(Remote) Actions this week: call for vote-by-mail

6 mins read

We’re still keeping a full calendar of remote events. Check https://indivisibleyolo.org/calendar/ for the most up-to-date information on actions and events you can join!

Hello Indivisibles,

The coronavirus pandemic is disruptive and overwhelming, and we know that it may be difficult to consider advocacy right now. If you are in a position to still do the work of advocacy, you may just be trying to find a way to start making a difference in the middle of all of the chaos.

If you can, please call or email Governor Newsom and our representatives in Congress this week. We’re asking Governor Newsom to use his executive authority to release ICE detainees and incarcerated people, who do not have the power to follow social distancing guidelines to protect themselves and who are trapped in systems with notoriously poor health care.

We’re asking our members of Congress to move forward on another coronavirus relief package that includes funding to expand vote-by-mail in November so that people can exercise their voting rights more safely during the pandemic. Republicans are fighting tooth and nail to stop this, hoping to decrease turnout. Vote-by-mail reforms intended to make the November election safer during the coronavirus crisis were cut from the last relief bill.

Trump was candid about the voter suppression strategy behind the cuts, saying: “They had things, levels of voting that if you’d ever agreed to it, you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again”. And yes, he spoke out against voting by mail the same week he applied for an absentee ballot. We cannot allow Trump and his allies to suppress voter turnout and endanger lives to gain an advantage in the upcoming election. We need to include election safety in the next relief bill.

We have example call scripts below. And as always, you can go to https://indivisibleyolo.org/calendar/ to find (virtual! COVID-safe!) actions, training, and social events.

Take care, everyone!

The Indivisible Yolo Team

A laptop on a kitchen table, showing a virtual meeting for the phonebank event.
Image via Sister District: Saturday’s Virtual Phonebanking event!

Actions this week:

1) Demand Governor Newsom use his executive authority to release ICE detainees and incarcerated people during the pandemic

Sample Call Script:
Hello, my name is [YOUR NAME] and I am a constituent from [CITY/part of California].I’m calling to ask you to take further action now to protect the most vulnerable in our state – ICE detainees and incarcerated people. Please use your executive authority to release all ICE detainees from the death traps that those detention centers are very likely to become and to release all low-risk inmates to reduce prison populations to a level where inmate and staff health can be protected.

2) Ask our representatives to include expanded vote-by-mail initiatives in the next coronavirus relief bill:

Sample Call Script:
Hello, my name is [YOUR NAME] and I am a constituent from [CITY or zip code]. I’m very concerned about how the COVID-19 outbreak will affect the functioning of our democratic processes, particularly in-person voting. States need more robust vote-by-mail systems, including offering mail-in ballots to any voter that requests one, extending vote-by-mail deadlines, and increasing drop-off locations for ballots.

Will [Representative Garamendi /Senator Harris/Senator Feinstein] fight to include the Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act in the next coronavirus relief package to assist states in expanding vote-by-mail? We must as a country act now to support states in building alternatives to in-person voting so that the COVID-19 outbreak does not put the November presidential election at risk.

From Indivisible.org – more here: https://indivisible.org/resource/ensuring-safe-secure-elections-during-covid-19-outbreak

Senators Amy Klobuchar and Ron Wyden have introduced a bill to assist states in expanding vote-by-mail for this November’s election. Call your Reps to demand they fight to include the Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act in the next coronavirus relief package.

Key points:

  • States must expand vote by mail, extend voting deadlines, increase early voting days, and communicate extensively with voters about date changes, polling closures, or other critical election information
  • States must expand online and/or automatic voter registration
  • The federal government can assist by funding election infrastructure, requiring no-excuse absentee voting in federal elections, and provide additional drop-boxes for ballots in federal buildings and post offices
  • All in-person voting locations must be provided with sanitization equipment and guidelines for keeping voters at a safe distance from each other and poll workers
  • Congress must approve at least $2 billion in funding to implement these changes

Take action now to ensure that the November election can happen safely as planned and without disenfranchising any voter, even under pandemic conditions.

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