As we settle into the normality of physical distancing, we’re still working hard to ensure voters don’t have to choose between their health and exercising their fundamental right to vote. We’re starting to see our work pay off too -- check out below for more details on our recent win in Nevada!
Due to overwhelmingly positive feedback and demand, we’re also continuing to train the next generation of voting rights advocates by running our Law School Bootcamp program for an unprecedented third time. The Florida Democratic Party is launching a fellowship for advocates in their state. We’re also adding trainings in battleground states, ensuring we have a robust network of dedicated volunteers to take back the White House and elect Democrats up and down the ticket in November. Keep reading to find out how you can join our team in this fight!
Hoping everyone stays safe, healthy, and sane,
Voter Protection Coordinator
Voter Protection Updates:
Georgia surpassed 1,000,000 absentee ballot requests!
Voter Protection Director Spotlight
There are 19 state Democratic party voter protection directors currently on the ground doing amazing things. We want to take some time to introduce them and highlight some of the work they are doing. This week, we’re turning the spotlight on the Wisconsin's Voter Protection Director, David Kronig. In his own words, here's what's going on in Wisconsin:
“I spent the early part of my career working in public policy in the U.S. Senate. After I went to law school, I spent 5 years honing my skills as a litigator, and I'm thrilled and honored now to be combining those skills and interests in the most important fight of our time -- protecting democracy and our right to vote as the Voter Protection Director with the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.
Here in Wisconsin, we just went through our April 7 spring election. We are thrilled that progressive Judge Jill Karofsky won a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, of course, but voters should not have been forced to choose between exercising their constitutional right to vote and protecting their health. We are proud of the work we did to help Wisconsinites make their voices heard despite the pandemic and cynical Republicans who refused to expand access to vote by mail. Our Voter Assistance Hotline (608-336-3232) helped thousands of voters in the two weeks leading up to April 7.
Now, we're continuing the fight to make sure no voter ever has to make the choice again between their voice and their health. We're advocating on the state and local level for measures that will expand access to the ballot box. And we're continuing to grow and build our program, and we need your help! There are lots of ways to get involved—drop us a line at email@example.com to learn more!”
COVID-19 Election Date Updates
As of May 13, 2020, the following states have moved their elections in response to COVID-19 concerns:
Connecticut 4/28 → 8/11
Delaware 4/28 → 7/7
Georgia 5/19 → 6/9
Indiana 5/5 → 6/2
Kentucky 5/19 → 6/23
Louisiana 4/4 → 7/11
Maryland 4/28 → 6/2
New York 4/28 → 6/23*
Pennsylvania 4/28 → 6/2
Puerto Rico 3/29 - was originally moved to 4/26, but has been postponed again to an as yet undetermined date.
Rhode Island 4/28 → 6/2
West Virginia 5/12 → 6/9
*Per Federal Court Decision on May 5, 2020, the New York Presidential Primary is scheduled to take place on June 23, 2020.
Who's in the News?
Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the state will send ballots to all 20.6 million California voters ahead of the November election! In addition, the state will ensure that there are sufficient in-person voting options. This change will allow voters to cast their ballot safely!
The House released the latest stimulus bill. The HEROES Act will safeguard our democracy by ensuring no-excuse vote-by-mail, 15 days of in-person early voting, and automatic mail ballots during crises such as COVID-19, while providing an additional $3.6 billion in funding to help states put this infrastructure in place.
Nevada: On April 16, we filed suit to protect Nevadans’ right to vote. Specifically, we sought to have ballots mailed to every registered voter, not just those labeled as “active.” We also challenged the state’s plan to only have one in-person polling place per county, a policy that would lead to the same unsafe crowds we saw in Wisconsin and force some voters to travel over 100 miles to vote. We also pushed for voters to be able to designate a person of their choice to deliver their ballots and for a common sense signature matching policy. On May 5, the Clark County Registrar announced he will: (1) send mail ballots to all registered voters, including inactive voters; (2) establish two additional polling locations in Clark County; (3) set up supervision of signature matching review and a process for notifying voters within 24 hours about signature issues; and (4) deputize and train twenty individuals who can travel and receive voted and sealed ballots. This is an important victory, because approximately 74% of the state’s population lives in Clark County! The DNC will continue to push for similar concessions for all of Nevada going forward.
Voter Protection Law School Bootcamp -- Applications Out Now!
The DNC’s Civic Engagement and Voter Protection department is taking historic steps to train the next generation of voting rights advocates. Our first two sessions were such a success we’re running the Law School Bootcamp for a third time this summer! The program will run from June 5 to August 7 and will include trainings on the ins and outs of a voter protection program, digital organizing, and more! We’re inviting 2Ls, 3Ls, and recent graduates to apply by May 22. Apply now!
Volunteer & Training Opportunities
DNC- The DNC’s Voter Protection Team has plenty of remote volunteer opportunities available! In addition, the Best Practices Institute is also offering digital organizing training. Sign up and bring a friend!
Florida- Florida’s Democratic Party is seeking current first-, second- and third-year law students as well as recent law school graduates for fellowships with the Voter Protection Department. The fellowship will train the next generation of voter protection staff and volunteers. Fellows will learn Florida election law and Florida polling place procedures. In preparation for Florida's August 18 Primary, fellows will learn how to use VoteBuilder and LBJ (Lawyers Bound for Justice) software. Additionally, Fellows will attend virtual talks, meetings and trainings offered by the DNC and other partner organizations that support FDP's efforts to turn Florida blue. Applications are open! Don’t wait to apply!
- Work the Polls in Maine: 60% of Maine’s poll workers are over 60—our neighbors most at risk for Covid-19—and towns are having trouble recruiting poll workers for the July 14 primary. To keep polling places safe and efficient, they must be robustly staffed. If you're a Maine voter, you can step up to work the polls! Sign up here: VoteInMaine.com/work
- Volunteer for the Maine Voter Protection Team: Any path to retaking the Senate runs through Maine, and to win we must ensure every eligible Maine person can register, vote, and have their vote counted. Join our team as a hotline operator, help voters cure rejected mail ballots, watch the polls, and observe the counting of mail ballots. Sign up at VoteInMaine.com/act
Montana- The Montana Democratic Party is seeking volunteers to help staff the Montana Voter Protection Hotline between May 19 and June 2 (the date of the primary). They will train volunteers in advance. Please contact Montana’s Voter Protection Director, Sacha Baniel-Star, at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Georgia- The Democratic Party of Georgia is seeking out-of-state volunteers to be poll watchers in Georgia in November 2020! Blue state friends are welcome.
Join our team!Arizona for a Deputy Voter Protection Director
Democrats are hiring in...
New Hampshire for a Deputy Voter Protection Director
Ohio for a Deputy Director of Voter Protection