US Mid-terms J-4: early voting closed in Georgia, activists continue the fight

© RFI/Jan van der Made

On Friday, voters in Georgia had their last chance to cast their 'early voting' ballot for the midterm elections. Next Tuesday, 8 November, is the official voting day for US Mid-terms. It will become clear if the former confederate state will remain blue, or if it will flip back to Republican Red. Grassroots activists have four days left to convince voters to go and let their voice be known - with a vengeance.

"I became involved in politics when I was ten years old," remembers Aunna Dennis, currently executive director of Common Cause Georgia, the local chapter of an NGO which tries to motivate citizens to vote.

"I had classmates who I didn't feel had fair access to proper food, or they were having to pay for lunch and they couldn't afford it. Things as simple as the need for a traffic stop at our busy intersection so we could cross the street to get to our school bus in a safe way."

Supported by her parents, she started petitioning her Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) "to talk about changes that need to happen in our community."

That was 26 years ago. Today, in the run-up to the November 8 Mid-terms, Dennis works 18-hour days with her small, but enthusiastic staff.

They canvass neighbourhoods, trying to talk and motivate people into going to vote, helping them with registration issues and trying to explain how one vote can make a difference.

"Georgia used to be the cradle of the confederacy," according to Dennis, pointing out that ending of policies of racial segregation were still happening "when I was a child" only 30 years ago.

"We still have relics of certain laws that really still permeate into our democracy."

Even if it's only Mid-terms.

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