We’re less than a month away from what feels like one of the most consequential elections in American history, and FortyFour is doing its part to keep voters informed and motivated.
This week we launched a new digital ad campaign for ACLU of Georgia aimed at reminding Georgians how important it is not just to vote but to vote in all local races. Voters are extremely motivated this year when it comes to the race for president and U.S. Senate, but down-ballot races often get overlooked.
The campaign, called “The Threat To Your Rights Is Closer Than You Think,” demonstrates how local officials like sheriffs, judges, district attorneys, and state representatives make decisions about criminal justice, women’s rights, and immigration that have a huge impact on the lives of Georgians—sometimes more impact than what a president or senator does.
“Local officials have a tremendous impact on the issues that affect our everyday lives and the lives of people we care about,” says Andrea Young, executive director of ACLU of Georgia. “Access to healthcare, education quality, criminal justice reforms, and protection from discrimination are affected by the funding and policy choices made by local and state elected officials. A great future awaits us, but we have to work for it.”
“We’re on the front lines of the fight for civil rights and liberties here in Georgia,” says Graydon Gordian, FortyFour’s Group Creative Director and a member of ACLU of Georgia’s board of directors. “The ACLU does such vital work not only defending our rights, but also bringing to light the fact that oftentimes those rights are threatened by elected officials right here at home. It’s an honor to partner with the ACLU, bring attention to this critical issue, and hopefully drive pro-civil liberties outcomes in the upcoming election.”
The campaign seeks to remind voters that the extra five or ten minutes it takes to learn which candidate for a local office is, for example, in favor of aiding ICE deportations and which isn’t, can make a big difference.
ACLU of Georgia does not endorse individual candidates, but it does take positions on certain issues and points out which candidates support those issues. Because some controversial pieces of legislation in Georgia—like the abortion ban and the recent bill that provided additional protections to police officers—passed the Georgia legislature by only two votes, having just two more state representatives who back civil liberties could stop such legislation in the future.
ACLU of Georgia’s newly released legislative scorecard notes how sitting legislators have done defending issues like criminal justice reform, reproductive rights, First Amendment rights, and more.
Atlanta tends to be a city of transplants, and newcomers don’t always familiarize themselves with the candidates running for sheriff or judge. As the electorate in our formerly deep-red state has become more purple, this has led to some surprising discrepancies. There are several areas in Georgia, for example, where voters have recently chosen federal and state candidates who are strong on defending civil liberties, but they’ve chosen some local candidates who are very much the opposite.
FortyFour hopes that our campaign gets more voters to vote their full ballot and ensure that their local elected officials share their values.