Some prominent Democrats, including former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, have suggested that out-of-state liberals should move to Georgia in the coming weeks to vote in the Senate runoff elections next month.
Should Democrats get the two seats held by Sens. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.), they would have a majority in both the Senate and the House.
Yang said on Twitter that both he and his wife are moving to Georgia to campaign for Democratic candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock against Perdue and Loeffler.
But Georgia state officials said that the move, if carried out en masse, is a risky one and could be illegal. Any possible voters have to move and register by next month, while the runoff election is Jan. 5.
An official with the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, which oversees elections, told the Wall Street Journal that it is a felony to vote in Georgia elections if you are not a legal resident or are residing in the state briefly before moving away.
Enrijeta Shino, a University of North Florida political science professor, told the paper that it may not be a good idea, noting that elections officials in the state will likely scrutinize voters who recently moved to the state to cast a ballot.
“These are sensitive issues, and election officials are going to pay attention to what is happening,” Shino said. “People should be very careful about doing that,” referring to moving to Georgia to vote.
According to state law (pdf), anyone who is a “legal resident of the county” must have all the requirements such as being a citizen, being old enough to vote, and having a Social Security number or a Georgia driver’s license. They also have to fill out a form and send it to the Georgia Secretary of State office by Dec. 7.
“I’ve seen people saying they’ll move to Georgia, but it’s a lot more difficult than they think,” Eddie Zipperer, assistant professor of political science at Georgia Military College, told Fox News this week.
He then warned: “It would be very dangerous and, ultimately, I presume, not worth it.”
On Nov. 6, Yang suggested that Democrats from out of state should “get ready to head to Georgia” to “give Joe [Biden] a unified government.” He then said there isn’t much time remaining for absentee ballots to be mailed, which is Nov. 18.
Around the same time, New York Times columnist Tom Friedman also told CNN that he wants “everybody” to move “to Georgia in the next month or two, registers to vote, and votes for these two Democratic senators.”
“There should be a coordination of resources. Everyone who campaigned for Joe should get ready to head to Georgia. I’ll go,” he said. “It’s the only way to sideline Mitch and give Joe a unified government. There isn’t much time. The earliest date for absentee ballots to be mailed for the runoff is Nov. 18. The registration deadline is Dec. 7. The in-person early voting begins Dec. 14.”
One self-described Democratic activist last week called on “Northern Democrats” to move to Georgia and vote before spending the winter in the state.
State Rep. Vernon Jones, a Democrat who expressed his support for President Donald Trump, called on Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, to investigate the calls.
Out of state liberals are planning to flood the state of Georgia in order to undermine the integrity of our election and vote in our upcoming Senate runoffs.
This practice should be made ILLEGAL and I’m calling on @GovKemp to call a special session to make it so.
— Vernon Jones (@RepVernonJones) November 10, 2020
“Out of state liberals are planning to flood the state of Georgia in order to undermine the integrity of our election and vote in our upcoming Senate runoffs. This practice should be made ILLEGAL and I’m calling on @GovKemp to call a special session to make it so,” he wrote on Twitter.
The Epoch Times has not called the presidential election for either Trump or Biden, pending the outcome of legal challenges, as the Electoral College makes the final say.