Spotlight on a Valued Partner
REPORT VOTER GEORGIA SUPPRESSION incidents at
RECLAIM OUR VOTE is a volunteer-driven, nonpartisan voter outreach campaign to help empower voters of color and fight voter suppression, especially in the South.
RECLAIM OUR VOTE is organized by the nonprofit 501(c)3 Center for Common Ground of Virginia, with the help of the NAACP, Black Voters Matter, VoteRiders, DemLabs, Mi Familia Vota and other organizations. Beginning with the Virginia election in 2017, thousands of Reclaim Our Vote volunteers around the country have written postcards, phoned, texted, and canvassed voters of color – first, to make sure they are registered to vote, and then to encourage them to vote during elections by offering directions and free rides to the polls.
ROV reached out to more than ten and a quarter million voters! They distributed 6,400,182 postcard addresses, made 1,381,489 phone calls (82,278 alone during the last weekend before the election during Callapalooza!), and sent 2,493,374 texts. The intent was increase turnout among voters of color by at least 20% over 2016 in at least 4 states where voters of color comprise more than 20% of the population. The target states included Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Texas and Florida.
After the November general election, the focus shifted to the Georgia Senatorial run-off races on Jan. 5, 2021 and planning for 2021 activities.
Digital billboards, that can be updated as needed, were used to reach rural voters. Messages varied by location and upcoming election deadlines.
Sent 347,000 postcards, 114,000 texts, and made 90,000 calls to Colorado, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia, as well as used billboards. Canvassing teams on the ground followed up with those who could not be reached by phone. Results:
- 5% higher turnout than expected for North Carolina Special Election.
- Nearly 40% of Virginia voters cast ballots for the General Assembly, up from 29% in 2015.
Reclaim Our Vote provided a way to contact voters who had been moved from “registered” to “inactive” and de-registered (“unregistered”) status while there was still time to encourage them to re-register. As those deadlines passed, the focus changed to encouraging still-registered voters to vote. More than 250,000 phone calls were made to Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Texas, and Virginia. Results:
- 40% turnout statewide in Virginia in 2018 compared to 29% in 2015 resulted from the work of ROV and many other groups interested in the election.
- 65% of our calls (contacts & voicemail) with our partners and work on the ground in Georgia resulted in votes.
Calleded hundreds of voters in Alabama and Virginia. Results:
- 35% increased turnout in Alabama Black Belt.
- 85% of calls (contacts & voicemail) working with partners and work on the ground in Alabama resulted in votes.
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Have you seen “Suppressed: the Fight to Vote,” a 35-minute film by Brave New Films about the huge voter suppression problem in Georgia? Prepare to be shocked that this could happen in our own country, and to understand the urgency behind the Reclaim Our Vote campaign.