VoteRiders fight
September 21, 2022 5:35 AM   Subscribe

In fewer than 50 days, the midterm elections will be held in the US. According to a new analysis by Democracy Docket, there has been a steep jump in voting and election lawsuits filed by Republican-affiliated groups in 2022 compared to 2021. In 2021, GOP-affiliated groups and individuals filed 7 lawsuits, or 13% of the total voting cases tracked in 2021. As of September 16, 2022, GOP-affiliated groups have filed 41 lawsuits, or nearly 54% of all voting cases tracked in 2022. These cases are intended to shorten or end early voting periods, end or limit mail-in ballots, attack the use of drop boxes, or add voter ID requirements that make it challenging for the elderly, the poor, the unhoused, those without cars, the disabled, and other folks to vote. Happily, several organizations are working to protect voters.

VoteRiders, for example, is "focused entirely on voter ID education and assistance to all eligible voters who are in need. We equip voters with what they need to vote with confidence. Our work isn’t partisan, and we stand united in defense of democracy for all."

Imagine: Every state has different voter ID rules. Texas is one of seven states to have enacted stricter voter ID rules since the 2020 elections. According to Axios, "the organization plans to spend at least $300,000 this year on its efforts in Texas, which include staffing, PSAs and digital campaigns, text messages and letter writing to eligible voters, and helping them obtain state-issued ID."

VoteRiders also operates in the swing states of Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. It is looking for volunteers (remote slots for writing letters, for example) as well as donations. Most importantly, it wants to spread the word that if you need a photo ID to vote, it can help you get one.

Souls to the Polls Wisconsin "is part of a national faith-based movement to register and inform potential voters in primarily African-American communities." There are various groups and programs in different states called Souls to the Polls, which often involve ministers encouraging congregants to vote after Sunday services. This was too effective for Georgia's GOP, which last year eliminated Sunday voting in several counties.

Nonprofit Vote claims it is "the largest source of nonpartisan resources to help nonprofits integrate voter engagement into their ongoing activities and services."

Power the Polls "was launched in June 2020 by a coalition of businesses and nonprofits seeking to recruit a new wave of poll workers ahead of the 2020 election." A shortage of poll workers is expected in 2022; Power the Polls works to sign up folks for this important (and PAID) work.
posted by Bella Donna (15 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
That VoteRiders web site looks really good! The layout is simple and very legible.

Their information for my state (Rhode Island) is clear and direct, and it links right into the Secretary of State's web site. I just used it to request my mail-in ballot, and I texted the link to my wife & college-age kids so they can get theirs, too.
posted by wenestvedt at 5:54 AM on September 21, 2022 [2 favorites]

Thank you for this post.
posted by humbug at 6:59 AM on September 21, 2022 [2 favorites]

I guess it's a good thing that these non-partisan groups exist, but I couldn't live with myself if I knew I had helped someone cast a vote for a Republican.
posted by The Monster at the End of this Thread at 7:18 AM on September 21, 2022 [1 favorite]

But you will never know!
posted by Bella Donna at 7:33 AM on September 21, 2022 [3 favorites]

Gee, if only Congress would pass some laws to protect voting, maybe call it a Voting Rights Act...
posted by wittgenstein at 7:53 AM on September 21, 2022 [7 favorites]

I guess it's a good thing that these non-partisan groups exist, but I couldn't live with myself if I knew I had helped someone cast a vote for a Republican.

I totally understand where you're coming from, and I guess as a New York State poll worker, I've always just though about it as, "Helping every eligible voter vote as quickly and with the fewest issues that is possible."

And on the personal political side, the more people get to the polls and casting their ballots, that "reality's liberal bias" will be better reflected in the results.
posted by mikelieman at 8:17 AM on September 21, 2022 [17 favorites]

What inspiring organizations, and what great work they're doing!

I'm especially pleased to learn about Nonprofit Vote. It looks like they work with a ton of great nonprofits, from the American Library Association to the United Negro College Fund to the National Alliance on Mental Illness - the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Rock the Vote, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Autism Speaks, the American Alliance of Museums, Feeding America - on and on. It's a brilliant idea to partner with such a diverse collection of organizations.

Thank you so much for posting this and highlighting these excellent organizations, Bella Donna! This is a great start to my day.
posted by kristi at 8:28 AM on September 21, 2022 [3 favorites]

Thank you for this timely post because it reminded me to request my absentee ballot. I usually go to an early voting location but am out of town for the duration of my caregiving duties. This is the kind of personal stuff that I, like countless others, forget to do...
posted by mightshould at 8:32 AM on September 21, 2022 [3 favorites]

I will never understand why the Democratic Party is not blasting "Republicans hate voting" from every mouthpiece they have. Show cases of little old white ladies who want to vote, being hindered by the Republicans over and over.

Obviously the right owns the media via Fox and Friends, but at least make them respond rather than always playing defense.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 8:42 AM on September 21, 2022 [7 favorites]

In Texas the voter ID laws are blatantly constructed to maximize opportunities for Repubicans to have ID that counts.

A college ID? Does not count.

A handgun license? Does count.

And that's really all you need to know about the Texas voter ID laws. They exist to maximize Republican votes while minimizing Democratic votes.

I'm kind of shocked that they didn't just say fuck it and make an NRA membership card count as valid voter ID.
posted by sotonohito at 11:57 AM on September 21, 2022 [7 favorites]

Thanks for posting the info and links, Bella Donna!
posted by winesong at 4:04 PM on September 21, 2022 [2 favorites]

The Monster At The End Of This Thread: ..I couldn't live with myself if I knew I had helped someone cast a vote for a Republican.

I was going to ask about "I may not agree with you but I will defend to the death your right to think differently." But we've seen the limits of tolerating intolerance abused by people who shamelessly want power.

I returned to the thought to push for responsibility (especially to the communities we live in):
Power doesn't want responsibility, so what of taking responsibility for the democracy were in and helping everyone get a fair chance to make the system work for them?
posted by k3ninho at 12:48 AM on September 22, 2022 [1 favorite]

When do we get to stop pretending that it's all just politics, and deal with the simple fact that the Republican Party has become just a criminal racket out to subvert anything they can, to the advantage of the few.
posted by Goofyy at 4:26 AM on September 23, 2022

I don't think it's news that the GOP (or huge chunks of it) is running a racket to benefit the few. What's your point? If you are frustrated, believe me, I feel you.
posted by Bella Donna at 4:44 AM on September 23, 2022

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