I rarely diary -- most of what I have to say can be said in three sentences or less. Until now.
Like you, and susans and Denise Oliver Velez and Dante Atkins, I have reached a tipping point. I need to respond to Hobby Lobby (contraception), McCullen (sidewalk counseling), Citizens United (political fundraising), Shelby County (voting rights), and states’ assaults on voting rights and women’s health. And I need to respond in a way that will show Justices Alito, Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Kennedy, and Governors Walker, Corbett, McCrory, Perry, et al, that there are consequences for straying so far from what the people really want.
They know they don’t have the numbers, that’s why they are so afraid of the vote and so determined to prevent women, minorities, older people, younger people, lower-income people, students -- really, pretty much everyone in America -- from voting.
So I say, hit them where it will hurt the most: I’m ready to do whatever I can to increase voter registration, voter education, and voting. Of course I’m signing on to help with grassroots organizing, registration drives, etc., in my state. But I also want to think of strategies to motivate people to register and vote. And I want to help in other states, too.
One thought I had was to start a social media campaign, to gather information about how to vote, register to vote, and get voter ID, and about why vote (short, pithy bits of information about what is at stake in specific elections), and get this information out to people who so far have been too disaffected or busy to vote, or who just need a nudge, or who don’t realize how their own lives may be affected by an election. (“It doesn’t matter, they’re all the same,” is the most common excuse I hear for not voting from my son and his friends.)
I started doing some research on which states have the strictest voter ID and other voter suppression laws. Four-star problem states include Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. (North Carolina will join them in 2016.) Three-star states are Arizona, Ohio and North Dakota; and Two-star states include Alabama, Florida, Idaho, South Dakota, Louisiana and Michigan. Voter Identification Requirements (NCSL) Am I missing someone?
Starting with the four-stars, state by state, I’d like to find the best websites or sources for information on that state’s voting and registration, help with getting voter identification documents, and most effective grassroots organizations for donations and volunteering. Then I will send a contribution and I will post short Facebook and Twitter posts for any of my friends and family who live in that state, or who may share with any of their friends in that state.
But, I am just one person, new to this field, living in the no-star state of California, and without hundreds of friends and followers. My statuses and tweets will not go far. And my research won’t be very helpful without information from people who live in those states. For example, nomandates is an active grassroots organizer in Texas. She recommends Battleground Texas for grassroots organizing, voter registration, and GOTV for Texas. I sent them $ome love, and I hope she will either start a diary with more information about Texas, or add to a diary that I start.
Apropos, does it make sense to start a group on this topic (voter registration and GOTV organizing), with weekly state-by-state diaries that could be written or commented on by organizers who live in the respective states, including suggested social media posts, donation recipients, and volunteer opportunities, with the rest of us making those donations, volunteering in those states, and posting the information and suggestions on our media sites? I would be willing to help with this. (Or, there may be a group already on this topic. I didn’t see one on the list, but I might have missed it.)
Any other ideas for action? Please let me know, I’m ready to kick some serious Tea Party butt.