Some of you love Bernie. Some of you love Hillary. Some of you might feel the same way about Trump. Many of you simply want to fulfill your civic duty.
Whatever the reason, many American Muslims plan to vote on Election Day this November. In fact, we might see a record turnout of Muslim voters, particularly in competitive states like Michigan, Virginia and Florida.
But Georgia Muslims need not wait until the presidential election to make our voices heard. We can vote in an equally important election scheduled for May 24th: Georgia's state and local primaries for everything from county commission to state representative to judge to sheriff.
These local elections are less flashy, but just as critical, as national elections.
After all, decisions made at the federal level often take years to come about and even longer to take effect. But decisions made here, at the local level, can have an immediate impact on our day-to-day lives, from zoning to education to public safety.
Hoping to expand a mosque? Need police protection for Friday prayer service? Want to protect your kids from school bullying? Local officials handle all of these issues and more.
Georgia Muslims should therefore make our voices heard right here, right now, through voting in the state and local primaries. By choosing the future leaders of tomorrow, we can lay the foundation for strong relationships with state and federal leaders.
But it's not enough for us to vote. We must also let our leaders know that we're voting. Only then can we develop the political clout needed to advance positive change.
That's why CAIR Georgia, the Georgia Muslim Voter Project and AtlantaMuslim.com are uniting to promote the #GAMuslimVoter early voting initiative.
We call on all Georgia Muslims in every county to early vote on the same date at the same time: Saturday, May 14th at noon at their respective county polling stations.
The great thing about early voting is that counties usually hold voting in a more limited number of locations. This can allow Georgia Muslims in each county to show up at the same location, maximizing and publicizing our turnout.
Participating voters should snap photos of their voting group outside the polling station and immediately email those photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Imagine the visual: long lines of Georgia Muslims voting at the same time across the state! By visually highlighting this year's surge in Georgia Muslim voters, we can put our local leaders on notice that we care about our communities and that we can also swing close elections, particularly on the local level.
Be on the lookout for a follow-up article with sample ballots and a list of preferred voting locations for each county.
And remember: no matter where you live, no matter who you're voting for, vote!
Vote early. Vote together. Vote on May 14th at noon!
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