Democracy Initiative Update 09.18.20

Friday, September 18, 2020
Our highlighted issues and actions from the democracy movement in this moment of crisis—please share widely.

KNOW THE RULES, MAKE A PLAN, VOTE EARLY

Even in this climate of the coronavirus pandemic, natural disasters, and rampant voter suppression, voters are poised to turn out to vote in historic numbers. But, with the new safe voting options we have won in many places, combined with opposition attempts to sow disinformation and chaos, Americans across the country need access to good information from leaders and organizations they trust. This is a critically important time for your members to hear from you.

We are asking the leaders of all DI partners to create a simple video with key voter education information and share it with your supporters. To help make that easy, DI staff have created a simple toolkit with everything you need to make and share a great video message.

We've included video instructions, a sample script, and talking points to streamline this process, as well as sample emails and social media posts to help get this information into the hands of your members.

GET THE MAKE A PLAN TOOLKIT HERE

For democracy to work for all of us, it must include all of us. Every vote counts and every vote must be counted.

We make change when we join together. We march. We organize. We make a plan to vote—as early as possible, by mail or safely in person. And. In. Record. Numbers.

We will demand that every vote be counted. Mail ballots can take longer to count, so it's important to be patient while all the votes are counted and stay vigilant right up to when newly elected leaders are sworn in.

The Make a Plan Video Toolkit is designed to help you get this message out to your members, supporters and followers by making a simple video encouraging them to be intentional and early voters and patient for the results.

If you have any questions, please contact DI National Field Manager Getachew Kassa at gkassa@democracyinitiative.org or Jack Flynn, DI Social Media Manager, at jflynn@democracyinitiative.org.

DEMOCRACY IN THE NEWS: COUNTING EVERY VOTE

2020 is increasingly appearing as an election unprecedented in American history. With the still-looming coronavirus pandemic leading to a shift toward absentee voting, new and changing voting laws responding to grassroots demand for safe and accessible voting, and blatant attempts to sow confusion and discord among voters, we must be prepared to adjust our expectations to meet the moment. One expectation that needs shifting? Expecting results on election night.

Recent analysis in the Washington Post demonstrates that the primaries, many of which saw a marked increase in the use of absentee voting, are a reliable indication that election results may take as long as a week to be fully reported (the states that heavily used Vote by Mail reported their results in an average of 6.4 days).

We encourage partner organizations to begin spreading the message to their members and supporters, by way of the Make a Plan Video Toolkit or in your own communications, that it is more important to ensure every vote is counted than seeing results quickly.

See the analysis here.

DI BOARD MEMBERS ON THE MOVE

In a recent op-ed penned with Business for American Founder and CEO Sarah Bonk, League of Women Voters of the United States CEO and DI board member Virginia Kase lays out the civics case for emergency relief for the United States Postal Service (USPS) alongside the business case.

The piece reaffirms what has been clear to people since the coronavirus pandemic hit the country in March: the USPS is essential for the functioning of our democracy. USPS does everything from facilitating billions of dollars of commerce to delivering life-saving medications, and performs a critical role in all parts of the democratic process, from voter registration to absentee ballot delivery.

As Bonk and Kase write,

“Just as businesses must react to consumer demand, every elected official — local, state and federal; Republican, Democrat and independent – must respond to the clear demand from voters for safe ways to participate in our democracy.

No voter should have to choose between their health and safety and exercising their constitutional right to vote. And no business should experience the uncertainty — and loss of sales, revenue and equity — that occurs when a collapse of trust in the electoral process drives political instability and then economic instability.”

Read the full op-ed here.

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