Ahead of US Capitol Hill Siege, Black Voters Played a Key Role in Turning Georgia Blue
Campaign ads for Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock seen on a wall in Atlanta, Georgia. (Reuters)
Donald Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol Hill on Wednesday, as the entire world watched in shock, only hours after Democrats won both the Georgia runoffs.
Democrat Raphael Warnock made history as the first black senator in the state, winning against Senator Kelly Loeffler, and Democrat Jon Ossoff won against Republican David Perdue.
The twin win is historic in many ways as this will tip the balance of power in the US Senate in favour of the Democrats. (Read more here.)
While both the run off races were too close to call, here’s a look at what worked in favour of the Democrats.
Black voters showed up in large numbers
Reports and surveys suggest that black voters turned out in large numbers to turn around a state that hadn’t seen a Democratic senator in 20 years.
CNN reported that Black people led groups spent the weeks between November and now to knock on millions or doors to reach out to voters.
The report quoted CEO of the New Georgia Project, Nse Ufot as saying, “The margins are so small that every action, including your vote, matters and will make a difference… Black voters got that message. Black voters recognized that we need to complete the task."
A one-woman juggernaut
The large turnout of black voters and Georgia going blue is being credited to one woman — Stacy Abrams, who is said to have worked tirelessly to turn things around for the Democrats in the state.
After the elections were won, Abrans tweeted, “With new votes joining the tally, we are on a strong path. But even while we wait for more, let’s celebrate the extraordinary organizers, volunteers, canvassers & tireless groups that haven’t stopped going since Nov. Across our state, we roared. A few miles to go...but well done!”
The New York Times called her “one of the most influential American politicians not in elected office.” and said that it was her strategy that gave Georgia to the Democrats.
Abrams is the woman behind the New Georgia Project and voting rights advocacy organization Fair Fight after she lost her election race for governor in 2018.
Abrams worked the grassroots along with several other black activists to make this happen.
Forbes called Abrams one of the world’s most powerful women. The article said Abrams was “remarkably effective” in getting voters to register and vote. “She helped register 800,000 people in the state of Georgia, an effort that looks likely to have been a key reason the state just voted for its first Democratic presidential candidate since 1992,” the article said.
Trump’s dismissal of mandate in Black, Latino majority areas
Donald Trump's campaign has tried to suppress the black vote in more ways than one. But anger grew in Black and Latino communities as his campaign went to court, dismissing the mandate of the people in those areas.
Much of this has been dismissed by courts across America.
USA Today reports that Trump’s allegations of voter fraud have raised concerns among voting rights activists.
Justin Levitt, a former Justice Department official whose work focused on voting rights told USA Today, “Make no mistake, I see loud and clear that the lawsuits are based primarily in communities of color, particularly African American communities… It sure seems like an attempt to teach millions of Americans that there's a particular group to blame for what people feel – wrongly, incorrectly, without any factual support whatsoever."