Gwinnett Democrats to spend $175,000 to increase voting in November election

In past elections, some precincts opened late because of missing equipment or other issues.

Keaton said most of those precincts were in more Democratic areas and led to voter suppression. In addition to having two poll watchers at each precinct, she wants to have people who are able to distribute food and water to encourage people to stay in line, as well as attorneys and others who can petition polls to remain open later, where necessary.

“We’re not leaving anything to chance this time around,” Keaton said. “I know no money like this has ever been spent before.”

No one from the Gwinnett Republican Party returned phone calls or emails seeking information about its plans for spending ahead of the election.

Keaton said she has commitments for about a third of the money she expects to spend. Nabilah Islam, a former congressional candidate who is working on the effort, said the team will be vigilant to ensure no voter is turned away.

“If Georgia is to go blue, it will be because of the margins in Gwinnett,” she said.

With a demographic shift that has led the solidly Republican county to pivot to Democrats in recent years, Keaton said the party needs to be proactive.

In 2018, Democrats won two seats on the county commission. And this year, Democrats are fielding a slate of candidates that many expect to sweep political offices countywide.

“Gwinnett is going blue, that’s not the question,” Keaton said. “The question is, ’Will Gwinnett go dark enough blue to flip the state for Biden?’ I’m counting on yes.”

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