Georgia Votes: Niyo Malik

Georgia Votes: Niyo Malik

Georgia Votes: Niyo Malik

The rising male model Niyo Malik discusses what’s at stake with the Georgia senate elections, COVID-19 relief, and how to bring change in your local community.

The rising male model Niyo Malik discusses what’s at stake with the Georgia senate elections, COVID-19 relief, and how to bring change in your local community.

Photography: Inez & Vinoodh

Text: Czar Van Gaal

“So much is on the line in our runoff in Georgia this January. This election can be the difference between a senate acting as a firewall to deter progress or a senate catalyzing positive change.  We've seen in the presidential election the impact we have when we show up and use our voice. We deserve affordable quality healthcare. We deserve equality for women and the freedom of choice. We deserve equality and protection for LGBTQIA+ people. Black people deserve to feel safe running through their neighborhoods.  We deserve educational opportunities for everyone. Above all, we deserve someone representative of all of us, and that means everyone eligible to vote this January should.

“So much is on the line in our runoff in Georgia this January. This election can be the difference between a senate acting as a firewall to deter progress or a senate catalyzing positive change.  We've seen in the presidential election the impact we have when we show up and use our voice. We deserve affordable quality healthcare. We deserve equality for women and the freedom of choice. We deserve equality and protection for LGBTQIA+ people. Black people deserve to feel safe running through their neighborhoods.  We deserve educational opportunities for everyone. Above all, we deserve someone representative of all of us, and that means everyone eligible to vote this January should.

“After witnessing complete disregard of so many [communities] for so long, I realized how important it is to be informed and involved in every election. I was back home in Georgia for a few months and I just was fed up with feeling powerless. I began to educate myself more on the political process and the legal system that actively doesn’t serve to provide equity to minorities, women, and low-income communities. Voting is the absolute minimum [you can do]—not voting would be selfish to me, [especially] when so much is at stake. 

“COVID-19 response is my biggest concern because I feel the weight of it every day, especially when I FaceTime my family back home and see how they’re managing. Everyone deserves a government that takes global health risks seriously and puts the lives of its people first. Congress and the administration should focus on boosting the health response, COVID-19 relief for working people, and speed up [the] containment [of the virus] so Americans can return to work and some sense of normalcy as soon possible. The only way we can begin to make things better is to choose leaders who are willing to face these issues.

“To be candid, I’m hoping to see our incumbent senators replaced with candidates that haven’t blatantly shown themselves to put their own financial interests above the welfare of the people they represent. Certain Senators not-so-coincidentally selling stock when informed of COVID-19’s implications, doesn’t sit well with me at all. I hope for more transparency this election and some positive change. 

“Beyond this election year, it’s paramount that people stay informed and involved. I think it’s easy to be supercharged about voting with presidential elections because there’s so much media attention [surrounding it]. However, in order to create sustainable change, we have to participate in municipal elections, state elections, non-partisan primary elections, federal elections, and everything in between. In addition to voting, it doesn’t hurt to volunteer within our own communities. I try to volunteer at least once a week with an organization and give back in a tangible way—whether it’s delivering meals or donating to a local nonprofit.”

Election Day

If you’d like to vote in-person for this election, just make sure you’re registered and plan out your Election Day plan so you have the time to go and vote on January 5th, 2021. Find your local polling station here, and remember how important it is to exercise your right to vote!

Need a ride to the polls? Plus1Vote is partnering with Uber to provide free rides for the current Georgia senate runoffs! You can use the voucher code “VoteGA”  for a free ride on January 5th! Available here.

 

Absentee Voting

You can also vote absentee for the Georgia Senate runoff.

The deadline to request an absentee ballot was December 15th.

To do so you can complete this application online (you’ll need your county, state ID number, birth date, and legal name). You can also fill out this PDF and return it to your county board of registrars via mail or email.

Absentee ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, January 5. You can also drop off your ballot at an official county drop box up until 7 p.m. on Election Day. Check your county’s election website for details and dropbox locations.

For more information, head to Plus1Vote for all of your voter questions.

Credits: PHOTOGRAPHY: AGENT Kim Pollock (VLM Studio), PRODUCER: Tucker Burbilis (VLM Studio), PRODUCTION COORDINATOR: Eva Harte (VLM Studio), LIGHTING DIRECTOR: Jodokus Driessen (VLM Studio), STUDIO MANAGER: Marc Kroop (VLM Studio), DIGITAL TECHNICIAN: Brian Anderson (VLM Studio), ON-SITE PRODUCTION: PRODUCER: Gabe Hill (GE Projects), PRODUCTION MANAGER: Suzy Kang (GE Projects), PHOTO ASSISTANT: Chad Ofstedhal, ON-SITE STUDIO REP: Denise Solis

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