The Right Wing is bent on making voting as difficult as possible. You’ve heard a lot of people complaining about it. Well, we’re doing something about it.
Here in Florida, where the Republicans control the House, the Senate, and the Governor’s Mansion, the Right Wing is field-testing every means known to mankind to discourage voting. They have criminalized voter registration; even the League of Women Voters gave up on it. They have purged the voter rolls in express violation of the Voting Rights Act; Governor Scott basically said, “so sue me.” They cut early voting days in half, because so many African-Americans were voting that way. Their extremist voter ID laws place the burden on the voter to provide his identity to their satisfaction. They have made election administration completely partisan; do you remember that the head of the 2000 Bush campaign in Florida was in charge of counting the votes? They have created artificial shortages of voting machines in heavily Democratic precincts. They have excluded convicts from voting, and made it virtually impossible for them to restore their constitutional rights. They have even set up roadblocks between voters and polling places on Election Day.
Well, we’re not taking this lying down. We’re fighting back.
Our approach is this: we want to sign up every progressive voter to vote by mail. Here in Florida, when you vote by mail, you get your ballot a month early. It comes to your home, so there is no chance of your going to the wrong precinct. If you lose it, you can get another one. After you mail it in, you can call the Supervisor of Elections, and make sure that it’s been counted. If there is any problem with your ballot, there is plenty of time to fix it.
Compare that to voting on Election Day. If you bring the wrong ID, then if you’re lucky, you’ll get a provisional ballot. You’ll have to go back the next day, and give them what they want. Half of all provision ballots are never counted.
Someone who votes by mail is twice as likely to vote as someone who doesn’t. The highest voter turnout in the 50 States is always in Oregon, where everyone votes by mail.
So we are fighting back by signing up Democrats to vote at home. We are literally going door to door throughout our district, handing Democrats the paperwork that they need to vote at home. We’ve signed up thousands and thousands of them.
And it’s not just for us. Since Florida is the ultimate swing state, we suspect that on Nov. 7, President Obama will be thanking us. And Senator Bill Nelson, too.
It’s still 90 degrees outside on many days here in Orlando. Our district is 100 miles long, and it has almost half a million voters. It’s hard work to drive all around our district and knock on all those doors. To get the numbers that we need, we have to pay people to do it. It costs about $5 for each absentee ballot request that we collect.
But unlike the folks on the other side, we actually want people to vote, and we want every vote to count. So it’s worth it.
What’s it worth to you? If you contribute $10, we can sign up another two progressive voters to vote at home. If you contribute $50, we can sign up ten more.
Those absentee ballots get mailed out in three weeks. We need your help. Please contribute to our “Fight Voter Suppression Fund” today.
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