The two Senate runoff races under way in Georgia give Democrats a chance to flip seats currently held by Republicans, and some activists on social media have discussed the prospect of moving to the Peach State to vote in the Jan. 5 elections.
Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang already announced on Twitter that he and his wife are moving to Georgia to campaign for the Democratic candidates, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, against Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler. He did not say whether he planned to register to vote in the state.
All the chatter raises the question: Is it legal?
The answer is: yes, but any potential voters would have to move quickly since the last day to be registered for the Jan. 5 contests is Dec. 7. And, the new resident also would have to stay in the state for a while or risk getting into trouble.
Under Georgia law, anyone with a legal primary residence in the state can register to vote with their county board of elections. The law does not specify a specific time limit.
A spokesman for the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office, which oversees voter registrations, declined to comment on how quickly someone could establish legal residency in Georgia, but cited state law that it is a felony to vote in Georgia elections if you are not a legal resident or if you are residing in the state briefly with the intention just to vote and then move away.
Democrats are advocating for “blue voters” to become Georgia residents for the upcoming runoff elections. Georgia doesn’t have a minimum residency requirement, which poses a legal loophole for both parties. Democrats could drum up enough voters to match general election turnouts and flip the state, and Republicans could ensure their hold on two Senate seats.
Additionally, the state’s voter I.D. laws allow individuals to use an out-of-state driver’s license to vote. However, the law defines residency as “without any present intuition of removing therefrom [the fixed habitation].”
“A person shall not be considered to have gained a residence in any county or municipality of this state into which such person has come for temporary purposes only without the intention of making such county or municipality such person’s permanent place of abode.”
On Friday, Democratic activist and former presidential candidate Andrew Yang told his 1.7 million followers to go to Georgia for the two runoff races.
“The best thing we could do for Joe [Biden] is to get him a Democratic Senate. There should be a 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. There isn’t much time. 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.”
A vintage-clothing store in Savannah, Georgia, has come under fire for a promotion they posted on Facebook in which they stated they would require white customers to pay a $20 refundable deposit to book an appointment to browse the store while waiving the fee for people of color.
Civvies on Broughton wrote, “As a mostly white staff with white ownership, we do not feel comfortable upholding a digital and financial barrier which could prevent BIPOC from shopping at our store at this time on top of the limitations already made by online booking.”
Students at a Georgia high school are being threatened with suspension and other punishments after “negative” photos of their first day back to class circulated on social media.
One North Paulding High School student has already been suspended after snapping a photo of crowded hallways — with few students wearing masks — upon their return to school Monday, local station WSB-TV reported.
The image was one of many “back-to-school” photos that went viral this week, sparking criticism amid rising coronavirus cases across Paulding County and the state. As of Thursday, Georgia had over 204,000 cases and nearly 4,000 deaths, data from the state Department of Public Health show.
Paulding County schools officials reportedly warned students they could be punished for posting such photos, but only after the image of the packed hallways drew backlash and thrust the county onto the national stage, CBS46 reported.