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Our highlighted issues, actions, and events in the democracy movement this week—Please share widely.
FLORIDA SECOND CHANCES AMENDMENT
The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition has placed a measure on the November ballot that restores the ability to vote to Floridians with nonviolent felony convictions after completing their sentence (under current Florida law, felons are permanently disenfranchised). This measure would immediately restore the ability to vote of 1.4 million people.
The campaign’s biggest hurdle is the high threshold for Florida ballot measures—the initiative needs to secure 60% of the vote in order to pass. The coalition is organizing and engaging with the communities directly affected. Recent polling shows the proposal enjoys broad bi-partisan support, with 74% of Florida voters in favor of Amendment 4 (the Voting Restoration Amendment).
The priority moving forward is to continue educating, contacting, and turning out voters to ensure they remain above the 60% mark.
ELECTION DAY VOTER REGISTRATION
Question 2 on the November 6 ballot would amend the state constitution to authorize the Maryland Legislature to enact a process for registering qualified individuals to vote at a precinct polling place on Election Day. Maryland currently allows voters to register or update their existing registration during the early voting period, but not on Election Day.
The measure got on ballot through party-line votes in both chambers of the Maryland legislature, and has not shown active opposition, giving it a strong chance to pass with voter education.
Currently, the Everyone Votes Maryland coalition's greatest needs are endorsement, preferably from groups with state chapters. The campaign also would appreciate if organizations send an email to their Maryland lists to educate their members on Question 2, and include the campaign’s commitment link (members who commit are not added to any organization’s lists). Finally, the campaign is sharing a campaign kickoff video tomorrow on their Facebook and Twitter pages, and would appreciate shares and retweets.
BALTIMORE CITY FAIR ELECTIONS FUND
Fair Elections Baltimore, along with other DI partners and allies, are working on a charter amendment placed on the November ballot sponsored by Councilman Kristerfer Burnett that would establish a Fair Elections Fund along with an independent commission to identify sources of revenue for the fund. The Fund would provide Baltimore City candidates for City Council, City Comptroller, and Mayor who reject large and special interests with limited matching funds to use in their campaign.
If passed, Baltimore City would join Montgomery and Howard Counties in the establishment of a small-donor matching fund. There has not been active opposition to this ballot measure yet, and along with the Question H amendment to the state constitution to establish same-day voter registration, the amendment looks prepared for success as long as voters are aware that they need to vote the entire ballot.
The campaign would appreciate if organizations send an email to their Baltimore City lists educating their members on Question H.
- DI allies Women’s March, CPD Action, and others are planning civil disobedience actions at the Senate tomorrow, Thursday, October 4, with opportunities for support for those not risking arrest.
- MoveOn.org and allies are organizing #StopKavanaugh vigils around the country tonight, Wednesday, October 3.
- DI partners MoveOn.org, SEIU, and Mi Familia Vota want you to call your senator at 844-766-2707 to tell them that you #BelieveSurvivors and to #CancelKavanaugh.
The DI Team
DI partner Common Cause is holding a Week of Action from October 1 to October 5 for the Our Democracy 2018 campaign.
The Common Cause website lets activists enter their address to find out which Congressional candidates are running for their vote and for our democracy, and if they have responded to the nonpartisan Our Democracy 2018 questionnaire. If they haven't, they are listed as "No Response," and activists can contact and pressure these candidates' campaigns via email, phone, and Twitter with a few clicks, asking them to go on the record.
- National Voter Registration Day saw the successful registration of a record 800,000 new voters.
- A Missouri Judge is expected to give a ruling next Monday on a 2016 amendment that adds voter ID requirements to the state constitution.
- An analysis of Federal Election Commission data shows that women running for Democrat seats are out-fundraising male incumbents.