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A USRESIST NEWS EDITORIAL                                             

 WE ALL MUST VOTE THIS TIME

A) INTRODUCTION

The 2020 Presidential election is the most important election of our lifetimes. At stake is the future of our rule of law and our democratic system of government. For the past four years President Trump and the Republican party have been tearing down the basic political, legal and moral principles that our country stands for; such as respect for our legal process, the separation of political powers and the rights of citizens as enshrined in our Constitution and Declaration of Independence. They have polarized the country leaving us divided, angry, and fearful of one another. This has got to stop; and the best  way of stopping it is by voting Trump out of office.

Most polls show that the democrats have a considerable electoral lead right now. But that lead could evaporate if people do not turn out to vote. Everyone needs to play their part in making sure that voting is maximized, that efforts to subvert the voting process are stopped and that the electoral process is fair and transparent.

B) ROLES OF KEY PLAYERS

Citizens

The most important spoke in the wheel. All citizens must do what they need to do to cast a ballot. So we advise

  • If you live in a state where universal ballots are part of state policy, cast a mail-in or absentee ballot. For a list of states that have authorized mail-in ballots for all citizens see https://www.usa.gov/election-office
  • If you live in a state where mail-in ballots are an option cast a mail-in or absentee ballot, especially if you are an elderly person, have underlying health conditions, or can’t get to the polls.
  • If you are physically able to vote in-person, exercise that option but please be sure to wear a mask and protect the health and well-being of yourself and others when you vote
  • Register to vote as early as possible, preferably in the coming days. By registering now will ensure that you will be eligible to vote regardless of which method you choose to use – in – person, absentee or mail.

States, Cities, and Towns
In the absence of Federal guidance and electoral support states, cities, and towns must undertake the government regulatory functions needed to ensure a fair and transparent election. They need to

  • Make mail-in/absentee ballots available
  • If need be setup alternative mail-in/absentee ballot delivery systems that bypass

 US Postal Service obstructions

Make enough polling stations available; with extended hours if needed

Make sure polling stations are operated in a sanitized environment with volunteers who are   not highly at-risk for Covid

Make sure ballots get counted expeditiously, ideally with results announced the same day or as soon after the election as possible

Keep the public informed of vote tallying process and announce the results as soon as they are known

The Federal Government

The Federal Government should be at the forefront of a national effort to make voting easily accessible to all citizens, ensure all votes are counted, and protect our electoral system from unwarranted foreign or domestic intrusions. It’s not doing this. However normally here is what should happen:

The President should stress the importance of voting and encourage all Americans to vote by mail or in-person

  • Congress should pass the Voting Rights Act and provide funding to states to ensure that all citizens have the ability to vote and that all votes are counted in a timely manner
  • The Post Office must prioritize the handling and processing of mail-in and absentee ballots
  • The Intelligence Community should take actions necessary to stop election interference by foreign or domestic agents

C) Voting Rights Organizations and Activists

Because the Federal government is abnegating its electoral responsibilities, and there are ongoing efforts to suppress voting and interfere in our electoral system, activists and voting rights organizations need to step in to help fill the gap. They need to take steps needed to:

Stop the postal service from obstructing the election

Arrange to have enough polling places open and staffed to accommodate in-person voters

Arrange to have enough people on hand to tabulate all in-person, mail-in, and absentee ballots as expeditiously as possible

Conduct get-out-the-vote and voter registration campaigns

Serve as voter watchdogs and call out any efforts to suppress voting

D) Resistance Resource Organizations

 Here is a partial list of the many voting rights organizations working to ensure a fair and transparent 2020 Federal election.

  • American Civil Liberties Union Voting Rights Project: Works to protect the gains in political participation won by racial and language minorities since passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act (VRA). https://www.aclu.org/other/about-voting-rights-project
  • Common Cause: Works to make the process of voting more democratic from all angles — they’re fighting to expand voting rights, eliminate gerrymandering, and push for popular vote presidential elections (see you later, Electoral College!) www.comoncause.org
  • Fair Fight: Brings awareness to the public on election reform, advocates for election reform at all levels, and engages in other voter education programs and communications. www.fairfight.com
  • Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law: Works to advance and protect the right to vote and to ensure that the right is afforded equally to all.  www.Lawyerscommitteee.org
  • League of Women Voters: Encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. www.lwv.org
  • National Conference of State Legislatures:  Publishes a state-by-state list of voter identification laws: www.ncsl.org
  • National Vote At Home Institute:  works with election officials in optimizing their processes and governing laws for both mail ballot and in-person voting methods. https://voteathome.org/
  • Rock the Vote: Dedicated itself to building the political power of young people. www.rockthevote.org
  • USA.Gov: Offers a guide to the voting requirements in each state. https://www.usa.gov/election-office
  • Vote.org: Vote.org uses technology to simplify political engagement, increase voter turnout, and strengthen democracy. They provide information on voting requirements of every state. www.vote.org
  • Vote Vets: Uses public issue campaigns to give a voice to veterans on matters of national security, veterans care and everyday issues that affect veterans and their families. www.votevets.org
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