Domestic (In)justice Activism Opportunities

  • Voting Is Not Enough: Work to Overcome Racist Voter Suppression in Yet Another Election Without the Full Voting Rights Act via @VoteRiders @votedotorg @natlvoterregday @fieldteam6 @NAACP @morethanavote @fairerelections

    VoteRiders.pngAs of the publishing of this episode, there are exactly 42 days until Election Day. That’s 6 weeks. A month and a half.

    To make sure every one of those days to count, we’ve launched our 2020 Election Action Guide, which we’re calling “Voting Is Not Enough.” Because…it’s just not. All of the segments and information can be accessed from the “Voting is Not Enough” banner at BestoftheLeft.com, or directly at BestoftheLeft.com/2020action.

    We want to start today by acknowledging the devastating loss of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. May her memory be a blessing, and a revolution. Justice Ginsburg, using the law as her tool, dedicated her life to making our society more equal and to protecting rights of all kinds, including voting rights. When her conservative colleagues gutted the Voting Rights Act in 2013, she famously wrote in her passionate descent, “Throwing out pre-clearance when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.”

    As we face yet another national election without the key protections of the Voting Rights Act, we have to work 100 times harder to ensure marginalized groups get access to the ballot. New, strict voter ID laws, proof of citizenship laws, increased purging of voter rolls, increased closing of polling places in predominantly poor, Black, Brown and Indigenous communities…these are the fallouts of losing the full protections of the Voting Rights Act.

    So, how do we overcome these racist and oppressive hurdles? Here are a few ways…

    1) Confirm Voter Registration & Talk to Purged Voters: As we mentioned in our last segment, voter registration is key. But it’s not just about getting new people to register - though that’s important - it’s also about making sure registered voters haven’t been purged and have updated their address or name change. Having an updated registration can be the difference between a regular ballot or a provisional ballot on election day. With voter registration deadlines coming up fast, commit to helping people register and check their status. Visit Vote.org for all the links you need, or visit NationalVoterRegistrationDay.org and look under Resources for the Toolkit for Individuals.

    This year, Grassroots Democrats HQ and Field Team 6 have made it possible to volunteer to phone or text bank actual purged voters in key states and help them get re-registered! Many people never know they have been purged until it’s too late, so help alert these voters to their status and get them registered again. Go to FieldTeam6.org and check their Calendar of Events for opportunities.

    2) Help People Get Necessary Voter IDs: Voter ID laws aren’t going away any time soon, so Vote Riders has begun providing voter ID assistance to help every American cast a ballot. VoteRiders will help you identify the documents you need to get an ID, request and pay for the documents, pay the DMV fees, and even drive you to the DMV for free. Call or text their help line at 844-338-8743 or go to VoteRiders.org/freehelp to submit an online form and get started. If you don’t need an ID, you can become a volunteer to help make sure voters know the information they need and/or donate to support their sadly necessary work.

    3) Increase Black Voter Turnout: The NAACP’s Black Voices Change Lives is using indirect relational voter turnout to mobilize Black voters this fall. This means engaged Black voters call unengaged Black voters in specific battleground states where the data shows that the Black vote is the determining factor in the outcome. If you don’t identify as Black, you are still welcome to volunteer. Go to BlackVoicesChangeLives.org for more.

    4) Become a Poll Worker: As we’ve previously mentioned, becoming a poll worker is one of the most effective things you can do to help fight the closing of polling places and reduce long lines. Go to WorkElections.com to find out how to sign up in your state, or go to MoreThanAVote.org which is specifically recruiting poll workers in heavily Black districts across the country.

    We know the Supreme Court nomination and Senate races are at the top of everyone’s mind right now, but fighting voter suppression is essential to making sure we have a shot at saving our democracy come November. We’ll be focusing on the Senate races next time, but we’ve included links in the show notes today to get you started. Use the time saved to ponder how we came to have a system where the passing of one, 87-year-old-woman caused tens of millions of people to be gripped with justifiable fear and existential dread.

    So, if making sure disenfranchised voters have a voice this November is important to you, be sure to spread the word about Working to Overcome Racist Voter Suppression in Yet Another Election Without the Full Voting Rights Act via social media  - or, uh, maybe call a few friends instead? - so that others in your network can spread the word too.

     

    TAKE ACTION!

    Fight Systemic Voter Suppression:

    1) Confirm Voter Registration & Talk to Purged Voters:

    Vote.org

    National Voter Registration Day Toolkit

    Call purged voters: Field Team 6 Actions (with Grassroots Democrats HQ)

    2) Help People Get Necessary IDs to Vote:

    VoteRiders Free Help

    3) Increase Black Voter Turnout:

    NAACP Black Voices Change Lives

    4) Become a Poll Worker:

    WorkElections.com

    MoreThanaVote.org

    **React to Ginsburg's Passing with Action**

    Volunteer with SwingLeft to Flip the Senate & Target Super States

    Donate to Targeted Super States via SwingLeft

    Special Elections (Winner sworn-in in November!):

    AZ: Unseat McSally. Give to Mark Kelly.  (leading by 9% points) (CPR Rating: Leans D)

    GA: Unseat Loeffler. Give to Rev. Raphael Warnock(down by 4% points) (CPR Rating: Lean R)

    Tightening Polls Toss Ups:

    MT: Unseat Daines. Give to Steve Bullock. (down by 1% point)

    GA: Unseat Perdue. Give to Jon Ossoff. (down by 2% points)

    IA: Unseat Ernst: Give to Theresa Greenfield. (leading by 3% points)

    ME: Unseat Collins. Give to Sara Gideon. (leading by 5-7% points)

    NC: Unseat Tillis. Give to Cal Cunningham. (leading by 6% points)

    CO: Unseat Gardener. Give to John Hickenlooper. (leading by 7% points)

    Close Polls Lean R & Likely R:

    AK: Unseat Sullivan. Give to Dr. Al Gross. (tied)

    SC: Unseat Graham. Give to Jaime Harrison. (down by 1% points)

    TX: Unseat Cornyn. Give to MJ Hegar. (down by 2% points)

    KS: Open seat. Give to Bollier. (down by 2% points)

    EDUCATE YOURSELF & SHARE

    7 Years of Gutting Voting Rights (Brennan Center for Justice)

    In 2013 the supreme court gutted voting rights – how has it changed the US? (The Guardian)

    Here's *exactly* how Democrats win the Senate (CNN)

     

    Posted September 22, 2020; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman

    Hear the segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1369: The Business Model That Ate the World (Facebook)

  • Voting Is Not Enough: Know Your State’s 2020 Voting Rules & Voting Best Practices & Help Others

    Know_the_rules_and_vote_asap.pngAs of the publishing of this episode (Sept. 15th), there are exactly 49 days until Election Day. That’s 7 weeks. Less than 2 months.

    To make sure every one of those days to count, we’ve launched our 2020 Election Action Guide, which we’re calling “Voting Is Not Enough.” Because…it’s just not.

    From now until election day, we’ll be highlighting different ways you can be spending time and/or money to support a free and fair election, as well as Democrats down the ballot and all the way up to the Biden-Harris ticket. All of this information can be accessed from the “Voting is Not Enough” banner at BestoftheLeft.com, or directly at BestoftheLeft.com/2020 Action.

    As you’ve heard today, the Republican attacks on the United States Post Office are nothing new. But in an election year, with an authoritarian wannabe as president and a pandemic gripping the nation, these attacks have reached a new level with dire consequences for democracy.

    By design, damaging the Post Office not only puts more of the burden on the voter to figure out the best way to vote, but also forces them to weigh their personal health risk. The resulting voter suppression should not be underestimated. While many will vote no matter what, millions of people are feeling overwhelmed.

    That’s why it is critical to understand and share the resources that make the new 2020 rules and voting options as clear and concise as possible. The statistical analysis publication, FiveThirtyEight, has put together a regularly-updated project called “How to Vote in the 2020 Election.” It color codes each state by how easy or difficult it is to vote by mail, then you can click on each state to instantly see everything form the voter registration deadline, to early voting information, to how to request a ballot, to how to vote in person. It also provides a brief summary with links on any pending lawsuits related to voting and notes whether any plans to close polling places have been announced. New rules in place for 2020 are noted so you can easily see what, if anything, has changed.

    But even if you know all of the rules, there are still some best practices to follow:

    #1: If you are planning to vote absentee, request your ballot NOW. Do not wait one more second. The ballot will be mailed to you, so you must factor in not only delays, but the unfortunate possibility that you never receive the ballot at all. You’ll need time to re-request one or find out if you can pick up the ballot at your local election office.

    #2: When you get your absentee ballot, do not wait to vote. Time is of the essence, but be sure you follow your state’s absentee ballot rules to the letter. There are many reasons a ballot could get rejected, like you forgot to sign it, or your signature doesn’t match the one on file, improper marking, or the ballot arrives too late. The Associated Press reported just last week that absentee ballot rejections could triple in battleground states because voters who usually vote in person are unfamiliar with the absentee ballot rules. So, be methodical!

    #3: Find your local drop boxes. If you are concerned about relying on the Post Office - and that’s a valid concern - go to your state’s secretary of state website or call your local election office to find out the location of ballot drop boxes. During the primaries, these boxes were often located at local city halls, but more rural areas may have more options.

    #4: Track your ballot. Most states provide a way to track your ballot online and see if it has been received and accepted. The sooner you submit your absentee ballot, the sooner you will know wether or not your vote counted and the more time you’ll have to try to resolve any issues that may arise. To find the tracker, first find your state or local election office

    And finally, voting in person is still an option (find your polling place). Experts are saying that as long as safeguards are in place - like mask requirements, 6 feet distance rules, and frequent wiping down of surfaces - your risk is relatively low and about the same as a trip to the grocery store. However, this is America and the sad fact is that you cannot always rely on your fellow citizens to abide by the health rules. Additionally, if we don’t have enough poll workers and polling places, lines could be extremely long. We say all this not to discourage you, but to help you make an informed decision and to help you help others in your life as well.

    So, if making sure every vote is accepted and counted is important to you, be sure to spread the word about Knowing Your State’s 2020 Voting Rules & Voting Best Practices via social media so that others in your network can spread the word too.

     

    TAKE ACTION

    Explore and share the "How to Vote in the 2020 Election" Project (FiveThirtyEight)

    Remember & Share These Voting Best Practices: 

    1. Request your absentee ballot ASAP! RIGHT NOW! 

    2. When you have your ballot, vote ASAP but follow ballot rules to the letter to avoid rejection!

    3. If you don't want to mail your ballot, find local ballot drop boxes through your state's Secretary of State website or by calling your local election office. Find my state or local election office

    4. Track your ballot online to ensure it was received and accepted! To find the tracker, first find your state or local election office

    Voting in person is still an option, but be prepared for people to disobey health rules, and for long lines and reduced polling places. Find your polling place

    EDUCATE YOURSELF & SHARE

    Voter Registration Deadlines (Vote.org)

    Voting by mail in a pandemic: A state-by-state scorecard (Brookings)

    How to Vote by Mail in All 50 States (Vice)

    The Most Important Mail You'll Ever Send: A Ballot (NPR)

    In battlegrounds, absentee ballot rejections could triple (AP)

    A white person and a Black person vote by mail in the same state. Whose ballot is more likely to be rejected? (NBC News)

    If You Can Grocery Shop in Person, You Can Vote in Person (The Atlantic)

     

    Posted September 15, 2020; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman

    Hear the segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1367: The Post Office and the Census, Unmaking the American Institutions That Most Bind Us Together

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