Bee Nguyen speaks during a campaign rally in Stone Mountain on Saturday, October 22, 2022. (Photo: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice)

In the month of October, Democratic candidate for Georgia Secretary of State Bee Nguyen has raised $518,000. Overall, the campaign has raised $3.78 million. By comparison, that’s more than the $3 million Raffensperger has raised, including $850,000 in loans to himself, according to reporting by the Associated Press.

Georgia has become the biggest prize in American politics as the demographic shifts in the last ten years has elevated the Peach State into battleground status. Recently, activist and actress Kerry Washington went to Morehouse College and Spelman College in an effort to explain the responsibilities of the Secretary of State. Last Friday, former U.S. President Barack Obama campaigned for Bee Nguyen as the early voting period begins to draw to a close.

“The enthusiasm for Bee Nguyen’s candidacy is stronger than ever as we enter the final week of the election. Our campaign’s fundraising numbers over the past month and growing grassroots momentum – bolstered by support from high-profile surrogates like President Barack Obama – show that Georgians are ready to elect a secretary of state who will protect our rights and work to strengthen our democracy,” said Maria O. Banjo, Senior Advisor. 

The high-stakes nature of the 2022 Midterm Elections have increased scrutiny because of the 11,779 margin of victory Joseph R. Biden notched over Donald J. Trump, the passage of Senate Bill 202 which notably bans the distribution of snacks and water to persons waiting in line to vote, placing greater restrictions regarding absentee ballot access and reducing the number of dropboxes to one for every 100,000 in any Georgia county.

Raffensperger (and by proxy Georgia Governor Brian Kemp) has stood up to former President Trump’s claims that he dutifully won the Peach State. In May, Raffensperger beat a primary challenge from the Trump-backed candidate, former U.S. Rep. Jody Hice. Nguyen continually paints the current Secretary of State as someone who caved to the peer pressure from the far right.

Bee Nguyen speaks to an attendee during the SEIU town hall on Saturday, August 13, 2022 in Atlanta. (Photo: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice)

“Georgians deserve a Secretary of State who will fight for the right of every eligible voter to make their voices heard at the ballot box, regardless of their party affiliation, zip code, or the color of their skin. I’m running to be Secretary of State because our basic civil liberties begin at the ballot box,” Nguyen said in a May interview with The Atlanta Voice. “For too long in Georgia, we have seen Georgia Republicans make it harder for Black and brown Georgians, working people, people with disabilities, young voters, and those who disagree with them to cast a ballot, just so they can stay in power at all costs. As Secretary of State, I will protect the freedom to vote for all eligible Georgians.”

Beyond overseeing Georgia’s elections, the Secretary of State is responsible for issuing and administering professional licenses to healthcare professionals, liquor licenses to bars, nightclubs, restaurants, and business owners. Nguyen says Raffensperger fundamentally does not understand the role of his office.

As of 1:30 PM Wednesday afternoon, the Secretary of State’s office announced more than 2 million Georgians have voted early, consisting of at least 26% of the registered electorate. Nguyen has said Georgia Democrats have had to out-organize the voter suppression efforts of the Republicans. 

“The reason why we are experiencing record turnout is not because of Georgia Republicans. It’s because of Georgia organizers,” Nguyen said during an October 22 rally in Stone Mountain. “Let’s remember in 2020, and in 2021 people counted us out, they said Georgia ain’t going to win. And we responded by showing up in record numbers. We responded by coming together with our broad based coalition based on the shared values of equality and justice for all on the democracy of humanity and we delivered wins.”

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Itoro Umontuen currently serves as Managing Editor of The Atlanta Voice. Upon his arrival to the historic publication, he served as their Director of Photography. As a mixed-media journalist, Umontuen...