April Cobb Republican Breakfast: Diversity is more than one word.

The Cobb County Republican Party invites you to a very special and important April Cobb County Republican Breakfast:

Diversity is More than One Word: an open and frank discussion on the GOP and African-American voters.

Panelists:
Shelley Wynter – Host of the Shelley Wynter Show on 106.7 FM 
Click here to find out more about Shelley Wynter

Kaaryn Walker – Founder and President of Black Conservatives for TruthClick here to find out more about BCFT

Moderated by:
Melvin Everson – Former Snellville City Councilman and State Representative

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR TICKETS!

Saturday, April 6, 2019
8:00 AM – Doors Open
8:30 AM – Program

Thank You to Our April Breakfast Sponsors:
SHERIFF NEIL WARREN
ROB LEE FOR GAGOP 2nd VICE-CHAIR
NATHANIEL DARNELL FOR GAGOP TREASURER 
RICH CARITHERS FOR GAGOP 2nd VICE-CHAIR
THE METRO ATLANTA REPUBLICANS

Breakfast $8 in advance
(Now through Wed. April 3)
Breakfast $10 Regular Price
(Thurs. April 4 and at the door)

$100 Sponsorship: 2 breakfast tickets, reserved seating, and 2 minutes to address the breakfast.

No charge to attend. 
Cobb GOP HQ
799 Roswell Street NE
Marietta, GA 30060

Sticky / In Diversity / By CobbGOP2017 / Comments Off on April Cobb Republican Breakfast: Diversity is more than one word.

RSVP for the May CCRWC Luncheon

Reserve Your Spot Now!
Pay online now or RSVP and pay at the door.
 Meet the new Georgia GOP Chair!
All four candidates for the Georgia GOP Chair position have been invited to the May luncheon. Come find out who will lead the Georgia GOP and speak at the luncheon.

Don’t forget to invite a friend!
Cost is only $16.00 for 1st-time Guests.

RSVP to ccrwcrsvp@ccrwc.org
or purchase tickets now.

Chairman’s Corner: Look ma! No Hands!

By Jason Shepherd
After a brief newsletter hiatus as we switched administration, we are back with our regular weekly news of Cobb County Republican and conservative events and news. Plus, thanks to the Mueller Report, we no longer have to worry about the left’s claims of “Russian Collusion” in our monthly breakfast programs. This past week Vice-President Mike Pence visited Atlanta and blasted Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms for ousting ICE from the Atlanta City Jail. While Mayor Bottoms’s decision was a blow for those of us who believe our immigration laws should be enforced, her decision did free up needed space for incoming former officials of Kasim Reed’s administration.

If that wasn’t enough Democrat shenanigans for the week, 11Alive is reporting that 33-year-old sophomore Democrat State Rep. Sam Park (D-Lawrenceville) was caught alone in the HOV lane and, despite being a lawyer, apparently confused about the “Hands Free” law as both of his hands were on his phone and his steering wheel was apparently being operated “hands free.”

Finally, I want to thank the delegates of the Cobb County Republican Convention for giving me, John Hightower, Jim Boyd, and Bud Urich a second term and electing the rest of the team, Kim Sherk, Scott Sweeney, Bernard Reynolds, and Pamela Alayon.There is a lot of work that needs to be done to beat the Democrats in 2020, and that work has already begun. 2020 will be the toughest election we have seen in Georgia in almost two decades. 2018 was just a taste, but with Brad Raffensperger’s Cobb victory in the runoff, we saw something the Democrats do not want us to believe…that Cobb’s not blue yet and we have the opportunity to turn the ship around.We will need each and every precinct, house district, and county officer focused on one singular task…to get out every single Cobb County Republican voter in 2020!2019 will be dedicated to training and organizing the best volunteer grassroots political team in the state so when the time comes, everyone will know what their role is and how to execute it flawlessly in 2020.

Chairman Shepherd on NBC’s Meet the Press

Marietta Daily Journal Around Town: MEET THE PRESS: Cobb County was the subject of a national news story over the weekend on NBC’s “Meet the Press” show. The political changes unfolding in the county were used to illustrate how Georgia could be in play once again for Democrats in the 2020 election. Among those who were interviewed for the piece were Sue Robinson of Robinson’s Coins, Loren Martin, owner of the West Cobb Diner, Bobby Thomas, owner of Red Hare Brewing, Michael Owens, chair of the Cobb County Democratic Party and Jason Shepherd, chair of the Cobb GOP.

The broadcast observed that Mitt Romney won the county by 12 points in 2012, Hillary Clinton won the county by two points in 2016 and Stacey Abrams won the county by 9 points in November.

Reasons cited for the shift included transplants moving from outside the state, the explosive growth of Kennesaw State University and the county becoming more racially and ethnically diverse.

Link to the Meet the Press story and video below.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/meet-the-press/cobb-county-trends-blue-so-goes-georgia-statewide-politics-n981051

Chairman’s Corner: Demand to know where Cobb Democrats stand on gangs.

BY JASON SHEPHERD

They go by street names like “Baby Active,” “No Good,” “Ant Loc”, “Active,” “Gooch,” Baby Vo,” and “Crash.” 

One defendant resisted arrest at Osborne High School, striking two officers. His bookbag contained marijuana packaged for distribution. As he ran from officers on campus, fellow gang members picked him up in a vehicle.

Two defendants committed a drive-by shooting at three men on Westland Way in Marietta, damaging cars and other property.

Charges against them and others range from theft, disruption of a public school, attempted battery, simple assault, and criminal trespass to attempted murder, armed robbery, burglary, street gang terrorism, fraud, forgery, aggravated assault, home invasion, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and human trafficking.

This is not in in LA or New York or even downtown Atlanta. These crimes are happening in Smyrna, Marietta, Powder Springs, and throughout Cobb County. Arrests have been made in Austell, but also on Mars Hill Road.

Cobb County clearly has a gang crisis.

But Cobb County’s Democratic leaders like Cobb Democratic Party Chair Michael Owens call this “a manufactured gang crisis” and State Representative David Wilkinson, the Chair of the Cobb Legislative Delegation, who frankly should step down as Chair after his comments, accuse former Cobb DA, now GBI Director Vic Reynolds of being “too aggressive” in his approach towards gangs hoping the new DA will “use a different tactic.”

When the Marietta Daily Journal asked me about these comments on February 19,  I told the Around Town editors that, “I find it highly disturbing that the first Democratic chairman of the Cobb Legislative Delegation in decades thinks that law enforcement should ‘pull back’ going after gangs operating in Cobb County and somehow the answer to gang violence and crimes is by giving Cobb County gangs some sort of break.”

Two days later State Representative Bert Reeves added to the conversation telling Around Town that he was “very troubled and disappointed” by Wilkinson’s and Owen’s comments. Reeves added, “Street gangs in Cobb operate with aggression and they wreak havoc and crisis on our community. They are highly insensitive in ways that destroy the lives of young people, and it is not the district attorney that is destroying those lives. They are destructive; they harm people: children, adults, and the elderly — without conscience and with no regard for circumstances. They do not feel remorse and they do not show compassion. They are indiscriminate. These criminals are threats to the fabric of our public safety. They must be stopped, and they must be punished.”

Does Buckhead/Vinings Democratic Senator Jen Jordan agree with David Wilkinson? What about State Representatives Erick Allen and Mary Frances Williams? They all supported Wilkinson for Cobb Delegation Chair and now have not said one word condemning Wilkinson’s soft on gangs approach!

Contact Cobb’s Democratic Delegation and demand to know if they stand with Owens or Wilkinson who wants a “more sensitive approach” to gangs, or do they stand with the victims of gang violence, including the underaged girls being trafficked in Cobb County by street gangs.

You can find their contact information below:

Rep. Teri Anulewicz (D-Smyrna) 404.656.0116 teri.anulewicz@house.ga.gov

Rep. Erick E. Allen (D-Smyrna) 678.310.9650 erick.allen@house.ga.gov
Rep. Mary Frances Williams (D-Marietta) 404.656.0287 maryfrances.williams@house.ga.gov
Rep. Erica Thomas (D-Austell) 404.656.7859 erica.thomas@house.ga.gov
Rep. Michael Smith (D-Marietta) 404.656.0265 michael.smith@house.ga.gov Rep. Shelia Jones (D-Atlanta) 404.656.0132 sheila.jones@house.ga.gov

Rep. Roger Bruce (D-Atlanta) 404.656.7859 rbruce5347@aol.com
Sen. Jen Jordan (D-Atlanta) 404.656.6446 jennifer.jordan@senate.ga.gov
Sen. Doc Rhett (D-Marietta) 404.656.0054 michael.rhett@senate.ga.gov

Chairman’s Corner: Our 83rd Governor

By JASON SHEPHERD

Yesterday, our elected officials took their Oaths of Office to begin their terms, the culmination of the hard work that began nearly two years ago. This is only the third inauguration in the history of our state where all Constitutional officers who were sworn in were Republican. The trust placed in the Republican Party by the people of our state is still so very new compared to the more than 130 years of unchecked Democratic governance. While we are just now reaching our stride in governance, we cannot lose sight of how close our state came to turning back the clock on the progress that has been made by Republicans over the past sixteen years, and most of it in just the past eight. 


 

Additionally, Georgians once again paid witness to what is an all too ordinary event in our nation, and one we almost take for granted; the peaceful transition of power. As Brian Kemp took the oath to become Georgia’s 83rd Governor, he took the office from his predecessor, Nathan Deal, and few thought about how extraordinary it was. The annals of history show far too often a different path is taken. Power is not easily relinquished or given, even from one leader of the same party or faction or family to another, it is usually seized by brute force. That is not what happened yesterday, and no one even contemplated it would. Nothing could have been further from our thoughts.


 

Even today, in many places where sham elections occur to keep a party in power, the opposition is arrested, their assets seized, and supporters harassed by the authorizes and their brut squads. Regardless of how close the 2018 election was, elected Democrats cheered on elected Republicans. As one former Democratic elected official posted on Facebook, “As the 2019 session begins, I wish the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Legislature much wisdom, compassion, patience, humility, and good humor. Thank you for serving. I’m rooting for you.”   


 

Governor Brian Kemp gave an inaugural address that focused both on the success, but also on the challenges that Georgia faced. In a nod to an extremely close election, his speech showed no signs of arrogance, entitlement, or partisanship. In other words, Brian Kemp spoke much like the same man I met when he was elected to the Georgia Senate 16 years ago.


 

Kemp told the members of the General Assembly gathered for the jointed session, as well as the various elected officials, and guests, including those watching on TV, “Through the prism of politics, our state appears divided, metro versus rural, black versus white, Republican versus Democrat. But after visiting all 159 counties, I can tell you that we have so much in common and as governor, I will fight for all Georgians, not just the ones that voted for me.”


 

Of course, not everyone was ready to pull together and unite as Georgians, even for just the day. Former State Representative and Democratic State Party Chairman DuBose Porter decided to set a different tone stating of Governor Kemp, “His term is already marked by weak leadership and failure to work on behalf of voters as he abandons his campaign promises. Governor Brian Kemp will forever have a cloud over his head and an asterisk by his name.”


 

Knowing Brian Kemp, my prediction is that Porter’s comments will be the “asterisk” as the rest of the state comes to know the Brian Kemp so many of us already do.


 

Yesterday was not just a day for Republicans to celebrate a hard-fought victory, just our third GOP Governor in a row after more than a century in the Georgia political wilderness, but a day to remember that the mandate we received was to do our best work for all Georgians, not just the ones who supported the candidates we fought to elect. If we do that, we will not just have a better state for all Georgia, but a record of success to carry us for the four years after that. 

 

Chairman’s Corner: The will to prepare to win

by JASON SHEPHERD

2018 was a tough year for metro area Republicans. No statewide candidate won Gwinnett, north Fulton, Henry, or Cobb County for the first time in decades. We lost two legislative seats and two school board seats (one because no Republican candidate could be found to challenge for that seat).
That’s not to say we did not have numerous successes:
  • Nearly $130,000.00 raised in 2018.
  • Largest single contribution ever to the Cobb GOP of $17,600 by one donor.
  • Three other donations of over $6,000 each.
  • Winning Cobb for Brad Raffensperger on December 4.
  • More than 100 new dues paid members.
  • A strong South Cobb Outreach program.
  • Visits from Marco Rubio, Lara Trump, Sean Spicer, and Gov. Bob Ehrlich.
  • More than 500 new members of our Cobb GOP Facebook page (2,156 to 2,684).
While winning statewide was the most important goal, and on that we succeeded, and not without the hundreds of thousands of calls to rural voters made by Cobb County Republicans working out of our headquarters, we have rebuilding to do in Cobb, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, and DeKalb. We will not hold Georgia long if we do not pursue a strategy that is focused on winning all regions, not just rural voters.
When I started in GOP politics in the mid-1990’s, we had the suburbs, but we lost nearly every race in rural Georgia. Sonny Perdue changed that in 2002 and with the new alliance of rural and suburban Republicans, we won every statewide office and took a super-majority (more than 2/3 of both chambers) in the General Assembly.
Now, however, that alliance seems to be strained as suburban voters voted Democrat while our winning margins in rural Georgia increased substantially.

The Cobb GOP ran its most aggressive ground-game in years, focusing on strategically targeted districts and worked to maximize cross-candidate promotion, but without the resources of funds and out-of-state paid “volunteers”, the Democrats had at their disposal. It’s not easy to compete when the opposition can count Oprah Winfrey and Will Farrell as part of their door-to-door teams.

However, without the efforts of hundreds of Cobb GOP volunteers, 2018 would have been much worse in Cobb.
The Democrats outspent us in media as well. In the north metro area, the Democrats spent over $1.1 million in digital ads alone. They mailed, called, and texted Republican voters over and over (doing the same to swing voters).
They were more aggressive too during early voting and on Election Day where they, along with liberal-leaning organizations like the ACLU and Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, actually, in violation of state law, approached and engaged voters in line waiting to vote. On Election Day, it was like playing the old Wack-a-Mole game. They would be pop up at a poll – we would receive the information – we report them – they would move on to another location and pop up at a poll – we would receive the information – we report them and this would continue throughout the day.
And when they were called on their illegal behavior, they claimed “voter suppression.”
Given the results of the election, over the last few weeks, the Democrats, the media, and even some of our own Cobb Republicans have mocked our mission statement: Make Cobb Red Again.
It would seem they would prefer a Republican Party that is fine with a mission statement of “Purple Ain’t So Bad,” but I do not and I doubt you do either.
Coach Bear Bryant once said, “It’s not the will to win that matters – everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.”
At our December County Committee meeting, I outlined several goals for 2019 that we must achieve to gain our lost ground in 2020.
The first I am calling “Project 171.”
The high-water mark for the Republican vote in Cobb County was just six years ago in 2012 when over 171,000 Cobb voters voted for Mitt Romney for President. We had never before and have never since had 171,000 voters vote Republican in Cobb. However, the Democrats have not either. We must identify those voters and get them back to the polls in 2020.
We will also continue training. Baseball players have spring training. Soldiers have basic training. We need to train and we need more than an average of 20 out of 400 dues paid Cobb Republicans attending.
These two topics are just the tip of the iceberg, and more information will be coming in January and February.
That is part of the will to prepare to win we must engage in.
Finally though, I want to thank you. Everything you did to make a difference in 2018 helped to provide a defense against the Blue Wave. While it was not the tsunami the Democrats had hoped for, it did sweep out enough Republicans that we lost the House of Representatives and are once again looking at Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
I’ve said for months, mid-term elections do not favor the party that has the White House.
Because of this historic trends, we do ourselves a disservice if we read too much into the results and think we need to change everything, but we also do ourselves a disservice if we read too little and do not learn the lessons that 2018 has to teach. If nothing else, it should teach us that to win, we must have the will to prepare to win.

Chairman’s Corner: That’s why they call it the blues?

By JASON SHEPHERD

Before I begin the analysis of Tuesday’s election, let me first say we have an extremely important runoff on Tuesday, December 4 for Secretary of State and Public Service Commissioner. Brad Raffensperger is still a State Representative and is about to go into special session where he cannot raise money and then we will have Thanksgiving week which will be extremely difficult to campaign during.

WE CANNOT AFFORD TO LOSE the Secretary of State’s Office. If John Barrow wins, he will follow the will of the Democratic Party and not state law. Democrats are hungry for this win as they claim Brian Kemp stole the election and the only way to elect Stacey Abrams is for the Democrats to take that office.

Make a donation to Brad by midnight by donating here: http://bradforgeorgia.com/donate/

Now, let’s talk about Tuesday…

I don’t believe in spin so I’m not going to sugarcoat what you already know, Tuesday was not a good day to be a Republican in the Atlanta suburbs.

While we in Cobb weathered the election better than our friends in north Fulton, Gwinnett, and DeKalb counties, Stacey Abrams’s margin of nearly 30,000 votes over Governor-Elect Brian Kemp’s means that in 2020 we will not only need to fight for every vote at the precinct level but will need every resource to do it with.

We have been watching over the years as the Democratic votes have been growing in Cobb. In 2015, I warned that the vote totals during high-turnout election years were growing on the Democratic side but remaining stagnate on the GOP side.

As you can see in the chart below, voter registration in Cobb County has increased by approximately 89,000 voters from November of 2008 to November of 2018.

Between 2008 and 2012, both high turnout Presidential election years, the GOP vote in Cobb increased by only 765 votes from 170,957 to 171,722. During that time, the Democrat vote totals decreased, but voter registration jumped by over 18,000 votes. While many of those new voters obviously didn’t vote, they added to the potential turnout.

Something else happened that was curious and of concern. While the GOP turnout in 2010, which saw Roy Barnes try to mount a return challenging Nathan Deal for governor, was at 133,785 votes to 70,521, just four years later in 2014, considered one of the best GOP election years in U.S. history, Democratic numbers jumped by 20,000 while GOP numbers actually went down 15,000.

That set the stage in 2016 that I had warned was coming in 2015.

That next year, Hillary won Cobb County and this year the Democrats nearly met the GOP high of 171,722 from November 2012 falling about 4,000 votes shy.

What’s more, despite claims of “voter suppression,” Cobb’s voter roles jumped by 84,000 new registered voters in only four years between 2014 and 2018.

If there are still 171,722 GOP voters in Cobb, then we still have a chance of coming back in 2020 and holding onto our county-wide offices. If not, then 2020 could see the GOP lose the County Commission 3-2, the Sheriff’s office, the District Attorney, the Clerk of Court, and other races.

Also, with a one vote majority in the legislative caucus, if we do not gain back at least one legislative seat, the Democrats will control redistricting in Cobb and be able to redraw county commission and school board districts as well.

Our Cobb County Board of Elections, which has five members; one appointed by the Board of Commissioners, one by the Republican Party, one by the Democratic Party, and two by the legislative delegation, flip from a 4-1 GOP majority to a 4-1 Democratic majority if the County Commission is lost.

So, is this just a matter of “Demographics as Destiny”?

That would explain the slow increase of the Democratic vote, but it doesn’t explain the rapid flip.

Back in May, I became aware that Democratic operatives were furiously knocking doors in GOP areas of Cobb and began asking when we would have the resources of lists and technology to engage in-kind. Initially I was told it would be in June. Soon it was pushed back until July…then August. At that point I asked whether or not the Victory Center would be opened at all so I could make other arraignments. I was told soon.

It wouldn’t be until September.

At that point, we were 4 months behind.

Even then, while the Democrats were using an army of paid door-to-door staff, we were asked to rely on volunteers.

We quickly went about ranking the races that would be the toughest and concentrated an aggressive volunteer door-to-door campaign for September through Election Day.

Our top tier of focus was Karen Handel, Congressional District 6, Leah Aldridge Senate District 6, Matt Bentley, House District 40, and Sam Teasley, House District 37.

Our next tier was Scott Sweeney, School Board 6, JoAnn Birrell, County Commissioner District 3, Kay Kirkpatrick, Senate District 32, Travis Klavohn, Senate District 38, Sharon Cooper, House District 43, DeAnna Harris, House District 41, and Ed Setzler, House District 35.

The rest of our candidates were in the third tier and considered to be in safe districts.

The only one of our top tier that was not lost was Karen Handel. Cobb voters turned out big for her, giving her more votes than Brian Kemp received. However, the DeKalb portion of her district ran the Democratic voter numbers up so high that the Cobb and Fulton wins were not enough. Lucy McBath won 60-40% in DeKalb.

As many of these districts had overlap, we were able to canvass for several candidates, as well as the top of the ticket all at the same time.

We invested in infrastructure as well, making sure we had online sign-up for each event. We shared information as well so, as best as possible, we did not duplicate efforts or overlap the campaign organizations but supplemented where they could not.

However, despite posting on Facebook, our website at CobbGOP.org, Twitter, and in the barrage of emails like this one, we did not have one single volunteer signup online. That did not mean people didn’t still show up, but there were several weekends of door-to-door where the only volunteers regularly showing up for canvassing were me, Pam Reardon, Jeff Souther, Darlene Knight, and a couple of others. Pam Reardon and her husband Tom likely knocked on more doors than the rest of us combined! There were other Cobb County Republicans who devoted themselves to certain candidates and worked with them directly like Kim Sherk, but, for the most part, we struggled to have our volunteer needs met, all while we were going up against paid operatives on the Democratic side who were supplemented by a strong and engaged volunteer effort.

In the final weekend, volunteers made over 75,000 phone calls and knocked on nearly 2,000 Cobb doors.

The problem was, more than 50% of votes were already cast.

We won Election Day, we lost the three weeks of early voting. They were knocking doors in the spring, we didn’t start knocking until fall.

Most are aware they were targeting Republicans. For the first time ever, my household received mail pieces paid for by the Democratic Party of Georgia. Flush with cash, they called and mailed everyone, even committed Republicans. While we microtargeted to get out the vote, they covered it all. Even if they could get just one or two out of ten Republicans, that could, and maybe did, make the difference.

Our final issue was messaging. When a friend of mine; suburban, married, early 40’s with two kids and a GOP voting record brags to me on Facebook that she travelled from Cherokee County to Cobb to knock doors for Stacey Abrams, we’ve lost the messaging war.

Part of it is the lingering “Never Trump” wing, those who look at all the great things Donald Trump has done from the economy, to reducing taxes, to bringing North Korea to begin reducing its nuclear ambitions, to destroying ISIS, etc. (You can find a much longer list at https://www.whitehouse.gov/trump-administration-accomplishments) and still say they pick style over substance. Another part is that we were fighting history in that the President’s party historically loses seats in midterm years.

One of those will be fixed next election when Donald Trump is back on the ballot, but if we still have to fight the “Never Trump” Republicans and do not have a message to appeal to those who have flipped because they believe the rhetoric from the left which, in their minds, is reinforced by how Trump reacts, 2020 won’t be any better than 2018 was, and Georgia cannot stay red if we don’t retake territory.

In 2001, I was elected a Georgia Republican Party Vice-Chairman and Ralph Reed was elected Chairman. The State Party led as we started knocking doors much earlier in the cycle than ever before. The result was we gathered data to use in 2002 that made Sonny Perdue’s victory possible. The advantage of the position is it gave me a close seat to observe, participate, and learn. In 2001-2002, the Democrats were use to winning. They took the elections for granted and no longer engaging in grassroots. They looked a lot like we are beginning to look today.

We can do that again and beat the Democrats at their game and bring back that 171,000 Republican voters. It will take effort. It will take buy-in from our grassroots leaders. Most importantly, it will take all of us working together to make it happen.

MDJ: Early voting numbers dwarf 2014 turnout; politicos weigh in

Early voting numbers dwarf 2014 turnout; politicos weigh in

Ross Williams

Election Day is Tuesday, but for thousands of Cobb County residents, their civic duty is already done.

This year, 111,882 Cobb voters cast their ballots early in person, according to unofficial numbers from the Cobb Elections Department.

That’s nearly a 90 percent increase over the last midterm election in 2014, when 59,134 Cobb voters came to the polls early.

There were 17 days of early voting this year, two of them Saturdays, while in 2014, there was only one Saturday and 16 total early voting days.

No major incidents were reported this year, but there were long lines, and voters waited up to three hours during the busiest times.

Cobb Elections Director Janine Eveler said she is happy with how things turned out. She said poll workers were happy to see the big crowds, though she does wish the department had arranged to have a second polling location open the first week.

During that week, only the county elections headquarters was open for early voting. The next week, Jim R. Miller Park became available, and in the third and final week, nine more spots opened up.

“I think overall it went well, although I wish we had arranged to have Jim Miller Park for the first week as well,” Eveler said. “Our Main Office is a little too small to handle that kind of turnout. We always expand our locations from few to many as the three weeks go along, but this election was unique in that there were so few people who were undecided, even in the first week of voting. … We knew this would be an exciting midterm so we offered all our locations, even some we normally only use in presidential years, and also extended hours.”

Eveler said there is a snowball effect to early voting — when people see long lines, they are more likely to get in lines themselves, making the lines even longer. But she said that may be good news for those planning to vote on Election Day.

“If people see lines to early vote, they figure they better get theirs done too,” she said. “They worry that early voting lines mean there’ll be lines on Election Day and it becomes important not to wait until Tuesday. In reality, the higher turnout in early voting reduces lines on Election Day.”

If you are one of those who plan to cast a ballot on Tuesday, you can do so between 7 a.m. And 7 p.m. Remember you must vote at your assigned polling location — you can find that at www.mvp.sos.ga.gov — and don’t forget to bring your photo ID.

Eveler also said to be sure to double-check your ballot before submitting and to report any irregularities to poll workers before casting your ballot.

Cobb party chiefs react

Perhaps nobody in the county has been paying more attention to the early voting numbers than the heads of the two major parties, Michael Owens of the Cobb Democrats and Jason Shepherd of the Cobb GOP.

Both men said they were glad to see people taking part, but neither dared to predict what the turnout might mean for their parties.

“I think it means the voters are engaged,” Shepherd said. “The question is: Is it our voters who are engaged, or their voters who are engaged? Right now it’s looking like everyone’s voters are engaged.”

Owens and Shepherd both spoke to the MDJ by phone from different last-minute get-out-the-vote efforts, capping off a long election cycle.

Owens said Cobb Democrats are working hard to capitalize on trends indicating the county may be moving toward the Democratic column, citing, among other points, that Cobb voters chose Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in the 2016 election. He would not say whether he thinks the change will come this year, but he believes it’s coming.

“Cobb County is a red-to-blue county,” he said. “We know we’re trending toward blue. There’s a large part of the county that is already blue and that continues to grow. What we’ve historically considered red is definitely flipping, going up all the way to north Cobb County, up to Acworth. We have a solid trend toward Cobb County turning blue, and we’re going to continue trending toward blue.”

Owens said gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams’ historic candidacy plays a role in that— if she wins, she will be the first African-American woman to govern any American state. But he said a solid stable of Democratic candidates up and down the ballot has encouraged Democratic voters to turn out in Cobb.

“It’s an opportunity for Democrats to vote for Democrats on the ballot in every part of the county,” he said. “Historically, that hasn’t been the case. … We have contested races in every single part of the county. … Not only do we support Stacey Abrams and (lieutenant governor candidate) Sarah Riggs Amico, but we’re actually engaging voters, talking about our candidates for state House … we have taken a focused effort to ensure we have good candidates across the county.”

Shepherd said he is well aware of the work Democrats have been putting in to flip Cobb County, referencing recent trips to town by big names such as former President Barack Obama, comedian Will Ferrell and media mogul Oprah Winfrey to stump for Abrams.

“The amount of effort Democrats are making in Cobb County, they see Cobb County as a big prize, Cobb being historically a Republican county, but one that went a little purple the last election cycle,” Shepherd said. “Democrats are working very hard to flip it. … They think Cobb is in play, and the Cobb Republican party is doing everything it can to make sure we can get out and show them Cobb isn’t in play. We’ll find out on Election Day.”

Shepherd acknowledged it is typical for the party in control of the White House to lose seats in a midterm election, but he wasn’t ready to accept a blue wave yet.

“The Democrats are really trying to push the blue wave, and the Republican Party is trying to stand out with a red wall to stop it,” he said. “They talk about waves; we talk about wave breakers.”