It’s kind hard to believe that we started this series just 10 weeks ago, in the before times. This coronavirus pandemic has changed everything.
The original goal was a poll-free, spin-free, prognostication-free political thread, and the hope was that this would help provide inspiration, and encourage action as an alternative to anger, frustration and despair. Circumstances are now wildly different, and the anger, frustration and despair may be coming out of different circumstances, but we still need inspiration – and action still beats the hell out of impotent rage.
Going forward, I’d kind of like to highlight a different opportunity on each post. Maybe one donation opportunity and/or one action opportunity each time?
I need each of you to take the lead by providing me with a short blurb for the donation opportunity and/or the action opportunity that is most important to you. Please share in the comments, or send info to me by email – we can feature one in each post.
I’ll get us started today, with this from the Southern Poverty Law Center.
No one should have to risk their life to vote. That was true in the days of the civil rights movement, when thousands of Black Americans put their lives on the line to claim the voting rights they had been unjustly denied. And it is equally true today in the midst of a deadly pandemic that makes in-person voting a serious and unnecessary risk, especially for medically susceptible people and communities.
State officials of both parties across the nation have taken decisive steps to ensure voting is safe for all during this public health crisis — measures like expanding absentee voting, waiving onerous absentee ballot rules and increasing early voting opportunities.
Yet Alabama, so far, has done very little.
Alabamians cannot wait. They have the right to vote without placing themselves, their families and their communities in danger. That’s why, on Friday, we sued Alabama Governor Kay Ivey and other top officials over the state’s lack of safe and accessible voting processes amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In the midst of a pandemic, Alabama can make our elections more secure, more efficient and more accessible to all eligible voters while still protecting public health and safety,” said Caren Short, senior staff attorney for the SPLC. “We are filing this lawsuit to ensure that Alabama voters are not forced to choose between their health and their vote.”
The federal lawsuit — filed in partnership with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) and the Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program (ADAP) — requests that a federal court instruct state officials to make absentee and in-person voting more accessible to protect the health and safety of Alabama voters.
The lawsuit also notes that these measures are particularly important for older voters, voters with disabilities and Black voters, who have been severely and disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Despite making up about one-fourth of the state’s population, Black people account for 45 percent of Alabama’s COVID-19-related deaths.
“No one should have to choose between their life or their vote,” said LDF Senior Counsel Deuel Ross. “[Alabama’s] burdensome voting requirements weigh heavily on Alabamians during all elections. But requiring voters to comply with these restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic needlessly endangers lives.”
If you are so inclined, there’s a donation button at the first link.