A national voting rights group has opened its Georgia field office in Sandy Springs to campaign for local Democratic candidates in the races for governor and state legislative seats.
Let America Vote, based in Washington, D.C., counts Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams among its advisory board members. This year, it opened field offices in five states, with Georgia’s in the Parkside Shopping Center at 5920 Roswell Road. The same office was long occupied by the Fulton County Republican Party, which moved in recent months.
“The goal is to create political consequences for voter suppression,” said Austin Laufersweiler, Let America Vote’s national spokesperson.
The group chose Georgia for a field office partly due to Abrams’ race to “help elect her,” said Laufersweiler. Sandy Springs — a majority-Republican suburban city — was chosen as a headquarters site for “geography” of door-knocking to influence various local campaigns, he said.
The group previously campaigned for Democrat Jon Ossoff in last year’s historically expensive and nationally spotlighted race for the local 6th Congressional District seat, which was won by Republican Karen Handel.
Porsha White, the Georgia field office’s director, declined to be interviewed.
Laufersweiler said the group is backing state legislative candidates “who support voting rights” and to “replace people we see as opposing voting rights.”
The Georgia office’s social media account indicates that it is campaigning for Democrats in several local races, including: Sally Harrell, challenging incumbent Fran Millar in Senate District 40; Jen Jordan, who faces Republican challenger Leah Aldridge in Senate District 6; Shea Roberts, who is challenging incumbent Deborah Silcox in House District 52; and Matthew Wilson, who is challenging incumbent Meagan Hanson in House District 80.
Abrams’ resume includes running a voting registration organization. She serves on the Let America Vote advisory board along with many prominent figures and elected officials, most of them Democrats or liberals, such as Josh Earnest, former press secretary to President Barack Obama; Martin Luther King III; and the presidents of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and EMILY’s List.
Besides the Sandy Springs headquarters, Let America Vote is running some Georgia satellite offices in such cities as Athens.
Laufersweiler is a Marietta native. As a high-school student, he was in the news in 2010 for efforts to tighten anti-bully policies, especially relating to LGBTQ students, in Cobb County schools.