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Calling for Democracy; Your Guide to Talking to Friends and Family About Voting Trump Out in 2020

We at OTYCD published this comprehensive guide earlier in September 2020. We will repeat it in full a few more times before October 5, 2020, when the first voter registration deadline expires.

Calling for Democracy: Your Guide to Talking to Friends and Family About Voting Trump Out in 2020

This is an elaboration on a recent post that asked you to Be That Guy–to call your friends and family, urge them to vote for Joe Biden and other down-ballot Democrats, and walk them through how to do it.

We at OTYCD have said over and over that it can’t just be you going to the polls or mailing or delivering a ballot this year. You have to bring others with you, metaphorically or literally.

Calling for Democracy guides you through this process in detail, with scripts and tools you can rely upon when shepherding friends and family through the process of voting in 2020.

Warning: This post is LONG, because it covers a lot of what-ifs.

It’s also repetitive, deliberately, so you don’t have to keep scrolling up to find needed phone numbers and URLs.

We’ll follow it with subsequent posts that break this main post into more digestible chunks, but we need to get it all out in one piece now for those who want to get started.

Please read the whole post before starting work.

If the person has a question you can’t answer, or some other issue arises that you’re not sure how to resolve, STOP and call the I Will Vote hotline for help (833.336.8683). Do! Not! Guess! If you’re not completely sure about how to proceed, CALL AND CHECK.

Successful calling for democracy involves several steps, and might involve more than one follow-up to ensure that your friends and family carry through and vote for Joe Biden and the Democrats.

You’ll want to have the following tools at hand:

The website for I Will Vote:

iwillvote.com

FiveThirtyEight’s guide to How to Vote in the 2020 Election:

https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/how-to-vote-2020/

The phone number for I Will Vote’s hotline:

833.336.8683.

…and a document of some sort–maybe it’s digital, maybe it’s paper–you’ll use to track your efforts. It should include columns that clearly label:

Who you contacted;

When you contacted them (the day, date, and maybe the time);

The results of the call;

Whether and if you need to call them again after finding an answer to a question or solving a problem they have.

This document should reflect the fact that you need to check in with everyone again in late October, on Election Day Eve, and maybe Election Day itself to make sure they followed through with their voting plans and haven’t hit any obstacles.

The first thing you need to do, before calling or texting anyone, is to sort your contacts.

Look through your list of contacts (or your address book, or your Rolodex–whatever system you use to organize them) and place each name in one of these categories:

Known Democrats who vote often or always

Likely Democrats whose voting records aren’t clear to you

Never-Trump Republicans who vote often or always

Never-Trump Republicans whose voting records aren’t clear to you

Known Independents who vote often or always

Likely Independents whose voting records aren’t clear to you

People whose voting records aren’t clear to you, but who you think would welcome your offer of help with voting for Biden and other Democrats

Do not bother with committed Trump voters.

Only focus on friends and family who fit one of the seven descriptions above.

Once you’ve finished that sort, perform a second sort to identify the people in each group who live close enough for you to help in person if need be.

IMPORTANT: Don’t leave out American friends and family members living outside the country. You can rely on Democrats Abroad, which helps those folks cast a ballot.

The Democrats Abroad site is linked below, and the front page of the site features a work-around to access voter information pages of theirs that have been geo-blocked, aka made inaccessible to people living in certain geographic areas:

https://www.democratsabroad.org/heidi/geo-blocked_voter_information_pages_why_it_s_happening_and_how_you_can_fix_it

IMPORTANT: Don’t leave out friends and family who are away at college or university. The Campus Vote Project’s State Student Guides can help. It’s linked directly below.

https://www.campusvoteproject.org/state-student-voting-guides

Now you’re ready to communicate directly with someone you know.

We at OTYCD recommend starting with those you listed in the “Known Democrats Who Vote Often or Always” category–the people with whom you’re likely to have the most success–and working your way down until you’ve spoken with everyone who fits a category.

Before you try them, sit and think about the person, and think about when and how they prefer to be reached: Text? Email? Phone? DM?

Remember, your role here is to make voting for Biden and down-ballot Democrats as convenient for THEM as possible.

For example, if you’re not a phone person, but they are, do what you need to do to place yourself in a frame of mind that will let you talk over the phone, and give yourself time to decompress afterward.

You should have these tools at hand:

The I Will Vote website and voter hotline

The FiveThirtyEight guide

This OTYCD story

Your contact-tracking document

A notebook or other piece of scrap paper, so you can take notes while the other person speaks

Let us stress this fact: If you have ANY concerns or questions about how to advise people to proceed with the voting process–any at all–call the I Will Vote hotline and ask for help. Make no assumptions.

Here’s a sample script you can use, but please tailor it to your own personality and to that of the person you’re trying to reach. <Instructions in brackets are for you; act upon them, but don’t read them out loud>:

“Hi, <Name.> I realize this is a little odd, because I don’t normally/never do this sort of thing, but I’m concerned about the 2020 election, and I’m talking to all my friends and family about voting. Do you have a minute?”

If now is bad, ask when would be a good time for you to try again.

If they’re noncommittal, make a note on your tracking document to try again after three days.

If now is good, say something like:

“I’ve seen what Trump has done to democracy in this country, and I’m going to vote for Joe Biden and other Democratic candidates so we can fix that damage. Are you voting for Biden for president, and for other down-ballot Democrats?”

If they seem offended that you asked, change the subject or end the conversation.

Think about whether you should wait three days or longer before trying that person again, or whether you should cross their name off your tracking document. Act accordingly.

If they say something like “I’m not sure,” or “I don’t know if I even want to vote,” or “I haven’t made up my mind,” ask them “Why? What concerns do you have?” and LISTEN TO THEIR ANSWER. Use the notebook or scrap paper to write down key points they make.

If they say they’re worried that their vote won’t count, say something like:

“I understand how you feel. I feel like that sometimes. But I figure that if my vote didn’t matter, Trump and the Republicans wouldn’t be trying so hard to stop me from casting a ballot for Biden and other Democratic candidates.”

If they ask you to back your claim, cite this FiveThirtyEight story link on Five Ways Trump and GOP Officials are Undermining the Election Process. (Since we published this post, FiveThirtyEight released a September 2020 update story, The Latest on Republican Efforts to Make it Harder to Vote, which you should also review and use in your conversation.)

If they say they’re worried about going to the polls during the COVID-19 panic, say something like:

“You can vote without going to the polls on the day. I can walk you through your options for <name the state or territory where the person lives>. The first step is getting you registered to vote. Are you registered? Have you checked your registration lately?” <Scroll down to find the section on registering to vote and go from there.>

If they say they’re worried that Trump is sabotaging the flow of mail through the United States Postal Service (USPS), and their ballot might arrive too late to be counted, say something like:

“That’s a legitimate concern. Trump’s chosen postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, has implemented policies that have had the effect of slowing the mail.”

“You can still cast a ballot without putting it in the mail or going to the polls. I can tell you how to do that.” <Then scroll down to the sections on voting early, using a dropbox, and hand-delivering a completed ballot to the relevant government office near them.>

If they say that they’re worried Trump will cheat or send cops to the polls or somehow stop them from voting, say something like:

Making people feel mad or anxious or depressed about voting is itself a voter suppression tactic. They are trying to keep you from the polls however they can.”

“Trump doesn’t want you to vote unless you’re voting for him. He’ll say whatever he thinks he needs to say to scare away people who won’t vote for him.”

“The only way to fight back is to spite him and vote for Biden and other Democratic candidates, regardless of whatever crazy stunt Trump pulls. I’m urging you to stay firm and make your voice heard.”

You can also draw on these paragraphs from Barack Obama’s speech at the August 2020 Democratic National Convention:

“Well, here’s the point: this president and those in power — those who benefit from keeping things the way they are — they are counting on your cynicism. They know they can’t win you over with their policies. So they’re hoping to make it as hard as possible for you to vote, and to convince you that your vote doesn’t matter. That’s how they win. That’s how they get to keep making decisions that affect your life, and the lives of the people you love. That’s how the economy will keep getting skewed to the wealthy and well-connected, how our health systems will let more people fall through the cracks. That’s how a democracy withers, until it’s no democracy at all.

We can’t let that happen. Do not let them take away your power. Don’t let them take away your democracy. Make a plan right now for how you’re going to get involved and vote. Do it as early as you can and tell your family and friends how they can vote too. Do what Americans have done for over two centuries when faced with even tougher times than this — all those quiet heroes who found the courage to keep marching, keep pushing in the face of hardship and injustice.”

The New York Times provided a full transcript of the Obama speech, with commentary:

If they say they don’t know how to vote, or it’s been so long since they voted, or they’re scared off by the whole idea of voting, say something like:

“That’s why I got in touch. I’m willing to do some work for you, whatever you need, so you can cast a ballot successfully in 2020. I’ll look up stuff, I’ll make calls, I’ll send emails, I’ll get you the answers you need so you can vote for Biden and other Democrats safely in the election–whatever you need, I’ll do it, or I’ll do as much of it as I reasonably can.”

<Don’t pause here. Roll straight into:>

“Let me start by asking if you’re registered to vote. Are you registered to vote?”

If they say “No” or “I don’t know”, pull up the I Will Vote website, and click on the “Check if I’m Registered to Vote” button.

The I Will Vote link should lead to the relevant web page for the official who oversees elections in that person’s state (it’s either the Secretary of State or the Secretary of the Commonwealth), and probably leads directly to the page that lets them check if they’re registered to vote.

If the person is registered, have them take a screenshot of the page and save it, in case they need it as evidence. Then scroll down to the section below on choosing how to vote.

If the person is not registered, help them register.

It is OK for you to type their information into the relevant forms on their state or territory’s website. (If they are deployed with the military or living outside the country for other reasons, scroll to the bottom of I Will Vote‘s Register to Vote page and select that option. If you hit a snag, call the I Will Vote hotline: 833.336.8683.)

You can also offer to send them the relevant link from I Will Vote and talk them through the process of registering online.

Once they have completed an online registration, have them take a screenshot and save it, in case they need it as evidence.

If they insist on printing out and mailing their registration, talk them through that. <This assumes they have their own printer, and assumes the printer has sufficient toner. If neither is true, steer them to doing things online instead.>

If they haven’t got stamps or an envelope, offer to give them those things or offer to reimburse them, if you are able.

Have them take a photograph of the sealed envelope before mailing, in case they need it later as evidence.

Encourage them to mail the forms right away.

Most deadlines to register to vote fall in October.

If you plug the person’s state or territory into the OTYCD search engine, the first article to come up should be the one that gives the relevant deadline.

Click the link, scroll down, and the deadline should be there in big shouty bold type. The person has to complete their registration to vote on or before that date.

Make a note on your tracking sheet to follow up with them after three business days to confirm that their registration attempt went through.

If three more days pass without the voter registration reaching completion, or you hit some other weird snag, call the I Will Vote hotline for help: 833.336.8683.

Once you’ve squared away registering them to vote, you should move on to the question of how they prefer to vote.

Before you ask them this question, look up the person’s home state or territory in the FiveThirtyEight guide to see what their options are. For example, many but not all offer some form of early voting. You should know if that’s possible before you suggest it.

You should see if the state or territory’s entry on the FiveThirtyEight guide includes a What We’re Watching section, in case something’s lurking there that the prospective voter should know about.

Say something like: “How would you like to cast your ballot? Do you want to vote at the polls in person on November 3, 2020, or do you want to vote early, or by absentee ballot?”

FWIW, we at OTYCD favor requesting an absentee ballot, filling it out at home, and hand-delivering it to the relevant government office, be it a county elections board, City Hall, etc. Hand-delivering sidesteps the possible delays that mailing the ballot might pose. (We admit that this voting option, as we describe it here, is not available universally in the United States.)

If they want to vote early, have them go to the I Will Vote page and click the Vote In Person option. It includes information on early voting.

If they want to vote by absentee ballot, two steps are required: requesting the ballot, and submitting the ballot.

The FiveThirtyEight guide lists the relevant details for each state and territory, including:

Deadlines for applying for an absentee ballot;

Whether or not the voter needs to include a photocopy of a photo I.D. with the absentee ballot;

Whether or not the voter needs at least one witness when signing the absentee ballot;

If the voter must cite an excuse for voting absentee, and if COVID-19 counts as an acceptable excuse;

Whether or not the voter’s state or territory is among those automatically mailing ballots to everyone who’s registered;

Deadlines for submitting an absentee ballot.

Alternately, you can assist the person in filling out the absentee ballot option on I Will Vote by sending them the link and talking them through the process, if need be.

IMPORTANT: When requesting an absentee ballot, you CANNOT fill in the information on their behalf. They must enter the data themselves. (Some states and territories make exceptions that allow immediate family members to do this for other immediate family members. Again, if you hit a snag, call the I Will Vote hotline: 833.336.8683.)

Once they receive their absentee ballot, offer to talk them through filling it out and returning it.

Here’s a checklist for completing and preparing a ballot:

Has the person read and understood the instructions that came with the ballot? (If they have any questions about the instructions, call the I Will Vote hotline: 833.336.8683.)

Do the ballot instructions specify the color of ink that must be used? (If they do, it’s either blue or black.) Does the person have at least two fresh pens filled with the same traditional color of ink? (In other words, do they have two new blue pens, OR two new black pens?) If not, can you send them pens or help them purchase acceptable pens?

Has the person filled in or otherwise addressed every section or area of the ballot that should be marked? <Is the Joe Biden bubble correctly marked? Are the bubbles for other down-ballot Democratic candidates marked?>

Do they need to include a photocopy of a photo ID with their ballot? <If they do, and they haven’t yet photocopied their photo ID, stop the process and help them get this document. You might need to go to a Staples or a public library and pay to have a photocopy made. DO NOT seal the ballot until the photocopy is tucked into the envelope.>

Do they need a witness for their signature? <If they do, and you can serve as a witness, please make the offer and agree on a time for you to swing by. If you can’t step in, help the person brainstorm a list of potential witnesses. DO NOT seal the ballot until the witness has seen the person sign it in all areas where it needs to be signed.>

Does the outer envelope require a signature? <Figure this out before the witness shows up, so they don’t leave before the job is done!>

Have they signed every area of the ballot that demands a signature? <Again, make sure to identify all places that call for signatures and get them done in the same sitting.>

Do they need to apply postage to their ballot? If so, how much postage? (A first-class stamp, which costs 55 cents, should suffice. If they don’t have stamps, offer to give them one or reimburse them for it.)

IMPORTANT: It’s crucial that the person signs the ballot everywhere that a signature is required. (Below, we repeat the detailed checklist for what to do before sealing the ballot envelope.) A missed signature can invalidate a ballot.

IMPORTANT: The United States Postal Service (USPS) recently changed its policies to forbid mail carriers from witnessing ballot signatures. The person’s short list of potential ballot witnesses should not include whomever delivers their mail.

…AND A SPECIALTY TOOL, JUST FOR THIS SECTION: If the person needs a notary to serve as a witness, use the National Notary Association search engine:

https://www.nationalnotary.org/resources-for/public/find-a-notary

COVID-19 restrictions makes signature-witnessing a tad more difficult than in a normal election year.

If the witness can see the person sign the ballot, everything’s good.

That means it’s OK for the witness to watch the voter through a window or a sliding glass door as they sign their ballot.

Submitting the ballot will be the more fraught action of the two.

If the person wants to mail it back (Snopes states that postage stamps are not generally required on ballots, but certain counties do demand some measure of postage. If there’s any question, go ahead and put a 55-cent stamp on the envelope, or call the I Will Vote hotline for advice: 833.336.8683), it must enter the mail stream early enough for it to arrive on time.

The meaning of “early enough” will vary for each state and territory, but earlier is better, and earliest is best. Those who intend to mail their ballots should complete and return them as soon as possible (ASAP).

Some states and territories offer dedicated drop boxes for ballots.

Hand-carrying the ballot to the relevant city or town office works, too.

If the person needs a ride to the drop box or their relevant municipal office and you’re able to drive them there, make the offer.

If they ask you to hand-deliver their ballot to a drop box or their relevant municipal office, things get hairier. Depending on where the person lives, it may be illegal for you to do this on their behalf.

In many places, it’s also OK for a voter to deliver their completed ballot to their local polling location on Election Day.

If you have any doubts about whether you’re allowed to deliver a ballot on behalf of someone else, call the I Will Vote hotline and ask (833.336.8683).

Neither the FiveThirtyEight guide or the I Will Vote site appears to give an option for finding drop boxes or finding out where, exactly, to hand-deliver a ballot.

You can call the I Will Vote hotline for help (833.336.8683), or you can try hunting down the information to spare your friend or family member the trouble.

You can try the Find My State or Local Election Office search engine at usa.gov:

https://www.usa.gov/election-office

If you know the city and state or town and state where they live, you could search for the city or town’s official government web site.

Look for an Election Department, a Board of Elections, an Elections Commission, a Registrar of Voters, an Elections Administrator or supervisor. Email or call the number listed for the relevant entity, and ask where and when to hand-deliver a ballot.

Remind the person to check their ballot carefully before sealing it inside its envelope.

Again, here’s the checklist:

Has the person read and understood the instructions that came with the ballot? (If they have any questions about the instructions, call the I Will Vote hotline: 833.336.8683.)

Do the ballot instructions specify the color of ink that must be used? (If they do, it’s either blue or black.) Does the person have at least two fresh pens filled with the same traditional color of ink? (In other words, do they have two new blue pens, OR two new black pens?) If not, can you send them pens or help them purchase acceptable pens?

Has the person filled in or otherwise addressed every section or area of the ballot that must be marked?

Do they need to include a photocopy of a photo ID with their ballot? <If they do, and they haven’t yet photocopied their photo ID, stop the process and help them get this document. You might need to go to a Staples or a public library and pay to have a photocopy made. DO NOT seal the ballot until the photocopy is tucked into the envelope.>

Do they need a witness for their signature? <If they do, and you can serve as a witness, please make the offer and hammer out a time to swing by. If you can’t, help the person brainstorm a list of potential witnesses. DO NOT seal the ballot until the witness can see the person sign it.>

Does the outer envelope require a signature? <Figure this out before the witness shows up, so they don’t leave before the job is done!>

Have they signed every area of the ballot that demands a signature?

Do they need to apply postage to their ballot? If so, how much postage? (A first-class stamp, which costs 55 cents, should suffice. If they don’t have stamps and need them, offer to give them the stamp or reimburse them for it.)

If you or they hit some weird snag, call the I Will Vote hotline for help: 833.336.8683. You might need to break off the conversation with your friend or family member and get back to them later with the answer.

If the person wants to vote at the polls, first check the In-Person Voting section of the FiveThirtyEight voter guide and see if their home state or territory has made changes to the number of polling stations offered. It’s possible that the one that they know best no longer exists, and they need to go to a different place entirely.

The website for I Will Vote has a Vote In Person section, but it won’t give instant answers. Instead, the would-be voter must plug in some identifying information themselves and choose whether they want the response by email, text, or a phone call.

What’s key here is for you to help them locate their polling place and figure out how and when they will go there.

Once again, I Will Vote has a button for that: the Confirm Where I’ll Vote button. If you plug the person’s street address into the site’s search engine, it will pop up a map marked with the polling site.

Some websites for the Secretary of State or Secretary of the Commonwealth allow voters to search for their polling places online.

If that’s not an option, try the Find My State or Local Election Office search engine at usa.gov:

https://www.usa.gov/election-office

You could also try searching for the city or town’s official government web site.

Look for an Election Department, a Board of Elections, an Elections Commission, a Registrar of Voters, an Elections Administrator or supervisor. Email or call the number listed for the relevant entity, and ask where and when to hand-deliver a ballot.

If you get stuck, call the I Will Vote hotline for help (833.336.8683).

Once you know the location of the person’s polling place and the hours in which it will be open, ask:

When–what time of day–will you go to the polls?

How will you travel to and from the polls?

Get them to think out their plan in at least that much detail.

If they need a ride to the polls, and you have transportation and you live close enough, offer to take them there and back. (We at OTYCD assume you’ll vote early, absentee, etc., to free yourself to help others vote on November 3, 2020.)

If you don’t live close enough to chauffeur them, offer to pay for a taxi, Lyft, Uber, bus, or subway ticket. (Follow through on the offer late on November 2 or Election Day to lessen the chance that the funds get spent on something else.)

If they need a mask, hand sanitizer, or new pens, offer to supply them. Drop them off if you live close enough. Have them delivered otherwise.

If they need child care, elder care, or some other form of coverage so they can go to the polls, and you can step in, offer that help.

If they work with you, offer to cover a shift so they can vote.

If they work for you, give them paid time off (PTO) to vote.

If they realize they probably won’t be able to get time off work to vote, scroll up and steer them to voting by another means.

Congratulations! You’ve walked the person through the process of voting for Biden and other Democratic candidates.

Is this a lot of work? Yes! But you can’t move someone to the late October column until you’ve helped them hammer out a specific, detailed plan to vote for Biden and down-ballot Democratic candidates.

The late October column bears that name because it’s not technically the “completed” column.

You’ll need to follow up with everyone who hammered out a plan to vote and make sure they actually did, or will, vote.

Starting on Sunday, October 25, 2020, check in with everyone on your list who voted any other way except in-person.

Ask how things are going. Ask if they need help with anything.

If they haven’t received some sort of confirmation that their ballots were received, help them follow up with the relevant authorities to see what happened.

If their ballot has gone missing, help them brainstorm a Plan B for voting.

Stand ready to call the I Will Vote hotline (833.336.8683).

Follow up with those who chose to vote in person on November 2, 2020 and make sure they have everything they need to cast a ballot. Follow up with them again on Election Day.

Again, stand ready to call the I Will Vote hotline (833.336.8683).

…and if you thought of something we missed, or notice something that now needs updating, email us at

onethingyoucando   at    gmail   dot   com

…and we’ll get on it.

Thanks for reading! We’re all going to have a little lie-down now.

Stay strong. Stay safe. And vote!

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

I Will Vote and its hotline are provided by the Democratic National Committee. The hotline is staffed by volunteers.

There’s no direct way to earmark funds for the I Will Vote service, but you can put I Will Vote in the memo line of a personal check.

Checks should be made out to the Democratic National Committee and mailed to:

Democratic National Committee

PO Box 96585

Washington DC 20077-7242

The DNC also accepts donations via ActBlue:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/web-donate

FiveThirtyEight is the brainchild of Nate Silver.

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Support National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Support National Voter Registration Day, which takes place this year on Tuesday, September 22, 2020.

If you’re not registered, you can’t vote. And you know from using the OTYCD guide to talking to friends and family about voting Trump out in 2020 that voter registration deadlines start hitting in early October.

National Voter Registration Day has been a thing since 2012. Since then, nearly three million Americans have registered to vote thanks to NVRD efforts, with more than one million of those registering between 2018 and 2019.

The NVRD movement takes on extra importance in 2020. One of the reasons Trump won was due to who didn’t vote.

Two out of five people who were eligible to vote in 2016–40 percent!–failed to cast a ballot.

If a fraction of those nonvoters make their voices heard in 2020, Joe Biden could win in a landslide.

Please check out the information below about National Voter Registration Day. If you’re already registered, or there aren’t any events in your area, please spread the word on social media in the days leading up to September 22.

See the website for National Voter Registration Day:

See the United States Election Assistance Commission page on National Voter Registration Day:

https://www.eac.gov/national-voter-registration-day-a-nationwide-partnership-for-participation

Like National Voter Registration Day on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/NatlVoterRegDay/

Follow National Voter Registration Day on Twitter:

@NatlVoterRegDay

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

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Be a Poll Worker on Election Day

*Be a poll worker on Election Day.

COVID-19 has played havoc with our lives. It’s also threatening to wreak havoc on the act of voting in person.

Not just in the obvious way, either. Yes, the threat of getting sick with a nasty airborne disease is forcing many to seek alternatives to voting at the polls. It’s also forcing veteran poll-workers to bow out of this go-round.

Most poll workers are above the age of 60. The older you are, the more vulnerable you are to catching COVID-19. Many who happily serve their communities in this way have had to say no in 2020, for their own safety.

The need for replacement volunteers is real and pressing.

If you are able to volunteer to work the polls in November, please do.

You’ll need to undergo training, and you should receive appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). Though poll workers are described as volunteers, many receive payment.

If you’re too young to vote, you might still be old enough to serve as a poll worker. In some areas, they can be as young as sixteen.

If you work at Target, Old Navy, Microsoft, or other companies that belong to the Civic Alliance, your employer will support you in poll-working with paid time off and similar benefits.

(See this September 10, 2020 Vox article, which names several companies that have pledged to help poll worker recruitment efforts: https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2020/9/10/21428934/companies-pay-employees-poll-workers-2020)

The United States Election Assistance Commission’s page for Poll Worker Recruitment Day contains a link that will help you find poll worker opportunities in your home state:

https://www.eac.gov/help-america-vote

You can also follow the @BeAPollWorker handle on Twitter.

The Power to the Polls organization hopes to recruit 250,000 people to serve as election site volunteers. See its website:

https://www.powerthepolls.org/?source=WhenWeAllVote

See the Power to the Polls About Us page:

https://www.powerthepolls.org/about

See the Power to the Polls FAQ about poll-working:

https://www.powerthepolls.org/faq

*A note: We at OTYCD don’t generally ask you to do something we wouldn’t do ourselves. Sarah Jane, the lead writer and editor for OTYCD, can’t volunteer to work the polls in 2020. So, this post represents an exception to the rule. If you can’t work the polls, please spread the word to people who can.

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

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Help Postcards to Swing States (Formerly Postcards to Wisconsin and Michigan) (Updated With Mailing Deadlines on September 2, 2020)

Help Postcards to Swing States reach voters in ten critical states and remind them to cast a ballot this fall. (We at OTYCD updated this post on September 2, 2020. Scroll down to see the new information.)

 

This story comes with backstory. The folks behind Postcards to Swing States started with Postcards to Wisconsin, an effort to Get Out the Vote (GOTV) in the April 2020 Wisconsin Democratic primary.

 

That wasn’t the end of it. Their initial plans for phase two were to target Wisconsin and Michigan Democratic voters with two million GOTV postcards, nudging them to come out in the fall for the November 3, 2020 election.

 

Well, the organizers’ ambitions expanded.

 

Postcards to Swing States aims to send 13 million GOTV postcards to:

 

Arizona

Florida

Iowa

Kansas

Michigan

North Carolina

Pennsylvania

…as well as Wisconsin.

 

The campaign actually targets ten states; two of them, Montana and Maine, have since been completed by volunteers.

 

Postcards to Swing States will provide you with pre-printed postcards. You provide the stamps and the labor. You’re also given a choice of one or two scripts to hand-write.

 

Postcards should be mailed around mid-October, but each order will contain specific dates for mailing.

 

UPDATE September 2, 2020. The organizers have released the mailing deadlines for the GOTV postcards.

 

Check the instructions that came with your delivery to confirm which wave you’re in.

 

Please note: The dates for the waves are NOT in chronological order.

 

Wave One: Saturday, October 24, 2020

 

Wave Two: Wednesday, October 21, 2020

 

Wave Three: Monday, October 26, 2020

 

Wave Unknown: Wednesday, October 21, 2020

 

 

The organizers also answered three pressing questions, which we at OTYCD have cut and pasted here:

 

Will we change our mailing dates?

We’re closely monitoring the USPS delays. We’ll reevaluate our mailing dates in mid-September, which is still over a month before the first mailing date is scheduled. Our current mailing dates already anticipate some delay in mail delivery. If we change them we’ll let you know.

Why aren’t we mailing sooner?  

Our postcards will increase turnout the most if they arrive just a few days before the election. The voters we’re targeting are likely to vote on election day or not at all, so if our postcards arrive earlier, they will largely be forgotten by the time it matters. Some voters will have mail-in ballots, and our postcards will be a timely reminder to mail them in. But our postcards aren’t designed to prompt voters to request absentee ballots. Postcards aren’t very good tools for that type of valuable effort in the first place. Given the information on our postcards and the target voters, they’d be nearly useless if mailed early in hopes of getting voters to request mail-in ballots.

 

What about the USPS Delays?  

The vast majority of first class mail is still arriving on time, and less than 2% is taking longer than 5 days. The changes at the USPS are definitely problematic, but the Postal Service normally delivers 96% of first class mail in 1-3 days, with the rest arriving within 1-2 extra days. State laws that allow voters to request mail-in ballots just a few days before the election or require mail-in ballots to be received by election day require USPS to operate with extreme precision, so slight delays can disenfranchise tens of thousands of voters. But our mailing dates are between 8-13 days before the election – well within the timeframe recommended to ensure delivery. Finally, the USPS handles over 400 million pieces of mail every day, and first class mail volumes have been down every single year for a decade. In fact, the decrease in first class letters/cards from last year alone exceeds the number of postcards we’re mailing on any given day. Our 15 million postcards will in no way contribute to any delays for ballots. USPS has plenty of capacity to process first class mail. Huge increases in package volume, mail carrier absences due to COVID-19 and procedural changes by DeJoy are the causes of mail delay, not capacity.

 

<Original text follows.>

 

The smallest order you can request is for 200 postcards.

 

As of July 2020, more than 25,000 volunteers have signed up to help.

 

If you can’t join the postcard army, you can finance it instead with a donation.

 

 

See the Postcards to Swing States website:

https://postcardstoswingstates.com

 

 

See the Postcards to Swing States FAQ, which includes the language of the A and B scripts:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xYifkfYLSNnsq9kyWKOobAhBi8-lsziLSE6oM29aUPc/edit

 

 

Donate to Postcards to Swing States:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/postcardswimi

 

 

Like Postcards to Swing States on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/postcards2swingstates

 

 

Follow Postcards to Swing States on Twitter:

@Postcards2WI

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

Uncategorized

Join Indivisible’s Payback Project and Defeat GOP Senators in November 2020–Now Expanded to Target 12 Incumbents

This OTYCD post originally ran in February 2020. We’ll repost it at least once a month until it’s obsolete. This September 2020 update reflects the fact that Indivisible expanded the Payback Project’s scope to cover twelve GOP senators.

Sign on to Indivisible’s Payback Project and help defeat GOP Senators who have failed us, over and over again, and who are up for re-election in November 2020.

The current GOP have shown us that they are not interested in democracy unless it means they control everything, all the time, and they always get what they want, no matter how ruinous it is and no matter how many citizens oppose it.

They also aren’t interested in democracy unless it means that they can stop Democrats from governing if voters give that party control, and unless it means that the Democrats get nothing they want, ever, no matter how useful and necessary it is, and no matter how many citizens support it.

When Republicans get control of a branch of the government, by however slim the margin, they behave as if we have a parliamentary system–they act as if they own every branch of government and they act as if the Democratic party and the citizens who cast ballots for them doesn’t exist.

The January 31, 2020 vote to prevent witnesses from testifying in the impeachment trial of President Trump is only the latest betrayal by the GOP. It was an expected one, for sure, and we were braced for it, but still. The craven cowardice and the utter and complete failure to do the tough but vital job that the Founders intended was galling.

Two big reasons explain why the GOP folded like cheap laundry: They’re afraid of Trump, and they’re afraid to lose their jobs, and the status that comes with them.

We need to show them that they’re scared of the wrong people.

They should be scared of the voters instead. And because they failed to do their jobs when we most needed them to stand firm and do them, we will take them away.

Indivisible has launched a campaign to achieve that goal. Its Payback Project targets nine (since expanded to twelve) GOP Senators of the 22 who are up for re-election in November 2020.

Under the banner of “Get Angry. Then, Get Even,” it gives voters many options for pushing back against the nine and aiding their defeat.

The twelve targeted GOP Senators are:

Dan Sullivan, Alaska

Martha McSally, Arizona

Cory Gardner, Colorado

David Perdue, Georgia

Kelly Loeffler, Georgia

Joni Ernst, Iowa

Mitch McConnell, Kentucky (also Senate Majority Leader)

Susan Collins, Maine

Steve Daines, Montana

Thom Tillis, North Carolina

Lindsey Graham, South Carolina

John Cornyn, Texas

Indivisible has a “four-pronged plan” to show these Senators the errors of their ways:

Build awareness and accountability by placing newspaper ads and using other means to alert constituents in their home states to their shitty votes.

Boost local political power through growing Indivisible groups already on the ground and providing them support.

Organize to win, and

Get out the vote (GOTV).

See the main site for Indivisible’s Payback Project.

See the twelve Senatorial targets of the Payback Project.

See the Payback Project plan.

See what the Payback Project is asking members to weigh in on currently.

Donate to the Payback Project.

Like the Payback Project by liking the Indivisible Guide page on Facebook.

Follow the Payback Project by following Indivisible on Twitter.

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

Uncategorized

Choose Your Core Four PLUS a Voting Rights Org to Support in 2020

This post originally ran on OTYCD in December 2019. We’re rerunning it at least once a month leading up to the 2020 fall election because Dangit, It’s Important!

 

Choose your Core Four*–two Democratic senators and two Democratic house reps, an incumbent and a challenger for each chamber–to support to in 2020. PLUS, choose a voting rights organization to support as well. 

 

From late 2016 until now, we’ve been going to bat for Democratic candidates in individual special elections. Usually, we’ve supported one Democrat at a time.

 

2018 was a big test of our collective resolve. We did well. The work we put in helped shift control of the House of Representatives to the Democrats. Had we failed, Trump would be steaming ahead unchecked. But we didn’t, and he’s now only the third impeached president in American history. (As of this writing, he is awaiting trial in the Senate.)

 

Literally hundreds of races–35 senators (33 plus two special elections), and all 435 House reps–are taking place, and all of them will end on November 3, 2020.

 

We need to fight to keep control of the House of Representatives (likely, but hey, never treat anything as a certainty), and we have a shot at wresting control of the Senate away from Mitch McConnell and the GOP (tough, but doable).

 

We at OTYCD suggest that you prepare for what’s coming by choosing your “Core Four”–four Democratic candidates who will receive the bulk of your efforts–PLUS an organization that actively supports and defends the right to vote.

 

Your Core Four Plus Should Include:

 

Two Democrats for the House of Representatives.

Two Democrats for the Senate.

One incumbent and one challenger for each chamber of Congress.

AND an organization such as Stacey Abrams’s Fair Fight, Andrew Gillum’s Forward Florida Action, and Flip the Texas House, which Beto O’Rourke is throwing in with.

 

 

How to Pick Your Core Four

 

There’s no right way or wrong way to choose your Core Four, but we suggest starting in your own backyard, with the members of Congress who represent your state.

 

If you don’t know who your members of Congress are, go to this website and plug your street address into the search engine:

whoaremyrepresentatives.org

 

…then research the three names–one House rep and two Senators–that come up.

 

Do you have a good Democratic House Rep? Then embrace him or her.

 

Do you have a lousy House Rep, or is your district’s seat being vacated? Look up the Democratic challengers for the seat and choose one. Look to Ballotpedia.org for help with finding challengers in your federal district.

 

One-third of all senators will be up for re-election in 2020, and there will be two special elections also: One in Arizona, for the seat to which Martha McSally was appointed following the death of John McCain; and one in Georgia, to fill the seat vacated by Johnny Isakson.

 

It’s possible that at least one of your senators (and possibly both) is due to run (but scroll down for a list of states where neither senator has to run).

 

Is one or both of your senators up for re-election? Are they good Dems? If so, embrace them and get behind them.

 

Is your senator who’s running for re-election a lousy senator? Learn about the Democratic challengers for the seat, and be ready to help a challenger however you can. As always, Ballotpedia.org is your friend here.

 

Your help can take the form of time, money, word of mouth, or some combination of the three. But you need to choose your four Democrats, and you need to think seriously about how you will juggle the needs of all four, plus the voting rights organization.

 

You’ll need to sit down and plot this out as you might plot a semester’s course schedule in college. The demands of the four candidates will overlap and they’ll all come due at the same time–in the weeks and days leading up to November 3, 2020. You’ll also have to factor in appointments and life events of your own, too, of course.

 

 

Choosing your Core Four: A Test Case

 

Let’s say you live in California.

 

Your House Rep is up for re-election because they all are. Is yours a good Democrat? Then you have your House incumbent settled.

 

If your House Rep is not a good Democrat, or is a lousy Republican, or is retiring, check Ballotpedia and see who’s challenging for the seat.

 

Let’s assume for the sake of this example that your House Rep is a good Dem. There’s one of your four settled.

 

Now look for a challenger who’s aiming to take a terrible House Republican out.

 

How about Tedra Cobb? She hopes to push freshman House Rep Elise Stefanik out of New York’s 21st Congressional District. Stefanik, you will recall, made a fool of herself by going Full Metal Trumpista during the House of Representatives impeachment inquiry at the tail of 2019. Decent choice. Allocate time and money to Cobb. There. You’ve chosen your two House Dems, one incumbent and one challenger.

 

 

Now turn to the senators. It so happens that neither of the incumbent senators from California are up for re-election in 2020. You are free to devote your resources elsewhere.

 

Doug Jones of Alabama is up in 2020, and he’s regarded as the most vulnerable sitting Democratic Senator. How about you get behind him?

 

Now look for a candidate who hopes to push out a terrible sitting Republican Senator. You’re spoiled for choice here, truly. Maybe consider Jaime Harrison, who’s running against Lindsay Graham in South Carolina.

 

And there’s your Core Four: Your good incumbent Democratic House Rep, Tedra Cobb in New York state, Doug Jones in Alabama, and Jaime Harrison in South Carolina.

 

Of course, you can choose more than four Congressional candidates to back. But the idea here is to help you focus.

 

If you can take on more than four candidates, do it. But four is just enough, in our opinion–more than one, but still a number small enough to count on one hand.

 

Because it’s 2020, and because fighting dirty is kind of the Republican brand now, we’re asking you to pick a Core Four Plus, with the plus being an organization that fights for voting rights. We named three above, but they’re not the only three that are out there. We will devote a separate, periodically updated post that lists voting rights orgs, and we’ll link it here in a few places once it’s ready.

 

You can certainly look to orgs such as Swing Left, Sister District, Emily’s List, and the like to help you make your choices. The main thing is nowrightnow is the time to think seriously about those choices.

 

 

Also, if you live in one of the states listed below, neither of your Senators is up for re-election, and you can devote your resources to incumbents and candidates in other states:

 

California

Connecticut

New York state

Florida

Indiana

Maryland

Missouri

North Dakota

Nevada

Ohio

Pennsylvania

Washington state

Wisconsin

Utah

Vermont

 

* Our ‘Core Four’ only covers federal Congress races. You might have other important races happening at the state and local level–for governor, attorney general, mayor, what have you. Please don’t neglect those races.

 

 

 

See the website for Ballotpedia.org:

https://ballotpedia.org/Main_Page

 

Visit the website of Swing Left, which focuses on taking back the House of Representatives:

https://swingleft.org

 

Visit the website of Sister District, which connects you with districts and regions near you with races that could use your support:

Home

 

Visit the website of Emily’s List, which helps elect pro-choice Democratic women to office:

https://www.emilyslist.org

 

See OTYCD‘s past posts on picking House Reps and Senators to support in 2018, and on starting a 2018 fund:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/09/start-scouting-for-senators-who-you-can-donate-time-and-money-to-in-2018/

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/09/think-about-which-house-reps-to-support-or-oppose-in-2018/

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/09/start-a-2018-fund/

Uncategorized

See the Full List of Sitting Senators Who Are Up for Re-election in 2020 (Updated and Expanded in August 2020)

See the full list of sitting senators who are up for re-election in 2020, updated and expanded as of August 2020.

 

2018 was a tough year for Democratic sitting Senators. Many more Democrats than Republicans were up for re-election. While we lost two, Bill Nelson of Florida and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, we managed to pick up two seats–Jacky Rosen defeated Dean Heller in Nevada, and Kyrsten Sinema won the open seat in Arizona.

 

Things could have been a lot worse, and would have been a lot worse in the absence of voters highly motivated by the unusually terrible performance of the Trump administration. If a more normal and routine Republican had been president in 2018, the Democrats might have suffered more losses.

 

The 2020 story is different. Many more Republicans are defending than are Democrats.

 

This is an expanded version of a basic post first published in April 2019. It flags which Republican Senators have chosen not to run again, and gives additional details on those open seats. It also identifies Republican Senators who are viewed as vulnerable to defeat.

 

We at OTYCD have gathered this information so you can choose candidates for your Core Four Plus for 2020. If you are able to donate to Democratic Senate incumbents or Democratic challengers to incumbent Republican Senators, please do.

 

In August 2020, we updated this story to reflect results of Democratic primaries and give campaign sites for the chosen challengers.

 

We bolded the word “Toss-up” for Senate races featuring a Republican incumbent that earned that designation from the Cook Political Report. We also bolded the phrase “Lean Democratic” for the Arizona race, where a Republican is the incumbent.

 

We also added links to campaign websites for incumbent Democratic Senators.

 

 

 

The following Democrats are up for re-election in 2020:

 

 

Cory Booker of New Jersey (https://corybooker.com)

The Cook Political Report rates his seat as Solid Democratic.

 

 

Christopher Coons of Delaware (https://chriscoons.com)

The Cook Political Report rates his seat as Solid Democratic.

 

 

Richard “Dick” Durbin of Illinois (https://www.durbinforsenate.com)

The Cook Political Report rates his seat as Solid Democratic.

 

 

*Doug Jones of Alabama (https://dougjones.com/splash)

The Cook Political Report rates his seat as Lean Democratic.

 

 

Ed Markey of Massachusetts (https://www.edmarkey.com)

(Markey faces a primary on September 1, 2020. We published a pretty salty post about it.)

The Cook Political Report rates his seat as Solid Democratic.

 

 

Jeff Merkley of Oregon (https://www.jeffmerkley.com)

The Cook Political Report rates his seat as Solid Democratic.

 

 

*Gary Peters of Michigan (https://petersformichigan.com)

The Cook Political Report rates his seat as Lean Democratic.

 

 

Jack Reed of Rhode Island (https://www.jackreed.com)

The Cook Political Report rates his seat as Solid Democratic.

 

 

Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire (https://jeanneshaheen.org)

The Cook Political Report rates her seat as Solid Democratic.

 

 

Tina Smith of Minnesota (https://tinaforminnesota.com)

The Cook Political Report rates her seat as Solid Democratic.

 

 

Tom Udall of New Mexico (https://www.tomudall.com)

The Cook Political Report rates his seat as Solid Democratic.

 

 

Mark Warner of Virginia (https://markwarnerva.com)

The Cook Political Report rates his seat as Solid Democratic.

 

 

*These Democrats are regarded as the most vulnerable who are up for re-election in 2020. Jones is regarded as the most vulnerable of all. Please give them special consideration when choosing your Core Four Plus for 2020.

 

 

 

The following Republicans are up for re-election in 2020 (especially vulnerable incumbents are marked with **):

 

 

Lamar Alexander of Tennessee. Alexander announced in December 2018 that he would not run again.

 

The August 6, 2020 primary narrowed the contest to Democrat Marquita Bradshaw and Republican Bill Hagerty.

 

The Cook Political Report regards the seat as Solid Republican.

 

See Marquita Bradshaw’s campaign site:

https://www.marquitabradshaw.com

 

 

 

Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia. Her Democratic challenger is Paula Jean Swearengin.

 

See Swearengin’s campaign website: https://paulajean.com

 

The Cook Political Report regards the seat as Solid Republican.

 

 

 

Bill Cassidy of Louisiana. This election is one to watch because its primary takes place on November 3, 2020, and the actual election happens on December 5, 2020.

 

Save some energy to throw at the Democratic challenger for Cassidy’s seat, once we know who that person is.

 

As of August 2020, Ballotpedia lists five Democratic candidates: Derrick Edwards, David Drew Knight, Adrian Perkins, Antoine Pierce, and Peter Wenstrup.

 

On August 20, 2020, news broke that Cassidy had contracted COVID-19 and was displaying symptoms. His office announced he would quarantine in his home state for two weeks.

 

The Cook Political Report regards the seat as Solid Republican.

 

 

 

 

**Susan Collins of Maine. After much delay, Collins finally announced in December 2019 that she would in fact run again for her Senate seat. After she cast a critical vote that placed Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court of the United States, Ady Barkan’s Be a Hero organization and other Maine activists launched a Crowdpac campaign to raise money for her then as-yet-undeclared Democratic challenger. As of June 2019, they had collected $4 million.

 

Sara Gideon won the Democratic primary and the right to receive the Be a Hero money. According to the Washington Post, Gideon had raised $23 million independently before her victory.

 

See Sara Gideon’s campaign site: https://saragideon.com

 

The Cook Political Report regards Collins’s seat as a Toss-up.

 

 

 

John Cornyn of Texas. His Democratic opponent is M.J. Hegar.

 

See M.J. Hegar’s campaign site: https://mjfortexas.com

 

The Cook Political Report rates the seat as Likely Republican.

 

 

 

Tom Cotton of Arkansas. He doesn’t have a Democratic challenger, unfortunately.

 

If you live in Arkansas and support Democrats, please join your state and local party organizations and help foster a bench of candidates who can run against this guy in the future.

 

The Cook Political Report deems the seat as Solid Republican.

 

 

 

 

Steve Daines of Montana. The current Democratic governor of Montana, Steve Bullock, chose to run against Daines for his Senate seat. (Bullock’s term ends in January 2021.)

 

See Steve Bullock’s campaign site: https://stevebullock.com

 

The Cook Political Report rates the seat as a Toss-up.

 

 

 

 

Michael Enzi of Wyoming. In May of 2019, Enzi announced he would not run again in 2020.

 

Merav Ben-David emerged victorious from the Democratic primary.

 

See her campaign site: https://www.bendavid2020.com

 

The Cook Political Report rates Enzi’s seat as Solid Republican.

 

 

 

 

**Joni Ernst of Iowa. She’s running for a second term, but is widely regarded as a vulnerable Republican incumbent.

 

Theresa Greenfield won the June 2, 2020 Democratic primary.

 

See Greenfield’s campaign site: https://greenfieldforiowa.com

 

The Cook Political Report had regarded Ernst’s seat as Likely Republican, but has since called it a Toss-up.

 

 

 

 

**Cory Gardner of Colorado. Like Ernst, he’s running for a second term.

 

Newly-former Governor (he was term-limited out) and newly-former 2020 presidential candidate John Hickenlooper won the June 30, 2020 Democratic primary.

 

See his campaign site: https://hickenlooper.com

 

The Cook Political Report rates Gardner’s seat as a Toss-up.

 

 

 

 

**Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. He’s running again, and he has a strong Democratic challenger in Jaime Harrison. A mid-December 2019 poll had Harrison with a two-point lead–within the poll’s 3.1 percent margin of error.

 

See Harrison’s campaign site: https://jaimeharrison.com

 

The Cook Political Report initially rated Graham’s Senate seat as Solid Republican, but later adjusted its status to Lean Republican.

 

 

 

Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi. Mike Espy, the Democrat who challenged Hyde-Smith in a previous Senate election, is running against her again.

 

See Espy’s campaign site: https://espyforsenate.com

 

The Cook Political Report rates the seat as Solid Republican.

 

 

 

 

James Inhofe of Oklahoma. Abby Broyles won the Democratic primary in June.

 

See her campaign site: https://www.abbybroyles.com

 

The Cook Political Report rates Inhofe’s seat as Solid Republican.

 

 

 

 

 

Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. He’s running again, he leads the GOP Senate majority; and many (including we at OTYCD) agree he’s done as much, if not more, damage to American democracy and the rule of law as has Trump.

 

Democrat Amy McGrath won the right to challenge McConnell in the fall general election.

 

See her campaign site: https://amymcgrath.com

 

The Cook Political Report rates McConnell’s seat as Likely Republican, which gives a glimmer of hope. If McConnell was truly well-regarded in his home state, the Cook rating would be the strongest rating, Solid Republican. That said–if you see a poll flying around on social media or the Internet that claims McConnell’s polling numbers in Kentucky are dismal, check the date. The one that pops up most often was taken in summer 2017, which, really, is too old to bother with now.

 

 

 

**Martha McSally of Arizona. In this special election, McSally has a fearsome challenger in the form of Democrat Mark Kelly.

 

See his campaign site: https://markkelly.com

 

The Cook Political Report rates McSally’s seat as Lean Democratic.

 

 

 

 

David Perdue of Georgia. Jon Ossoff won the right to run against him as the Democratic candidate.

 

If that name seems familiar, it should.

 

See Ossoff’s campaign site: https://electjon.com

 

The Cook Political Report rates Purdue’s seat as a Toss-up.

 

 

 

 

 

James Risch of Idaho. Paulette Jordan won the Democratic primary held on June 2, 2020.

 

See her campaign site: https://pauletteforsenate.com

 

The Cook Political Report rates Enzi’s seat as Solid Republican.

 

 

 

 

Pat Roberts of Kansas. In January 2019, Roberts announced that he would not run for a fifth term. Four Democrats and seven Republicans, including the loathsome Kris Kobach, appeared on the primary ballot on August 4, 2020.

 

Fortunately, Kobach didn’t make it. The Democratic victor was Barbara Bollier.

 

See her campaign site: https://bollierforkansas.com

 

The Cook Political Report had the Senate seat as Likely Republican, but has since reclassified it as Lean Republican.

 

 

 

 

Mike Rounds of South Dakota. The Democratic primary for this Senate race was cancelled, probably because of COVID-19, and Dan Ahlers accepted the challenge of running against Rounds.

 

See his campaign site: https://www.danahlers.com

 

The Cook Political Report rates the seat as Solid Republican.

 

 

 

 

Ben Sasse of Nebraska. Addressing this now because there might be a little confusion. Sasse has spoken out against Trump, but he IS running for re-election in 2020. Arizona Senator Jeff Flake was the one who spoke out against Trump and decided to quit the Senate.

 

Chris Janicek won the right to challenge him as a Democratic candidate.

 

See his campaign site: http://www.janicekforsenate2020.com

 

The Cook Political Report rates Sasse’s seat as Solid Republican.

 

 

 

Dan Sullivan of Alaska. No Democrats are running against Sullivan, but we recommend looking at Dr. Al Gross, who’s running as an independent.

 

See Gross’s campaign site: https://dralgrossak.com

 

The Cook Political Report rates the seat as Likely Republican.

 

 

 

**Thom Tillis of North Carolina. Cal Cunningham won the right to challenge Tillis on behalf of the Democrats.

 

See his campaign site: https://www.calfornc.com

 

The Cook Political Report rates the seat as a Toss-up.

 

 

 

See the official list of senators in Class II here:

https://www.senate.gov/senators/Class_II.htm

 

 

 

We relied on Ballotpedia for several raw facts for this update and previous updates. It merits your full support.

 

 

See the main Ballotpedia webpage:

https://ballotpedia.org/Main_Page

 

 

Read its Our History page:

https://ballotpedia.org/Our_History

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

Read its Contact and FAQ page:

https://ballotpedia.org/Ballotpedia:Overview_and_contact_information

 

 

Subscribe to Ballotpedia’s weekly newsletter, The Federal Tap:

https://ballotpedia.org/The_Federal_Tap:_New_polls_reveal_sizable_lead_in_one_U.S._Senate_race,_tightening_margins_in_another

 

 

Donate to Ballotpedia:

https://ballotpedia.org/Ballotpedia:Donate

 

 

Like the Ballotpedia page on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Ballotpedia/

 

 

Follow Ballotpedia on Twitter:

@ballotpedia

Uncategorized

Believe It, You Matter, Part XIV: Feel Your Feelings and Vote Anyway

This OTYCD post originally appeared in June 2019.

 

Believe It, You Matter, Part XIV: Feel your feelings and vote anyway.

 

Hi, I’m Sarah Jane. I write all the Believe It, You Matter entries. I’ve long since forgotten what Roman numeral I’m up to so I apologize if I’ve used 12 before.

 

Anyway. I’m here to talk about voter suppression, in part because the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) bizarrely (and irresponsibly, IMO) threw up its hands (well, five of the nine did) and essentially said it couldn’t do anything to stop gerrymandering, not even the ludicrously extreme gerrymanders drawn to explicitly corral and nullify the votes of one party.

 

This is the latest bit of news that could dispirit us. And hey, it’s OK to feel dispirited about such a thing. But please, please, do not let it stop you from voting, ever.

 

No matter what, show the fuck up and vote, and help others vote, too.

 

Republicans know, and have known, they can’t win if they can’t stop people from voting. Blatant, flagrant cheating, such as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis attempting to defang Article 4’s re-enfranchisement of more than a million felons by requiring them to pay assorted fees before they can cast a ballot, is one such move.

 

But the vote-suppressors work in subtler ways as well, ways that get less attention.

 

One of those ways is fostering despair and disgust with the whole voting process.

 

They try to make people feel that voting doesn’t matter, and it’s not worth the trouble.

 

It does, and it is.

 

As we advance into 2020, be alert to attempts to dispirit you and yours about the act of voting. It’s already happening, it’s happening in particular on social media, and not all of it is the work of bots, btw.

 

They’re doing it because it works, even if it’s kind of oblique and hard to quantify. The vote-suppressors don’t have to get everyone to stay home, or specific people to stay home. They need just enough people to stay home to make a difference.

 

You need to carry on talking to you and yours about the importance of voting, and removing obstacles to voting, both literal and figurative.

 

You need to tell people they matter, and their vote matters, and there are people out there who want them to give up and stay home. Fuck those people.

 

Now, when you talk, you should be straight with them. Acknowledge that fuckery is likely in 2020. Trump has explicitly said he would accept information foreign governments offer him about his opponents, which prompted the chairwoman of the Federal Election Commission to issue a statement saying that accepting anything of value from a foreign government is a crime. Mitch McConnell has consistently refused to advance bills that would protect the integrity of the 2020 election.

 

Republicans, in particular, are doing whatever they can to suppress the vote.

 

Go out and vote anyway. Go out and vote, faithfully and always, and help others vote, too. Every time. No matter what fuckery abounds.

 

Hell, go vote IN SPITE OF the fuckery. Flip the bird by throwing the lever for a Democrat.

 

Also, keep talking to your friends and family about the importance of voting.

 

Talk about how excited you are to vote for specific candidates, and say their names, out loud, often.

 

Do this even if it feels like it’s not enough.

 

Do it even if you feel like no one is listening to you.

 

Do this even if the crisis du jour is turning your mood grim. If you need to take a break to work through your feelings, do it, and come back.

 

Vote even if the Democratic candidates look like they’re running away with it.

 

Vote, because you matter, and your vote matters.

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

Uncategorized

Set Aside Two Hours Per Week To Work For Your Chosen 2020 Candidates

This OTYCD post originally appeared in February 2018, but for obvious reasons, we are updating and reposting it for 2020.

 

2018 was a huge test for us all. We stepped up. All the texting, phone-banking, canvassing, postcard-writing, and general beating-of-the-drum paid off. Democrats claimed control of the House of Representatives, and our efforts helped limit likely Democratic losses in the Senate during a cycle that favored the Republicans. Had things been closer to normal, the GOP could have picked up six to nine seats. While we lost two Senate seats, we gained two, and the GOP didn’t come close to their 2018 goals.

 

So! On to 2020. We’ve already asked you to choose your Core Four for 2020–four Democrats, two incumbents and two challengers, for each chamber of Congress, PLUS choosing a voting rights organization to support:

 

https://onethingyoucando.com/2020/02/01/choose-your-core-four-plus-a-voting-rights-org-to-support-in-2020-2/

 

To serve those four candidates well, you’ll need to school yourself on their voting records and their backgrounds. If they’ve written books, you need to read them. You need to become expert in them so you can persuade people to vote for them and defend them to those who are skeptical or hostile.

 

Obviously, you will need to read up on the Democratic nominee for president as well, once that person is chosen.

 

Once you feel like you have those five under control, you should see whether you can add other races to your load. State and local races will take place, too.

 

In order to stay on top of it all, find a way to commit a minimum of two hours a week to state, local, and federal 2020 races.

 

Money always matters, of course, but time can be even more valuable to a candidate. If you’re an excellent political volunteer, your time might be worth several times more than your dollar donations.

 

You don’t have to give your time in a two-hour block. You can chop it up as needed–four half-hours, an hour here and an hour there, twelve 20-minute blocks, twenty-four ten minute blocks, whatever works best for you.

 

Research, reading, attending speeches, going to Indivisible meetings, and talking to other people all count, as does phone-banking, canvassing, and writing GOTV postcards.

 

If you can give more than two hours a week, great! But the key thing is to aim to give at least two hours a week, and stick to it.

 

As we head toward Labor Day 2020, you might want to think about rearranging your schedule to give even more time to 2020 races. Almost all of them will end on November 3, 2020, and campaign needs will grow more intense as early November approaches.

 

It makes sense to sit down now and plan how September through November will go, particularly if you’ll have other standing obligations to work around, such as school, or your kids’ schools, or holidays such as Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the blue button on the upper right or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!

Uncategorized

Calling for Democracy; Your Guide to Talking to Friends and Family About Voting Trump Out in 2020, Part Six: Follow Up With Everyone, Starting in Late October

Calling for Democracy; Your Guide to Talking to Friends and Family About Voting Trump Out in 2020, Part Six: Follow Up With Everyone, Starting in Late October.

We at OTYCD released the full Calling for Democracy post yesterday. We promised to break it into more manageable chunks. This is the last of several.

Successful calling for democracy involves several steps, and might involve more than one follow-up to ensure that your friends and family carry through and vote for Joe Biden and the Democrats.

You’ll want to have the following tools at hand:

The website for I Will Vote:

iwillvote.com

FiveThirtyEight’s guide to How to Vote in the 2020 Election:

https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/how-to-vote-2020/

The phone number for I Will Vote’s hotline:

833.336.8683.

…and a document of some sort–maybe it’s digital, maybe it’s paper–you’ll use to track your efforts. It should include columns that clearly label:

Who you contacted;

When you contacted them (the day, date, and maybe the time);

The results of the call;

Whether and if you need to call them again after finding an answer to a question or solving a problem they have.

This document should reflect the fact that you need to check in with everyone again in late October, on Election Day Eve, and maybe Election Day itself to make sure they followed through with their voting plans and haven’t hit any obstacles.

Let us stress this fact: If the person has a question you can’t answer, or some other issue arises that you’re not sure how to resolve, STOP and call the I Will Vote hotline for help (833.336.8683). Do! Not! Guess! If you’re not completely sure about how to proceed, CALL AND CHECK.

Starting on Sunday, October 25, 2020, check in with everyone on your list who voted any other way except in-person.

Ask how things are going. Ask if they need help with anything.

If they haven’t received some sort of confirmation that their ballots were received, help them follow up with the relevant authorities to see what happened.

If their ballot has gone missing, help them brainstorm a Plan B for voting.

Stand ready to call the I Will Vote hotline (833.336.8683).

Follow up with those who chose to vote in person on November 2, 2020 and make sure they have everything they need to cast a ballot. Follow up with them again on Election Day.

Stand ready to call the I Will Vote hotline (833.336.8683).

…and if you thought of something we missed, or notice something that now needs updating, email us at

onethingyoucando   at    gmail   dot   com

…and we’ll get on it.

Thanks for reading! We’re all going to have a little lie-down now.

Stay strong. Stay safe. And vote!

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

I Will Vote and its hotline are provided by the Democratic National Committee. The hotline is staffed by volunteers.

There’s no direct way to earmark funds for the I Will Vote service, but you can put I Will Vote in the memo line of a personal check.

Checks should be made out to the Democratic National Committee and mailed to:

Democratic National Committee

PO Box 96585

Washington DC 20077-7242

The DNC also accepts donations via ActBlue:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/web-donate

FiveThirtyEight is the brainchild of Nate Silver.