This has been a hard couple of days, with some discouraging news, hasn’t it?
The road is steeper, so we have to take action to fight even harder for our democracy. It’s clear the highest court of the land WILL NOT, so it’s up to all of us.
I am happy to report that 58 people have already volunteered to participate (!) and 25 or so have signed on to work on the 7 pilot states as we work out the best ways to collect and share the information. We have a tentative name for this group, which will be shared in the zooms next week. (Sorry, but it does not include skull fuck a kitten, as was previously suggested.)
Description of the Problem
This spring, Republicans began to use their control over legislatures and governorships in a number of states to rewrite state election laws.
They seek to:
- Allow state legislatures to appoint electoral college electors; disregarding the will of the voters;
- Expose state election administrators to harassment and intimidation for doing their jobs;
- Make it even more difficult to vote, especially for poor voters and voters of color.
Not satisfied with using gerrymandering to undermine democracy and all but guarantee election wins for themselves in many locations, Republican states across the nation are now using the fruits of their gerrymandering to change the entire game and further subvert democracy.
Statement of Purpose for This Project
The Republican strategy is being carried out through a multitude of different initiatives in many, many states – that are underway in at least 22 states so far.
- Collect data, state by state and updated over time, on these election nullification initiatives;
- Provide this data as a resource for individuals and organizations seeking to mount opposition to them;
- Mobilize further resources as necessary in support of efforts directed at resistance
Our first step is to collect the data, state by state, on these voting restrictions and election nullification initiatives, and keep it updated as time goes on.
Identify First Steps in the action plan:
- Organize volunteers into state groups for the 7 pilot states.
- Research bills and and other pending actions in each state as noted in the description of the problem above.
- Identify elected officials and others in the Democratic Party who are active in the state.
- Research and identify political and civic-minded organizations that are active in the state.
- Share your state information so it can be collected in an electronic system.
- Contact elected officials and democratic party activists that have been identified.
- Contact political and civic-minded organizations that have been identified.
- Share your state information again so the results of this phase can be collected in an electronic system.
Initial Meeting with the 24 state volunteers:
We think a zoom meeting (video or audio, as each person prefers) might be the best place to start. The zooms will be recorded, so volunteers who might not be able to attend, or who hate zooms, will be able to listen to a recording.
We want to hold two zooms to accommodate individual schedules. Zooms can be held on Tuesday, July 6 and Wednesday, July 7. Can everyone do evenings? Or should one of them be in the daytime?
After the Zoom, the work begins:
If you volunteered for a state, I sent an email to everyone who volunteered for a particular state. If you volunteered for one of the pilot states but have not received an email, please contact me to let me know.
We’ll have a phone or zoom meeting with each group, and we’ll start out with at least one of one of us (me, Capricorn, Benw) being available for each state group, and then we can bow out at whatever point our participation seems extraneous. Beyond that, Sure Lurkalot will take point on pulling your research and information, however you supply it, into a consistent format on our end.
Timeframe for the first steps:
We are thinking maybe 10-14 days for research into Republican actions and identification of state officials and other key groups with a state. Then another 2-3 weeks for contacting all the potential players that were identified through your research.
More Volunteers will be needed:
This may be the first time you are seeing anything about this project. Its not too late to volunteer for one of the 7 states!
Not everyone in a state group will be interested in research, and not everyone in a state group will be interested in contacting elected officials, activists, and organizations.
So at some point, within a month or so, we will be looking for folks to help fill in the holes for each particular state. So even if you don’t step up for the initial phase, we are hoping that other folks can sign on as the project gets going – as new needs and action steps are identified.
For now, big thanks to everyone who has signed up, and it’s not too late to get involved if you are interested. A few of the pilot states could definitely use some more people.
In the comments, please let us know whether you could do a zoom on Tuesday or on Wednesday, say at 7:30 ET, or whether daytime would be better for some of you. Beyond that, please jump in with ideas and suggestions, and feel free to ask any questions you might have.