Georgia can seriously influence a high-stakes election_graphic

The 2020 general election was held on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. In the near future, the country will decide the 46th President of the U.S., two U.S. Senate seats in Georgia, and a host of state and local races. 

Georgia has voted red historically, breaking tradition in 1980 and 1992 for Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, respectively. The state is rooted firmly within the Republican Party, yet 2016 was a startling revelation for the political parties. 

Though President Donald Trump claimed electoral victory in Georgia, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won a surprisingly large number of raw votes from voters in the metro Atlanta area, demonstrating that the Republican Party’s stronghold in Georgia is slipping year by year. 

In this year’s high-stakes election, Georgia is pivotal in influencing the outcome and establishing the power balance. For voters in Georgia, this election is vital for having our voices heard. 

The shift in political stronghold resides mostly within Atlanta and its suburbs. Atlanta and its surrounding areas have seen significant increases in minority non-white residents,college-educated populations and a younger demographic pushing for blue votes. Georgia saw this with the close governor race between Republican Gov. Brian Kemp and Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams. A similar situation is underway for the 2020 U.S. Senate elections in Georgia. 

Incumbent Sen. David Perdue is at risk of losing his seat to young Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff. Currently, the Republican Party holds the majority in the U.S. Senate, however, Democrats need to gain four seats in order to claim the majority for themselves. 

Though it looks like Perdue will narrowly beat Ossoff, Georgia is shaping up to be an intense battleground that could lead to a runoff election in January 2021.

Ossoff and Perdue’s platforms couldn’t be any more different. Perdue is a Trump supporter whose views align strongly with conservatives. Perdue is against gun reform and police reform and is pro-life. Ossoff has referred to Trump as a tyrant on Twitter. Ossoff is for Medicare, is pro-choice and supports clean energy and criminal justice reform. 

As the nation heads into a new era, our representatives need to lead change instead of sticking to the status quo. We need to elect officials who carry us into the future rather than force us back into the past.

As of right now, former Vice President Joe Biden narrowly leads in Georgia polls for the 2020 presidential election. Since Georgia has slowly been edging its way toward Democrats over the years, each election has higher stakes for born-and-bred Georgia Republicans. 

Young and diverse voters could devastate the Republican majority in the upcoming election, and the nation should be prepared to see the once conservative Southeast become an origin of change. 

Every vote counts. Our country is being run by people who no longer represent the demographics of the nation. Instead of sitting by complacently because we’re comfortable, we must demand change. Our future depends on us.