14 November, 2020

Hit the road to mobilize rural Black voters in Georgia

icon Georgia,Georgia Senate race,mobilize voters,Reclaim Our Vote,Rural black voters,Senate race,Underrepresented Voters
Reclaim Our Vote volunteers in Georgia travel by RV to organize events with local community leaders to organize and mobilize black voters.

Rural voters decide many elections. Organizers have to deal with remote communities, poor roads and sparse internet coverage to organize and mobilize them to vote. Reclaim Our Vote volunteers in Georgia travel by RV to organize events with local community leaders to organize and mobilize black voters.

Mobilizing the under-represented

Organizers trying to mobilize voters have many hurdles to overcome. Rural voters often have poor internet access and many depend on landline phones to communicate. TV and radio coverage is controlled by a handful of TV and radio companies. Reclaim Our Vote (ROV) uses a practical and cost-effective approach to reach them with volunteers who reflect these local communities traveling by RV to reach them. The volunteers works with local community organizers and churches to organize culturally appropriate voter mobilization events.

Pick your targets carefully

ROV analyzed the number of potential black voters in rural communities, the turnout in the general election and where they had local partners. They chose heavily Black counties including Houston, Peach, Bibb, Macon and Chattahoochee to organize and mobilize voters. A route was planned for the RV (nick named R.V.G.) based based volunteers to organize events in these counties. The RV is equipped with a WiFi hotspot and tablet computers to help local residents access the internet to complete voting related forms.

There is extreme disparity between nearby Georgia counties in education, healthcare and opportunities. The average income in mainly white Bibb county is over twice that of mainly Black Macon county. Check out ROV's planning map to understand the voters' racial composition and income levels. This online story was created with ArcGIS StoryMaps, a free esri app.

Reclaim Our Vote organizes and mobilizes black voters in Georgia.

Be responsive

Most people will read your story on a phone, so make sure that your story is 'responsive'. This means that the app will automatically detect what kind of device is being used to read it (a laptop, tablet or phone) and the story is automatically re-formatted. StoryMap software does that automatically. This is what the same story looks like on a phone. Try reading this story using this link on your phone.

StoryMaps automatically reformats stories to present well on phones, tablets and laptops.

Reclaim Our Vote

Reclaim Our Vote is a campaign of the Center for Common Ground a non-partisan 501(c)(3) organization. The mission of the Reclaim Our Vote campaign is to empower under-represented voters to fully participate in elections. To support that mission we provide voter education on how to monitor voter registration status, find voting locations (vote centers, dropboxes and voting precincts) as well as county contacts for local boards of elections or registrars.

Take Away

Use data analysis and mapping to pick the right precincts to reach more rural voters. Use volunteers who reflect their communities, work with local partners and organize culturally appropriate events to organize and mobilize voters.


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