their ballot, Democrats will win in November,” said Scott Hogan, the executive director of the state Democratic Party.

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The texting campaign is part of a broader effort by state and national Democrats to reach voters in Georgia. The DNC in late January purchased tens of millions of cellphone numbers across the country, including in Georgia, to improve voter contact, work the party says is “paying dividends” as campaigns try to reach voters who are self-quarantining or observing social distancing guidelines. 

However, the party may face an uphill battle in encouraging voting by mail, which has not been popular in Georgia in past cycles — 95 percent of voters did so in-person in 2016 and 2018. 

The Peach State is a top Democratic target and is expected to be a key battleground in both presidential and down-ballot races. 

Georgia’s presidential primary, which is worth 105 pledged delegates, is believed to heavily favor former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE over Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.) given the high number of black voters there, and Democrats are also eager to build on momentum from Stacey Abrams’s 2018 gubernatorial campaign to make the state competitive in the White House race against President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE.

Georgia is also home to one of the country’s most closely watched Senate races. Sen. Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerKoch-backed group launches ad campaign to support four vulnerable GOP senators Jon Ossoff to challenge David Perdue after winning Georgia Democratic primary Candidates headed to runoffs in Georgia House race to replace Doug Collins MORE (R) will face off against Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsKoch-backed group launches ad campaign to support four vulnerable GOP senators Jon Ossoff to challenge David Perdue after winning Georgia Democratic primary The Hill’s Campaign Report: Bad polling data is piling up for Trump MORE (R) to fill the remainder of former Sen. Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonJon Ossoff to challenge David Perdue after winning Georgia Democratic primary Candidates headed to runoffs in Georgia House race to replace Doug Collins Justice Department closing stock investigations into Loeffler, Inhofe, Feinstein MORE’s (R) term. A January runoff will be triggered if no candidate reaches 50 percent support. 

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