The Democracy Initiative's "Don't Mess With Our Vote" petition has gone live! You can see it, and sign, here. Please join us in pushing back on attacks on our voting rights by distributing this petition to your lists and on social media, either nationally, locally, or in priority states. We will be providing sample tweets and Facebook posts, talking points, a one-pager on the organizing value of this petition, graphics, and a sample email to your membership in the coming days. Since zip code information is collected as part of the signature, we will be able to deliver the signatures to state officials signed just by their state residents.
Please contact Getachew at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to join the campaign. We will be updating this page on our website as new materials are produced.
If you're interested in helping spread the word, we have a Petition Engagement Guide with sample posts and images for social media, which can be found below.
1. DI Petition Complete Engagement Guide
2. DI Petition Engagement Guide Document
3. DI Petition Sample Membership Email
4. DI Petition Sample Tweets
5. DI Petition Sample Facebook Posts
6. DI Petition Social Media Images
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Why we are distributing the “Don’t Mess With Our Vote!” Petition
Today, in this historic moment we must show politicians and elected officials our collective power. Together we are putting them on notice; we will not allow the coordinated attacks on our voting rights to continue. We oppose efforts to cheat the system and suppress our votes, such as limit voting registration, the purging of millions of eligible voters, and the inadequate response to election security. These attacks disproportionately silence the voices of black, brown, working-class, and under-served communities. This will not be tolerated.
Let us be clear; these attacks are designed to stop us from winning on the issues that matter most to us and our families: a just economy, a healthy planet, safe communities, civil rights, and a fair justice system. Our leadership and the organizations we belong to are committed to organizing at the state and national levels for a participatory and inclusive election system. In the 21st century, we should have a democracy that is built on the basic principle of maximum participation.
In 2014, the mid-term elections had the lowest turnout in 70 years, with just 36.4% of voters going to the polls. In 2016, we had only 59% turnout. In many states, the difference was only a few thousand votes. Now, all of us are feeling the consequences of the voting turnout.
Wealthy interests and individuals like the Koch brothers, the DeVos family, and right-wing corporate political action committees have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to push anti-voting policies, elect candidates, and lobby politicians to create a system that works for them, not us. They are in the minority and it is why they cheat. We cannot stand by as laws and policies that limit the rights of every eligible person to vote diminish our power. There are few ways we can counteract the ongoing, coordinated, and well-funded attacks on our voting rights:
- Collective action demands solidarity. Solidarity means we stand together, hardworking union members, young and old, black, brown, and white, members of civil rights, good government, and environmental organizations. We stand together to put our officials on notice that we want every vote counted and every person who is eligible to have access to the vote.
- We fight together to demand same day registration, vote by mail, and early voting in our states. These kinds of reforms have been won by activists like us across the country (For more details on victories and ongoing campaigns, see the map-link here).
- We talk to our families, neighbors, friends, and colleagues about the threats to our voting rights and the actions we can take.
Fact: This November, largely as a result of these voter suppression efforts, it's predicted that more than 26 million young people, women, and people of color will not turn out to vote. We need these 26 million voices to be heard. We need ALL of our voices to be heard. Let’s prove them wrong.
Today, we see the consequences of low turnout manifested in the debate about the recent Supreme Court nominee, and are watching special, moneyed interests take us back to a dark moment in our history. Our right to vote is too important to be left in the hands of partisan officials alone who act in their own self-interest, or that of wealthy and corporate interests. This is about our future and our families’ futures. The only way to win protection of civil rights, access to affordable healthcare, clean water and air, and higher wages is by raising our voices.
We will be collecting signatures on this petition until September 30. In October, the signatures will be delivered to your governors, secretaries of state, and state election officials.
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We demand that in time for the November, 2018 election you:
- Prevent purging voter rolls of eligible voters,
- Ensure each polling location is properly prepared for election system failures by having a contingency plan in place that is accessible to all, including back up paper ballots and printed poll books,
- Provide an increase in polling places and ensure polling place hours truly serve our communities by extending weekend and evening hours,
- Educate poll workers on the voting rights of those on the “inactive voter list,”
- Give up to date and thorough training on new laws to poll workers, and
- Hire adequate staff for the administration of the election in polling places.
By 2020 we expect and demand:
- A 21st century voting system in which all eligible voters are registered and every vote is counted,
- An end to voter suppression laws such as requiring voter ID that many people lack,
- A voting process that is both efficient and accessible through reforms like same day registration automatic voter registration, accessible and widespread early voting locations, and state wide vote by mail options, and fewer restrictions on absentee ballot eligibility, and
- Significant investment in election infrastructure security to reduce the possibility of digital election interference.
Read the full petition here.