With the November elections behind us, the State Voices Network has been continuing to support a healthy democracy by preparing for the key runoff election in Georgia as well as the Congressional General Election in Louisiana. Voters in Georgia went to the polls on December 6th, and Louisiana voters finished casting their ballots on December 10th.
In November, our network educated voters, drove turnout in BIPOC communities, and ensured voters could cast their ballots free from interference and intimidation. In December, we brought the same energy and relentless focus on fair representation to Georgia and Louisiana as we did to our entire network in November.
Below is a rundown of where State Voices and our State Table partners at ProGeorgia and Power Coalition for Equity and Justice (PCEJ) in Louisiana focused our resources and energy to support a strong democracy this December.
Powering Strong Voter Turnout and Election Protection in Georgia
ProGeorgia and its members worked tirelessly to educate voters about key dates and deadlines as well as encourage turnout. All that effort has paid off. Georgia voters shattered records for early voting with more than 1.8 million early voters for the runoff election, nearly one-third of which were BIPOC.
Earlier this year, ProGeorgia also supported its partners in conducting voter registration drives at naturalization ceremonies as well as county jails, specifically targeting registration from BIPOC returning citizens and currently incarcerated people awaiting trial.
Overall, the State Voices Network made more than 29 million contacts to voters in Georgia this year alone, including more than 17 million contacts by mail; nearly 12 million text messages; and several hundred thousand contacts in person and over the phone.
Additionally, ProGeorgia worked to protect and defend the right to vote through its nonpartisan Election Protection program, which focuses on fighting systemic discrimination at the polls. ProGeorgia worked with its partners to recruit and train poll workers; staff the Election Protection hotline to answer voter questions; and mount a major media campaign with billboards. Their efforts helped to maintain pressure on local elected officials to keep citizens informed of developments in the legal and electoral process.
Supporting Voters and Democracy in Louisiana
For the Congressional General Election in Louisiana on December 10, Power Coalition for Equity and Justice focused on getting voters key information to power a strong democracy.
In advance of the election, PCEJ co-hosted a televised debate between candidates for the Public Service Commission in District 3, helping to drive high early vote turnout among Black voters and provide education about the office that sets electricity rates and approves the construction of new utility plants.
Ultimately, Louisiana voters elected Davante Lewis to the office, ousting a three-term incumbent to become the first openly LGBTQIA+ Black person elected in the state’s history.
PCEJ and its partners widely promoted early voting and encouraged Louisiana voters to request absentee ballots prior to the December 6 deadline. The coalition leveraged creativity with events like “Bike-N-Vote” during the primaries and runoffs, which engaged young voters to join their friends and hold each other accountable. PCEJ provided free bikes for over 100 people in New Orleans, Shreveport, and Baton Rouge in combination with providing public education about the issues and offices on the ballot and encouraging early voting.
Overall, the State Voices Network has already made more than 2.2 million contacts to voters in Louisiana, including sending roughly 1.8 million text messages to voters across the state. There’s no doubt that outreach made an impact, with more than 350,000 Louisiana voters casting their ballots early.
Our democracy is a work in progress, and the work doesn’t stop in November or after the December runoff elections. As we close out the 2022 elections, our Network remains focused on year-round civic engagement to achieve a democracy that counts every vote, hears every voice, and meets every need.