Action Alerts · Community Activism · Elections · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Voting Rights, Fighting Voter Suppression

See Vote.Org’s List of All 50 State Voter Registration Deadlines

See Vote.org’s list of voter registration deadlines for all 50 states.

 

Loyal OTYCD readers know the importance of recruiting as many friends and family members as possible to come out and vote in the 2018 midterms, which happen on Tuesday, November 6. If we’re going to fix what’s broken, it can’t just be you going to the polls.

 

You’re also probably alarmed by the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in favor of allowing Ohio to purge its rolls of voters who haven’t cast a ballot in a few cycles and do not respond to an inquiry from election officials.

 

The ruling sucks. Let’s not sugar-coat it. States now have permission to delist registered voters who haven’t cast a ballot recently. Ohio was evidently sending out a ‘hey are you out there’ notice after one “missed” election cycle, which makes their purging efforts exceptionally aggressive.

 

If you believe that voting is a right, not a privilege, the SCOTUS decision is a slap in the face of democracy. It lets states act as if voting is a “use it or lose it” kind of thing. It isn’t, and it shouldn’t be.

 

Anyway! The way to fight back is to step up and do the work on behalf of your friends and family. You need to help them check and confirm that they’re registered to vote, and help them register if they’re not. You need to make this task as easy for them as possible.

 

So, it’d help to know when it’s too late to register to vote in the home states of your friends and family, would it not?

 

Fortunately, the folks at Vote.org are on the case. They’ve cataloged and listed the voter registration deadlines for all 50 states.

 

And good news–the furthest-out deadline appears to be 31 days before Election Day, and that’s only in one state, and only if you’re mailing your ballot. Most states’ voter registration deadlines fall within the 30 days before E-Day, and some allow voters to register on the day itself.

 

So! You still have months to help friends and family register to vote, and you still have time to follow up on and re-register if the first attempt failed somehow.

 

 

See Vote.org’s webpage on voter registration deadlines across America:

https://www.vote.org/voter-registration-deadlines/

 

 

Also see our post on making sure you’re registered to vote, which contains a link you can use to help friends and family check their registration status:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/16/check-this-site-and-make-sure-youre-registered-to-vote/

 

 

You have many options for supporting the good work of Vote.org.

 

 

See their website:

https://www.vote.org

 

 

Donate to Vote.org:

https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/votedotorg2018?refcode=website-top-nav

 

 

Shop Vote.org merch:

https://shop.vote.org

 

 

Like them on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/votedotorg

 

 

Follow Vote.org on Twitter:

@votedotorg

 

 

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!

 

 

Action Alerts · Community Activism · Voting Rights, Fighting Voter Suppression

Help #EndCrosscheck, That Data-sharing Program Used to Disenfranchise Voters

Help #EndCrosscheck, a data-sharing program that’s been used to disenfranchise voters.

 

You’ve probably heard of Crosscheck, an interstate data-sharing program that has effectively disenfranchised voters across the country. It got its start in 2005 but devolved into a problem in 2011 after Kris Koback gained control of it.

 

As of April 2018, Koback is Kansas’s secretary of state and was the vice chairman of the Presidential Commission for Election Integrity, created after Trump claimed that around three million votes in the 2016 presidential election–not coincidentally the difference between the 62 million he received and the 65 million Hillary Clinton received–might have been cast illegally. Koback claims that voter fraud is widespread, despite evidence that shows it isn’t.

 

Crosscheck might be his favorite tool for spotting potential double votes, or the same person casting a ballot in two states. He favors it despite Crosscheck’s tendency to generate a startling number of false positives and despite flaws that leave sensitive voter data vulnerable. It also seems to flag voters of color more often than white voters.

 

As of 2017, a total of 28 states participated in Crosscheck (Massachusetts has since left the program). #EndCrosscheck formed after the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity asked the states for their voter data (fortunately, most refused, and the commission was ultimately disbanded).

 

Many of #EndCrosscheck’s members are affiliated with Indivisible Chicago. It is devoted to doing just that–ending Crosscheck–by helping people learn what Crosscheck does and urge their states to leave the program or refuse to adopt it.

 

 

See the #EndCrosscheck webpage:

https://www.endcrosscheck.com/

 

 

Learn if your state is a member of Crosscheck (and if you scroll down, you can see if your state was once part of Crosscheck but isn’t now):

https://www.endcrosscheck.com/is-my-state-in-crosscheck/

 

 

See its Crosscheck FAQ:

https://www.endcrosscheck.com/crosscheck-faq/

 

 

Join the fight to end Crosscheck in your home state and other states:

https://www.endcrosscheck.com/join-the-fight

 

 

Follow #EndCrosscheck on Twitter:

@endcrosscheck

 

 

Follow Indivisible Chicago on Twitter:

@IndivisibleChi

 

 

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!

Common-sense Gun Laws · Community Activism · Marches and Protests · Public Education · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Voting Rights, Fighting Voter Suppression

See When the March For Our Lives Summer Tour Will Be Near You

See when the March For Our Lives summer tour will come to a city near you.

 

Between June and August 2018, March For Our Lives–the advocacy group created by survivors of the Valentine’s Day shooting at Margery Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida–is conducting its Road to Change tour.

 

They intend to register as many young people to vote as possible and encourage them to come out and vote in the 2018 midterm elections, which take place on Tuesday, November 6.

 

The tour started in Chicago on June 15 and will make more than 50 stops in more than 20 states. It will also hold events in all 27 of Florida’s Congressional districts.

 

As we prepare this post, only the June dates are listed on the March For Our Lives website, with a note that July and August dates are “coming soon.”

 

June stops will focus on the American midwest and will include St. Louis, Missouri; Sioux City, Iowa; Janesville, Wisconsin (home of Speaker of the House, Republican Paul Ryan); Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Bismarck, North Dakota, among others.

 

See the link to Road to Change tour dates:

https://marchforourlives.com/tour/

 

 

See the main page for March For Our Lives:

https://marchforourlives.com

 

 

See its Take Action page:

https://marchforourlives.com/take-action/

 

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!

 

Donate to the March For Our Lives Action Fund:

https://marchforourlives.com/donate/

 

 

Register to vote through March For Our Lives:

https://marchforourlives.com/vote-for-our-lives/

 

 

Like March For Our Lives on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/marchforourlives

 

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@AMarch4OurLives

 

 

Read news stories about the unveiling of the March for Change tour:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/16/us/parkland-students-tour-chicago-rally/index.html?utm_source=twCNN&utm_medium=social&utm_content=2018-06-17T01%3A30%3A11&utm_term=image

https://www.npr.org/2018/06/16/620486174/parkland-survivors-launch-tour-to-register-young-voters-and-get-them-out-in-nove?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20180616

 

 

Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Voting Rights, Fighting Voter Suppression

Read What an Expert on Authoritarian Thinking Told John Dean About Trump Supporters

This OTYCD entry originally posted in November 2017.

Read a piece by John W. Dean–yes, the John W. Dean who served as counsel to President Nixon in the early 1970s–in which he talks to Bob Altemeyer, a retired psychology professor who specialized in authoritarian thinking, about Trump supporters.

Altemeyer authored the books The Authoritarian Specter, Right Wing Authoritarians, and Enemies of Freedom. He talks with Dean about how Trump supporters think, why they think that way, and what it would take to get them to change their thinking.

It’s not an inspiring read, so we’re going to jump to the end and quote Dean’s final paragraph:

“With that information in mind, from someone who may understand Trump supporters better than Trump does, it is clear that to prevail in 2018 and 2020, Democrats must focus on getting sympathetic non-voters to the polls, and bring back into the fold the anti-Hillary folks, who suffered from Clinton exhaustion—voters who are clearly not right-wing authoritarians.”

Read Altemeyer on Trump Supporters, which Dean wrote as an entry for his column on the Verdict website:

https://verdict.justia.com/2017/07/07/altemeyer-trumps-supporters

 

…Once you’ve done that, go to our “Voting Rights, Fighting Voter Suppression” category, pick something that sounds good to you, and act.

 

You can also subscribe to Verdict, the folks who publish Dean’s column:

http://law.justia.com/subscribe

Community Activism · Elections · Escape Your Bubble · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Voting Rights, Fighting Voter Suppression

Join Knock Every Door and, Well, #KnockEveryDoor

Join Knock Every Door, a progressive organization that recruits door-to-door canvassers willing to talk about candidates and issues that matter.

Knock Every Door was born in the wake of the 2016 election. It acts on research that shows that face-to-face conversations are the most effective way to get voters to the polls.

It supports volunteer door-knockers through training, providing materials, and helping with data entry. The organization allows local groups a great deal of flexibility over which issues to pursue. It exerts more control over canvassing for candidates; they do not canvass for Republicans and they may choose to back individual Democrats in a primary.

 

See the Knock Every Door website:

https://knockeverydoor.org

 

Read its ‘About’ page:

https://knockeverydoor.org/about/index.html#what

 

Read its FAQ:

https://knockeverydoor.org/about/index.html#faq

 

Read about what, specifically, Knock Every Door will do for its volunteers, and read about the organization’s embrace of what it calls “deep canvassing”:

https://knockeverydoor.org/how-it-works/index.html#how

https://knockeverydoor.org/how-it-works/index.html#deep-canvassing

 

Follow Knock Every Door on Twitter:

@knockeverydoor

 

Donate to Knock Every Door:

https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/kedthanks?refcode=homepage

 

 

 

Call Your State Legislators · Community Activism · Elections · Voting Rights, Fighting Voter Suppression

Learn If Your State Is Passing Laws That Restrict Voting, and Fight Back

This OTYCD entry originally posted in June 2017.

Is your state trying to pass laws that make it harder to vote? Consult the Brennan Center’s info and maps, and if the answer is yes, fight back.

 

Voting restrictions are a scourge on democracy, but as long as they benefit Republicans, Republicans will try to pass them. We feel that if you are eligible to vote, and you want to vote, you should be able to vote, and you should be given many options for doing so to let you choose what works best for your schedule.

 

The Brennan Center for Justice, located at the New York University School of Law, tracks state bills that intend or have the effect of making it harder to vote.

 

First, read the Brennan Center’s Voting Laws Roundup for 2017, and see if your state is mentioned:

https://www.brennancenter.org/analysis/voting-laws-roundup-2017?utm_content=bufferba0df&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

 

Also see the Brennan Center’s interactive map of New Voting Restrictions in America:

https://www.brennancenter.org/new-voting-restrictions-america

 

Once you know what’s going on in your state, call your state-level reps to speak out against laws that restrict voting.

 

Don’t know who your state house rep and state senator are? Plug your address and zip code into this search tool (note–the address is key. If you only give your zip code, you won’t get the two names you most need):

https://whoaremyrepresentatives.org

 

Then click on the names of your state house rep and state senator. Their contact info will come up.

 

Here’s a sample script that you can modify accordingly:

“Dear (State Senator/House Rep Lastname), I ask you to oppose (House/Senate bill ####), which will have the effect of making it harder to cast a vote. Everyone who is eligible to vote, and wants to, should have the opportunity to do so. Bills and laws that make it harder to vote are inherently anti-democratic. Please do not sponsor, co-sponsor, or support bills that stop people from voting. Thank you.”

 

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!

Community Activism · Elections · Voting Rights, Fighting Voter Suppression

Look Carefully at Your Local Polling Place. Is It Accessible to the Disabled?

This OTYCD entry originally posted in November 2017.

 

Look carefully at your local polling place. Is it accessible to the disabled? Make note of what needs improving, and ask local electoral officials to make fixes before the 2018 midterms.

 

Today is November 7, 2017. Many state and local elections will take place. (Best of luck to the candidates OTYCD wrote about who are running in Virginia, New Jersey, and Manhattan.) If you’re going to the polls today, please look carefully at your local site and note how well it serves your disabled neighbors.

 

If you see things that need fixing, please bring them to the attention of your local electoral commission so they can be addressed before the 2018 midterms.

 

A note on photography: While you shouldn’t have problems taking photos of the exterior of the polling site, be careful when taking photos inside the voting area. Never photograph filled-out ballots, and make sure to take your photos when there’s no chance of a filled-out ballot appearing in your shot. If you end up needing to send your photos to state or local election officials, take care to blur the faces of any voters who are visible, to protect their privacy.

 

Things to look for:

 

Are there accessible parking spots near the poll site? Are they clearly designated and marked as such? Is at least one of the parking spots van-accessible (There’s a parking space and an area to one side of the parking space that’s painted with white or yellow diagonals)?

 

Are there ramps or a side entrance with no stairs that a disabled person could use to enter the building? Are the entrance doors wide enough to admit a wheelchair and easy for a wheelchair user to open (no funky old locks or latches)?

 

Once inside the building, are there sufficient elevators and ramps to allow disabled people to reach the area where the voting booths are placed? Are the elevators wide enough for a wheelchair? Are the elevator buttons at a height that wheelchair users can reach (no higher than four feet from the floor)?

 

Are there signs that point voters to the polling site? Where are they hung? How legible are the signs–are they clearly written and clearly printed? If your community speaks more than one language, are there signs in every major language? (If the poll provides ballots in that language, it should have signage in that language, too.)

 

Is the actual voting area laid out in a way that would allow wheelchair users to get around easily?

 

Is there at least one booth that’s wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair? Does it have a writing surface that’s at a height that would be useful to a wheelchair user?

 

Is there at least one vote-tally machine that is designed for use by wheelchair users?

 

What options are provided for blind voters, and for people who don’t use wheelchairs but who might need to sit to fill out their ballot?

 

Is there a long line to vote? (If you have a stopwatch function on your phone, use it to time the length of the wait.) Was the weather bad or challenging in any way? What accommodations are there (if any) for people who cannot stand for extended periods of time?

 

If the site cannot be made sufficiently accessible for disabled voters, does it offer curbside voting instead?

 

Another note for those who have disabled friends who want to vote: Do not advocate for them unless they explicitly ask you to help them.

 

If they do ask you for help, listen to what they say, watch what they do, and be alert to their needs. When in doubt, ask them what they want you to do. When you’re both in doubt, you might want to call your state Protection and Advocacy Hotline (scroll down for the link).

 

If you do spot something that seems like a problem, do not storm up to a pollworker and demand it be fixed then and there. Instead, compose an email or letter, or write down a script to use when calling the officials who choose, equip, and operate polling places.

 

Stay factual. Stick to describing what you saw, explaining why it’s problematic, and asking what can be done to make it better.

 

Keep following up on your request with the goal of fixing things before the 2018 primaries take place.

 

 

If you or someone who came with you to the polls are denied their right to vote–for any reason–you can call the Election Protection Coalition Hotline. A trained lawyer will answer and help with troubleshooting:

1.866.OUR.VOTE (1.866.687.8683)

 

 

If you or a disabled friend hit a disability-related problem that stops you from voting, you can call your state’s Protection and Advocacy Voter Hotline:

http://www.advocacymonitor.com/directory-of-protection-and-advocacy-voter-assistance-hotlines-2016/

 

 

Here’s a link that will help you find your state or local election officials:

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

 

 

Here’s a link to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Checklist for Polling Places:

https://www.ada.gov/votingchecklist.pdf

 

 

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!

 

 

See the National Disability Rights Network’s page on voting:

http://www.ndrn.org/en/public-policy/voting.html

 

 

See the National Council on Independent Living’s links to resources on making the vote accessible:

https://www.ncil.org/votingrights/voting-accessibility-media-resources/

 

 

Special thanks to Sarah at the National Council on Independent Living for her help with researching this post.