SPLC Announces $2M Vote Your Voice Grants for Runoff Elections in Georgia, Louisiana

(SPLC) announces an additional investment of over $2 million across 10 organizations that are leading voter mobilization efforts
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Today, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) announces an additional investment of over $2 million across 10 organizations that are leading voter mobilization efforts in Georgia and Louisiana as part of its ongoing Vote Your Voice initiative.

The 10 organizations were previously selected for investment as part of the Vote Your Voice project. Building on their demonstrated capacity to reach voters in Louisiana and Georgia for the November 3 general election, these groups will reach out to voters to encourage participation in the runoff elections in those states on December 5 and January 5, respectively.

“The American people turned out in record numbers before and on November 3 to decide a new direction for the country, but in Louisiana and Georgia, the work of voters is still needed. Runoff elections in these states for members of Congress will determine how the entire country deals with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and what legislative priorities will drive the next Congress,” said Margaret Huang, President and CEO of the Southern Poverty Law Center. “The stakes are high for the people of Georgia and Louisiana, so we’re proud today to announce additional grants to partners in these states who have done incredible work in the midst of a pandemic to turn out voters and protect the right to vote.”

Announced in June of this year, Vote Your Voice is a partnership between the SPLC and Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta to invest up to $30 million through 2022 to engage voters and increase voter registration, education and participation. Through the partnership, the groups also aim to support Black- and Brown-led organizations often ignored by traditional funders as well as support and prototype effective voter engagement strategies and re-enfranchise people previously stripped of their legal right to vote.

For additional information about the Vote Your Voice initiative, please visit: https://www.splcenter.org/vote-your-voice

Today’s distribution of $1.9 million to Georgia-based organizations brings the total Vote Your Voice investment there to nearly $4.4 million in 2020. Today’s distribution of $145,000 to Louisiana-based organizations brings the total Vote Your Voice investment there to nearly $1.4 million in 2020. These figures do not include investments in multi-state organizations doing part of their work in Georgia or Louisiana.

Today’s awards amount to $2,045,000, bringing the total distributed via the Vote Your Voice project to over $12 million in 2020 across Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Through the 2022 election cycle, the SPLC has pledged to award up to $30 million from its endowment to groups like the ones below.

Today's grant recipients and amount of investment:

Georgia

  • Black Voters Matter will conduct voter engagement in 50 counties, including rural counties with majority Black populations and a philanthropic/organizing gap. Activities include text messages, phone calls, local paid media, printed and digital materials, rides to the polls, bi-monthly statewide network calls, communications support and awards to partners. ($250,000)
  • Fair Count is focusing on Black and Hispanic/Latinx voters in 149 counties outside metro Atlanta. Its strategies include phone banking, text banking, direct mail, PPE distribution with voter literature to voters, tele-townhalls, and a provisional ballot chase program. ($300,000)
  • GALEO Latino Community Development Fund (GLCDF) will engage Latinos across the state who are registered to vote and the 70,000 eligible to vote, but not yet registered, with a focus on counties with the largest Latino populations (Cobb, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Hall and Whitfield). Strategies include phone conversations, texts, mailers, literature drops, video sessions/townhalls, Spanish-language media ad buys, and election protection for early and election day voting. ($100,000)
  • Georgia Shift will reach young voters of color (under age 35) in Richmond, Columbia and Burke counties, plus college students at 13 campuses, including five HBCUs. Strategies include digital education about the January 5 runoff to students and CDC-guided door knocks and literature drops. ($50,000)
  • New Georgia Project will register and engage young voters, voters of color and first-time voters in Bibb, Chatham, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Dougherty, Douglas, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Liberty, Lowndes, Muscogee and Richmond Counties, plus re-open satellite offices in Albany, Augusta and Macon. New Georgia Project aims to register new voters for the January 5 runoff. Strategies for voter mobilization include earned & paid media, virtual phone banks, SMS tools and relational organizing. ($300,000)
  • ProGeorgia will work with its over 30 table partners to support voter registration, education, mobilization and protection for low-propensity communities of color, women of color and young people with a focus on 33 priority Georgia counties (including three rural counties) for voter engagement and 70 priority Georgia counties for election protection/monitoring. ProGeorgia and its partners will conduct voter education, digital organizing, get out the vote (GOTV) efforts, and election protection. Strategies include mailings, in-person outreach, distribution of GOTV/PPE bags, billboard ads, texts and more. ($400,000)
  • Vote.org will target voters of color and young voters in rural and metro areas, with a focus on counties with low voter turnout in the 2018 runoff election, including Calhoun, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Dougherty, Fulton, Macon, Stewart, Richmond and Rockdale Counties. Strategies include peer-to-peer GOTV SMS text engagement, digital and static out-of-home advertising, and radio advertising. Vote.org also plans to deploy food trucks with both runoff GOTV and election protection messaging. ($500,000)

Louisiana

  • Power Coalition will reach out to voters of color in Northeast Louisiana about participating in upcoming elections. These include the 5th congressional district race, Baton Rouge mayor and other local races, New Orleans Public Service Commission District 1 and Orleans District Attorney, and other local races in Jefferson and St. Bernard parishes. Strategies include providing educational resources (ballots, push cards, doorhangers and survey), early voting and election day rides to the polls, and virtual events. ($50,000)
  • Urban League of Louisiana will support voter registration, education and mobilization through social media, college campus outreach, phone banking, Bayou Classic drives through low turn-out areas and an updated website, FAQs and a toolkit. The Urban League's Wake Up Geaux Vote activities will target Black communities primarily in New Orleans and Baton Rouge. ($45,000)
  • Voice of the Experienced (VOTE) will support voter registration, education and mobilization of voters of color in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, focused on communities most affected by incarceration and racial inequity. Strategies include making phone calls and sending texts. VOTE plans to send mailers and reach households through literature drops. They also will utilize billboards in high visibility areas. ($50,000)

“These organizations helped contribute to outstanding turnout in the general election in Georgia and Louisiana,” said Clare S. Richie, public policy specialist, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. “We are encouraged that the momentum will continue into December and January with strong turnout for the runoff elections.”

Important Upcoming Dates:

Georgia - https://www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do

  • 11/18: Absentee Ballots Start to Be Mailed
  • 12/7: Deadline to Register to Vote
  • 12/14: In-Person Early Voting Period Begins
  • 12/17: SPLC-Recommended Last Date to Request Absentee Ballot
  • 1/1: Deadline to Request Absentee Ballot
  • 1/5: Deadline for Registrar to Receive Absentee Ballots / Final Day of In-Person Voting / Election Day

Louisiana - https://www.sos.la.gov/ElectionsAndVoting/Pages/default.aspx

  • 12/1: Deadline to Request Absentee Ballot
  • 12/4: Deadline for Registrar to Receive Absentee Ballot
  • 12/5: Final Day of Voting / Election Day

For additional information about the Vote Your Voice initiative, please visit: https://www.splcenter.org/vote-your-voice

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