Let Vets Vote

10 mins read

Let vets vote

New Republican voter suppression bills deny disabled vets their right to vote.

How can politicians ask Americans to die for democracy, but then deny them their right to vote? How do you encapsulate their hypocrisy and demand fair voting rights?

Videos work, but how do you create a rapid response with a limited budget and few technical skills? Fortunately free apps such as iMovie make it fast and simple to create a video. This blog covers:
– How Republican voter suppression bills will prevent disable veterans and others from voting
– Who is Common Defense?
– How a 34 second video with the free iMovie app in two hours
– What is ‘Fair Use‘ in terms of creating online videos
– District map of veterans and the disabled along with their congressperson and senator who would deny them their right to vote

Republican voter suppression bills deny disabled vets their right to vote

Watch the video

Veteran vote suppression

“Over 4 million veterans report a disability — such as difficulty with vision, hearing, mobility, cognitive functioning, independent living and self-care — in 2018 as a result of their military service according to a June 2020 report on US veterans.

Disabled veterans “rely on mail-in voting, early voting and countless other pro-voter measures that make our democracy accessible and successful, regardless of our disabilities,” Common Defense. Those measures “were more broadly available during the 2020 election than ever before,” the group said, federal legislation is needed to protect against restrictive voting laws being pushed at the state levels.” – CNN

“That’s what they fought for, that’s what we fought for, that’s what we support — the right to vote,” said Ginnie McNeil, a retired Army Nurse Corps veteran and organizer with Common Defense in West Virginia.

Common Defense

Common Defense is a movement of veterans. It is a grassroots membership organization of progressive veterans standing up for our communities against the rising tide of racism, hate, and violence. It champions an equitable and representative democracy, where “liberty and justice” truly is for all. It aims to organize together against those who seek to divide us so they can rig our systems and economy for their own gain.

Their current campaign advocates for “Support Ballot Access for Disabled Veterans”:
Last month, the senate voted down the For the People Act, creating an opportunity for state legislatures across the country to continue passing their restrictive voter suppression laws. Its now more clear than ever that we need to overcome the filibuster, but for now we’re asking our members to focus on why protecting voting rights and ballot access is so important.

Letters to the editor (LTE) are a simple and effective way to reach voters in your community. Data from newspapers across the country indicate that the opinions and LTEs are the most read section of the paper. Additionally, local elected officials maintain records and press clippings of their name being mentioned in local newspapers. It’s an excellent way to connect with your elected officials and community.Donate to Common DefenseJoin their campaign

Creating a rapid response video

This video uses small excerpts, with attribution from the U.S. Marine Corps Commercial: A Nation’s Call. We added captions about the importance of allowing disabled veterans to vote and to support the For The People Act. A free graphic from PXfuel with the American flag is used for the call to action. DemLabs produced this video on a Mac laptop in two hours with the free iMovie app.

Designing a rapid response in favor of letting disabled veterans vote

Fair use‘ in creating videos

This is not legal advice – it is quoted verbatim from the Center For Media and Social Impact.

“This document from is a code of best practices that helps creators, online providers, copyright holders, and others interested in the making of online video interpret the copyright doctrine of fair use. Fair use is the right to use copyrighted material without permission or payment under some circumstances.

Fair use is flexible; it is not uncertain or unreliable. In fact, for any particular field of critical or creative activity, lawyers and judges consider expectations and practice in assessing what is “fair” within the field. In weighing the balance at the heart of fair use analysis, judges refer to four types of considerations mentioned in the law: the nature of the use, the nature of the work used, the extent of the use and its economic effect. This still leaves much room for interpretation, especially since the law is clear that these are not the only necessary considerations. In reviewing the history of fair use litigation, we find that judges return again and again to two key questions:

– Did the unlicensed use “transform” the material taken from the copyrighted work by using it for a different purpose than that of the original, or did it just repeat the work for the same intent and value as the original?
– Was the material taken appropriate in kind and amount, considering the nature of the copyrighted work and of the use?

Both questions touch on, among other things, the question of whether the use will cause excessive economic harm to the copyright owner. If the answers to these two questions are “yes,” a court is likely to find a use fair. Because that is true, such a use is unlikely to be challenged in the first place. Another consideration underlies and influences the way in which these questions are analyzed: whether the user acted reasonably and in good faith, in light of general practice in his or her particular field.” – Center For Media and Social Impact

Veteran country

Elected officials are supposed to represent the people who voted them into office. It’s helpful for politicians to know who their constituents are, especially when they are voting to deny them their right to vote. DemLabs created this map with ArcGIS Online and Living Atlas to show:
– Number of veterans by gender and age in a district
– Number of disabled in that district
– Who represents that district in Congress and the Senate

Stop Republicans who would deny veterans and the disabled their right to vote.

The map can be freely shared with this link https://arcg.is/1bvPHi
or embedded in a website with this line of code: < iframe width=”300″ height=”200″ frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”no” allowfullscreen src=”https://arcg.is/1bvPHi”></iframe>

Fortunate senators

Credence Clearwater Revival wrote Fortunate Son during the Vietnam war. It best sums up these Senators today who would have others die for the country and then deny them their right to vote. Watch the video.

Some folks are born made to wave the flag
Ooh, they’re red, white and blue
And when the band plays “Hail To The Chief”
Ooh, they point the cannon at you, Lord

It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no senator’s son, son
It ain’t me, it ain’t me; I ain’t no fortunate one, no

Some folks are born silver spoon in hand
Lord, don’t they help themselves, oh
But when the taxman comes to the door
Lord, the house looks like a rummage sale, yes

It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no millionaire’s son, no, no
It ain’t me, it ain’t me; I ain’t no fortunate one, no

Yeah! Some folks inherit star spangled eyes
Ooh, they send you down to war, Lord
And when you ask them, “How much should we give?”
Ooh, they only answer, “More! More! More!” Yo

TakeAway: Stop the politicians who would deny veterans and the disabled their right to vote. #ForThePeopleAct


Image credit: PXfuel
Video credit: U.S. Marine Corps Commercial: A Nation’s Call
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Originally posted on DEMLABS BLOG

DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.

Democracy Labs is a hub for ongoing technology and creative innovation that serves progressive campaigns and organizations at the national, state, and local levels.

Our focus is on long term, sustainable and affordable solutions. An approach that is longer than an election cycle, and isn’t purely dependant on volunteers, can enable more qualified candidates to run for office and for more issue groups to bring about positive social change.

Democracy Labs is a project of the Tides Advocacy Fund.

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