Pactio Project

What can someone in the Bay Area do to support due election process in Florida and Georgia?

By December 21, 2018 December 23rd, 2018 No Comments
Georgia has one of the strictest voter ID laws. (Photo by Joey Kyber on Unsplash)
We know participating in other state’s elections may seem tricky, but some of your Bay Area neighbors have found ways to take part.

Poll monitoring

Oakland attorney Bruce Nye traveled to Nevada to help make sure election polling places operated properly, working through the California Away Team, which sends money and people from solidly blue areas to help Democrats in battleground areas.
“I had two main interests — (a), I wanted to review voter totals, and (b) I wanted to ensure voter rights were protected,” said Nye, adding that the best approach may be to contact local political party officials for pointers on how, and where, to help.
Voter accessibility Organizations like VoteRiders ensure people have the proper voter ID, and you can join them by volunteering to make calls ahead of future elections. Georgia has one of the strictest voter ID laws. Driving people to the polls is another option, made possible by groups like Carpool2Vote.

Campaign contributions

For people who don’t want to or can’t travel, Nye said, donating money is probably the best course. Stacy Abrams received a big financial boost in the primary from three Bay Area activists. Still locked in a tight race, Florida Sen. Bill Nelson’s website now has an option to contribute to the “Emergency Response Recount Fund.”

Emergency Response Recount Fund

Here’s an update on the races in those states that are still undecided and that you could contribute to:
  • In Georgia, Democrat Stacey Abrams has contended polling places were closed and that voters were improperly removed from registration rolls. Vote-counting continued as of this writing (11/9); a possible runoff election with Republican Brian Kemp may happen.
  • In Florida, Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, and incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson are locked in an extremely tight race for that Senate seat. Nelson and Scott have traded accusations of voter fraud and stealing votes, and a recount was looming as of Friday.
  • Also in Florida, the governor’s race between Democrat Andrew Gillum and Republican Ron DeSantis is tightening with late ballot-counting, and this race too may be headed for a recount.
The Scott-Nelson contest has been especially bitter; counting and verifying ballots has been messy. Lawyers have been hired and pointed accusations leveled.
As of Friday afternoon, none of those four campaigns had returned phone calls or emails seeking information on other non-monetary kinds of help wanted, of whether it’s wanted at this late stage. We will let you know if we hear back from them.
Since we reached the $50 funding goal, we were able to spend a couple of hours reporting this story. Here are 2 other questions we still have in mind on this issue:
  1. What is the impact of canvassing in states like Georgia and Florida?
  2. How much money did each of the candidates in these mentioned races raise from individual donors outside their states?

This answer was produced by Pactio and journalist Sam Richards. Now, it’s time for you to ask your question.

Incubated at Stanford University, Pactio reinvents the way local journalism is created by bringing together readers and journalists to discover and fund the stories they need and want to know about their community.