🗳 What YOU Can Do About Voter Suppression
Voter Suppression is a Real Threat. Here's What You Can Do.
"This election is a scam, its a hoax. The greatest scam in history. This will go to the Supreme Court." – Donald Trump.
If the oppressive-to-watch presidential "debate" last night didn't make it clear to you: the American election system is under threat from the government itself. But instead of rehashing how crazy it is that the President has refused to cede power if he loses, I think its more productive to focus on what each of us can do to ensure a fair election:
If you are a voter, think about voting in person as long as you can do so safely and in a healthy way. Nearly 500,000 mail-in votes were rejected in 2018, this was even without any political efforts to suppress them or diminish the postal infrastructure.
Head here for how/where/when to vote in your state.
If you have friends who live in swing states, drop them a note to see how they are doing ... and then encourage them to vote. Hold them accountable. Be a good friend :)
VoteWithMe is a free app that helps you see which friends need your reminder to vote.
If you are young and healthy, volunteer to work at the polls as an observer or poll worker. If pre-existing conditions make you vulnerable to COVID-19 then volunteer at a remote voter hotline.
If you wield influence, of any kind ... then speak to people open to reason. One of the biggest threats to this year's election is the false belief that if election results change after Election Night, that this somehow means the election is rigged. This is a dangerous, false and incorrect assumption. Election results shift even after election night, and they especially will this year due to an influx of COVID-related mail-in ballots.
Also, if anyone tells you that mail-in ballots are "unsolicited" remind them that ballots only go out to registered voters and are tracked via barcode in almost every state.
If you manage news coverage, anticipate that crazy stuff will happen at the polls. Position reporters and news crews to cover these incidents and respond to them with appopriate, safe news coverage.
The awesome Journalist's Toolbox is a great resource on how to cover this crazy Election Day.
If you are an election monitor, prepare for conflict and tension. Plan for contingencies you never had to imagine before.
Guidelines for being safe as an election monitor.
If you are a locally elected official, consider how you can safely deploy your police force to contain inappopriate election interference or violence. Doing so is certainly a more productive use of the police's time than what's been happening lately.
And if you are a law enforcement officer or serve in the armed forces, advocate for deployment to protect the vote - not from "anarchist mobs" but from individuals who may harass or intimidate legitimate voters on Election Night. Prepare yourself to refuse unconstitutional or immoral orders. You know, like using heat rays on peaceful protestors.
If you are a legislator, hey maybe make the choice to support country over party. Wishful thinking, I know, but a few legislators subscribe to this newsletter so I thought I'd try :)
If you are a judge in a battleground state, get ready. Read up on those election law cases. Because things are about to heat up and as a practical matter you'll only have until December 8 to assess a recount.
If you are a civil servant, I feel your pain. But know that your country needs you more than ever. Don't wimp out like me and leave your post. Your work will be especially important in the time between any potential change in the administration where a losing president may attempt to pass particularly unsavory policies.
Take control. An election cannot be stolen unless the American people acquiesce to it.
Now Playing on the UnfairNation Podcast
My buddy Roshan Paul will be transitioning out as the leader of the Amani Instutite, the educational non-profit he started nearly a decade back. And when he leaves, they'll need a new CEO. Could it be you? Learn more and apply. Amani is also hiring more broadly.
How are econonomic factors putting people of color at greater risk for contracting COVID-19? Dear friend Basim Khan, who is a physician and runs a network of community health clinics in Virginia, answered these questions and more on the PBS News Hour last week.
Watching: speaking of soccer, check out Ted Lasso - a balm for trying times.
Speaking: Challenges Refugees Face During COVID-19
Going: on another walk. What else is new.
A note on fear.
Whatever you are afraid of right now, realize that:
One: No matter what, you will handle it. The future is only a possibility ... until its the present. And you can always handle the present. You've always managed to handle it so far haven't you?
Two: If the thing that you are afraid of actually did happen ... you and I would still be here tomorrow. It really would make no difference at all. Unless of course you wouldn't be here tomorrow, in which case it absolutely would make no difference at all.Three: if you can call your fears "adventure" ... you'll bring in an energy that will heal the fear. The energy of excitement. The energy of being inspired by life itself. Adventures are fun and give us opportunities to learn. If you live your life filled with inspiration and excitement, soon, there's nothing to be afraid of and life becomes the great joy it was always intended to be.
That's how I see it.
I could be wrong, of course, about all of this.
But I don't think so.
Die, my dear? Why that's the last thing I'll do!