As 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.
Fight Systemic Voter Suppression:
1) Confirm Voter Registration & Talk to Purged Voters:
Call purged voters: Field Team 6 Actions (with Grassroots Democrats HQ)
2) Help People Get Necessary IDs to Vote:
3) Increase Black Voter Turnout:
4) Become a Poll Worker:
**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)
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)
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)