2020 Elections: The Future is Us!
Updated: May 29, 2020
The last 10 weeks have impacted each of our lives in ways big and small. In our third virtual salon, we explored how Covid-19 will affect our lives in yet another way: the 2020 elections. Our speakers, Anurima Bhargava and Sonal Shah, reminded us that there is no question if Covid will change this election year. It’s just a matter of how—and what actions we can all take to make sure we win.
We left last week’s salon feeling energized and refocused on the reason why PMS exists: to stay engaged with issues that matter and to take actions that drive change.
Sonal and Anurima both have long, impressive resumes spanning from the DOJ to the Buttigieg campaign. They reminded us to get back in the game because it’s more important than ever that we participate in this year’s elections. We need to maximize voter turnout. Not just for Biden, but also for our state and local candidates.
“It’s not just about the candidates. It’s about leading with integrity and building community in America again … 2018 taught us something important: if we SHOW UP we WIN.” -Anurima Bhargava
“We should not take democracy for granted. Voting is a choice, and to not vote is also a choice.” -Sonal Shah
Keep reading to see specific actions to take to ensure Joe Biden and Democrats in key races win up and down the ballot so that we elect a government that is better equipped to address the current pandemic and help our nation along in its economic recovery.
Covid-19 Impact on our Elections
Sonal and Anurima covered some quick facts on the new election landscape. Here’s what you need to know:
No, the President cannot move the election date--at least without violating several federal statutes and the 20th amendment.
5 states have mail-in voting by default, 28 have mail-in voting with no questions asked, and 17 have mail-in voting only if you have a valid excuse. Many of those 15 states are now litigating whether Covid qualifies as an excuse or not. Check out your state’s policy here.
The communities at risk of being cut out of the 2020 elections include those without mailing addresses (like many Native American reservations); households without internet; anyone unfamiliar with the mailing system (a surprising number of millennials); and districts who may be targeted for stay-at-home orders in November.
Let’s Get Back to Organizing
We are energized and ready to take action. Our May salon encouraged everyone to:
Volunteer your time. Whether that’s on a campaign or simply making calls to your friends and family encouraging them to register and get out and vote. Check out Swing Left, Sister District, Postcards to Voters, Vote Forward, and Postcards to Wisconsin and Michigan (key swing states).
Register voters. Voter registration is down across the country and that is going to impact the election. Do the work to register as many new voters as possible.
Donate. Start small and donate what you can spare. $10-$25 makes a difference.
Some of the candidates we spoke about included Lauren Underwood (IL-14), Wendy Jauregui-Jackins (NV-15), Gina Ortiz Jones (TX-32), Sri Kulkarni (TX-22), Jamie Harrison (U.S. Senate - SC), Reverend Raphael Warnock (U.S. Senate - GA).
You can also donate to organizing efforts like Downtown Nasty Women Social Group.
Run for office. We need more women and representation in office, and there are awesome organizations and people who will support you. Emerge, And She Could Be Next, Run for Something, and Putting Women in Their Place are great orgs to start with.
Pay attention. Stay on top of the news. Here some great reads mentioned in our Zoom chat: Black Voters Are Key Witnesses to Crimes Against Democracy, Trump Advisers Warn McSally is in Trouble.
We look forward to connecting with you again in June for our next virtual salon. Stay tuned for details, and reply to this email to let us know how you would like to be involved or to contribute an idea for a future salon.