Monday, November 03, 2008

It's All About EP (Election Protection)

Yes, regular ForwardEver readers, I am going all-out political these last few days. But it's important to know your rights after the past two contested US elections.

So we present Adrienne Marie Brown's excellent post from Wiretap on how to protect the vote.

  • Why: Last Minute Election Action?

  • Information: Where to figure out the rules, document problems and find out about action needs.

  • Action: What you can DO with your body, mind, time and resources!


So this is the fourth federal election in which I’ve done some level of organizing and strategizing. I don’t have false hopes that change trickles down from the top. I do think there is an untapped potential power where community organizing meets electoral organizing, as election seasons can catalyze communities around issues that grassroots organizers are trying to change every day. But as folks who do radical work every day, or at least think radical thoughts, supporting communities to get heard on election day is not optional.

Each election, I have watched the swell of hope, dreams, plans and focus whip up for (or against) a candidate (or party). Each time I have seen people watch from the sidelines, pontificate on the pros and cons and then all of the sudden it’s go time, and folks want to be useful. I love those people! That last minute energy is crucial!

This year, we want to make it as easy as possible on the last minute types! We’ve been thinking through action scenarios at The Ruckus Society, and have an Election Action Kit and other resources for y’all. But I also thought it might be useful to write up everything I know about last minute non-partisan election actions.

(Note: Some folks are comfortable jumping into the plans of one of the campaigns. Others have been doing electoral organizing for months. If you’re already tapped in, this isn’t for you. Do your thing! Pass this to folks who may not have a thing to do yet!)

These are the best last-minute tips I can gather for organizations who want to make sure their voter organizing work is reflected in the number of votes counted. This is for organizations that don’t do usually do electoral work, but want to contribute their efforts at this moment.

  • This is for folks who have suddenly realized that voters names are being purged off the rolls and folks are being turned away from the polls, and that we have no idea how big of an impact any planned election fraud and unplanned systemic break downs will be.

  • This is for folks who have put all of their eggs in the voter turn-out basket and have gotten wise to the reality that turn-out doesn’t matter if the votes don’t get counted.

  • This is for folks who are down to be a part of the action solution and just need to be plugged in.

  • This is for groups or individuals who are down to take autonomous actions in the event that the fraud and incompetence do overwhelm the system.

Adrienne Maree Brown is the executive director of The Ruckus Society and an advisory board member of WireTap. A co-founder of the League of Young Voters, Adrienne is obsessed with learning and developing models for action, community strength and movement building.