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Columbus voter mobilization groups reflect on runoff election efforts

Updated: Jan. 6, 2021 at 6:36 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Many voter mobilization groups focused their efforts on Columbus throughout the runoff election, hoping to get voters to the polls during early voting or on election day.

These groups told News Leader 9 they believe their hard work was worth it.

The historic runoff election kicked off the new year in Georgia.

“A whole lot was at stake,” said Shameika Averett, the co-founder of One Columbus United. “I think that the energy from the presidential election to this special election has been palpable.”

With these high stakes, voter mobilization groups in Columbus worked throughout the election to get people to the polls.

“Even if you want to vote for a different candidate, I still want you to to be able to vote,” said Jane Wilson, of the League of Women Voters. “I want it to be easy, and I want you to pay attention to the issues.”

Groups like the League of Women Voters partnered with other organizations for a caravan to the polls for early voting.

“We drove through the neighborhoods and we ended up at Shirley B. Winston,” Wilson said.

One Columbus United held voter registration events, canvassing days and more.

“We had a DJ out there, had some food, and some music,” Averett said. “The main thing was to encourage people to vote, encourage them to get in line, encourage them to go to the right precinct.”

The results of the election aside, after all the hours and events and effort, voter mobilization groups believed their hard work paid off.

“It was all worth it,” said Shawna Love, the co-founder of One Columbus United. “Teamwork makes the dream work. We worked together and came together as one.”

Wilson was impressed by the turn out for this election.

“It’s encouraging that this many people voted in a runoff election,” she said. “We all know that’s pretty historical too. "

With the election now behind them, these groups are moving forward, using their experiences this election season to focus on new efforts.

“I think we need to spend more time focusing on education about the process of voting,” Wilson said.

Love said in addition to education, they would like to focus more on young voters.

“We would reach out to them more and get them to understand the importance of their votes,” she said.

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