On January 5th, 2021 Georgia voters will go to the polls in the final election of the 2020 campaign. The runoff election for two Senate seats will determine which party controls the US Senate where the Republican Party currently has a 50-48 majority. The Georgia Orthodox Voter (GOV) Project, a new nonpartisan effort spearheaded by Agudath Israel of America, has a goal of registering and turning out every eligible Orthodox voter in the state. With the December 7th voter registration deadline looming, the Agudah has ramped up its efforts to register new voters.
Agudath Israel is working in partnership with Orthodox Jewish communities across Georgia to identify and contact every eligible adult who is not yet registered. Since the communities already had a very high percentage of voter registration and turnout in the November election, the new effort had a particular focus on those who recently turned 18, temporarily out of state (e.g. students), or living abroad. The GOV Project has gathered helpful voting information and instructions on its website
(https://www.georgiaorthodoxvoter.org/), sent out information to thousands of potential voters, and has a team of staff and volunteers contacting potential voters and answering questions.
On Wednesday, Agudah hosted an informative webinar that included step by step instructions on how to vote from overseas. Rabbi Ilan Feldman of Congregation Beth Jacob of Atlanta gave introductory remarks about the importance of voting from a religious and civic perspective and concluded by encouraging every eligible citizen to register and vote. “The eyes of the world are on the state of Georgia. This is our chance to be heard.”
Many of the emails and phone calls are coming from overseas including children of former residents who did not realize they were eligible to vote. “In the last week alone we were contacted by two families from Israel with a combined 16 votes,” said Ari Weisenfeld, the director of the GOV Project. “They were former Georgia residents and they and their children registered through our efforts and are now sending in absentee ballots.“
The GOV project has reached out to those studying in Israeli yeshivas or seminaries. Together with his wife Hadasa, Atlanta native Chaim Yosef Friedman (son of Congregation Ariel’s Rabbi Binyomin Friedman) is encouraging yeshiva and seminary students to register and vote from Israel and in many cases providing them with the necessary forms.
For questions or information about voting in this election contact
Phone 2127979000 ext 218
Link to Webinar https://www.georgiaorthodoxvoter.org/webinar