Up to 23,000 teenagers in Georgia who were too young to participate in the general election will turn 18 by the time the Senate runoff races take place on January 5, according to the youth nonprofit group, The Civics Center.
That many new voters could help determine the outcome of the two U.S. senate seats that are up for grabs, a race that will ultimately decide whether or not the Senate is controlled by Republicans or Democrats.
The cutoff date for new voters to register is Dec. 7, and under federal law, all 17-year-olds with a birthday before Jan. 5 are eligible to sign up.
"With a record turnout by young people in the general election, now is the time for all high school seniors and recent graduates to register to vote if they will be 18 by the runoff election on January 5, 2021," the nonprofit wrote on its website.
According to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University, 20 percent of Georgia's votes were contributed from voters aged 18-29, compared to the national average of just 17 percent. That makes Georgia the best-performing youth voter state in the country.
That same study showed the youth vote in Georgia swaying more heavily Democratic, with 57 percent of young voters supporting Biden, as opposed to just 39 percent voting for president Donald Trump.
The boost in youth voters could attributed in large part to the efforts of Stacey Abrams, a Democrat and former gubernatorial candidate in Georgia who helped register 800,000 new voters across the state, including a number of youth and minority voters.
The January 5 runoff will see Democratic challengers Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock attempt to gain Senate seats currently occupied by Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler. If both of the Democratic candidates win, the Senate will be flipped from the current Republican-held majority into Democratic control.
Millions of dollars have already been poured into the high-stakes Georgia races, as both the GOP and Democratic Party have prioritized huge fundraising efforts to support their respective candidates.
Earlier this week, Abrams helped raise $10 million to support the Democratic party through her organization, Fair Fight.
Additional Democratic leaders, including New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, and former Democratic presidential candidate and Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg, have also campaigned for the January runoffs.
Days after the runoffs were confirmed, Ossoff's campaign manager Ellen Foster told The Associated Press that the Democratic campaign hired new staffers focused on registering new voters ahead of the Dec. 7 registration deadline, and made "tens of thousands of calls" to existing voters.
Prominent Republicans have also taken major steps to support GOP incumbents Perdue and Loeffler. On Thursday, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told Fox & Friends that he will donate at least $1 million to the senatorial bids.
GOP senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio also attended rallies supporting Perdue and Loeffler this week, urging attendees to help maintain the Republican held majority.
If the two Democratic candidates win in January, the party will control both chambers of Congress, as well as the presidency.
Natalie Colarossi, Newsweek, November 13, 2020
November 14, 2020
Voices4America Post Script. Let's get the 17 year olds who will be 18 by January 5th registered in Georgia. The Civics Center offers on line registration. https://thecivicscenter.org/register.
There is so much Joe can do, if you give him 2 Blue Senators. Stop McConnell from ending the ACA or letting Covid run wild to kill Georgians and shut down its movie,television industries, restaurants, etc, leave its students with college debt. GA gets 2 Senators who care about GA, not do insider trading.
Let’s crush McConnell in GA. @Ossoff and @ReverendWarnock. Pass this on.