Take Action to Combat Voter Suppression

Thank you for joining us for BABF #UNBOUND’s Voting Rights program.
With arguably the most consequential election of our lifetime coming up, it’s more important than ever that we hear the voice of every single American. We hope this programming inspires you to take action to support voting rights, whether by protecting your own vote or helping ensure that others can vote too. There’s so much we can do, even in a time of social distancing, to combat voter suppression and make sure that the 2020 election is safe and secure for everyone.

Right Now,
Before You Leave This Page

  1. Make sure that you are registered to vote. It’s easy to double-check, and doubly important if you are in a state that is conducting voter roll purges!
  2. Request an absentee ballot. Keep your neighbors safe by voting at home. And if you don’t get it in two weeks, call your county registrar until you do (to find them, Google “[your county name] registrar”).
  3. Know your rights. Take 3 minutes to familiarize yourself with what you can do if you encounter common voter suppression tactics.

Use Your Voice

  1. Call your Senator to ask for safe and secure elections during the COVID-19 crisis. There are plenty of smart policy proposals to assist states to expand safe voting practices, but they’ll never pass without clear, persistent public pressure. Tell your Senator you’ll be voting no matter what, and that you expect their staunch support of safe elections for your fellow citizens.
  2. Alert voters who may be at risk of suppression. Work with Reclaim Our Vote to reach voters who live in states where they’re at risk of being purged from voter rolls. This organization can help you take specific action, from home, to encourage voters to register and turn out.
  3. Focus especially on organizations that organize in communities of color. The fight for voting rights has always originated in communities of color. Make sure that your donations, volunteer time, and vocal support go to leaders in these communities. A handful we’d recommend (in addition to Reclaim Our Vote):

Imagine a Better Future

  1. Take the Census. This civic duty determines so much about how our democracy will or won’t work in the near future.
  2. Get to know your state’s voting policies. Not all voter suppression happens elsewhere. The elected officials in your state are your best opportunity to drive change.
  3. Decide to be a Democracy Voter. Make voting rights your top issue, and turn out for the candidates with plans for reform. Think about the intersecting injustices that have led to our current moment, then pick a battle to make your own.

For Young Adults Specifically!

  1. Sign up for an 18th birthday reminder. Pledge to register to vote on your 18th birthday by signing up at vote.org.
  2. Work with your local League of Women voters to run a voter registration drive at your school. You are the most persuasive advocate to get your classmates registered! Many states allow 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote, too. More tips here.

Other useful resources appear on the Take Action page set up by Brave New Films in connection with its short documentary SUPPRESSED: THE FIGHT TO VOTE (38 minutes, viewable for free), which we’ll be sharing and discussing later in our Voting Rights series.

Finally, we recommend the books of all of our speakers in this series. You can find their most recent books on the program page for each talk. We encourage you to order from your own local independent bookstore (here’s a list for Festival partners in the Bay Area). You might also want to follow these authors on social media to keep up with their work and hear their thoughts as Voting Rights issues continue to unfold, in the upcoming 2020 election and beyond.