Today's the Day! VOTE!
Happy Tuesday, Activists!
It's here! If you're not a vote-by-mail voter, today's the day to go to the polls, which are open from 7 am to 8 pm. If you haven't returned your mail-in ballot yet, take it to a drop box and drop it off. DON'T mail it - it will not be counted unless it is received by 8 pm tonight. The list of drop box locations is at this link. The rest of our voter guide is later in this newsletter.
OUR NEXT MEETING An Evening in Conversation with Congressman Brendan Boyle
We’re excited to host this meeting with Congressman Brendan Boyle on Wednesday, June 2, at 6:30 pm. Congressman Boyle represents Philadelphians in the 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. There's a huge line-up of bills going through Congress right now, so join us to learn about pending legislation and future bills that will be coming to the floor. We’ll ask Congressman Boyle about the strategy to get these bills passed, the chances of success for them, plus more! Sign up here.
OUR THREE NEW PROJECTS
As we've discussed before, and at a recent meeting, Philadelphia voter turnout was not impressive in 2020. The state's overall voter turnout was 71% while Philly’s was 66%. To win the open U.S. Senate seat and our governor’s seat in 2022, we need to boost Philadelphia turnout and we need to start now.
We have a three-pronged plan – (1) our new Postcard Project; (2) our Neighborhood Canvassing Project; and (3) our 35 Doors Project. Plus, of course, we will still line up all of our “regular” events like voter registration (two dates below). Take your pick and motivate voters!
We are currently centering these projects on the American Rescue Plan to show that voting matters and elections have consequences. We are talking to voters who voted in 2016 and 2020 but not in the 2018 midterms. We aim to persuade them to vote next year.
Here’s how it works –
We will distribute the postcards to you or you can pick them up at a Center City location, which we will tell you when you sign up.
The hand-written script is only two sentences and you’ll also write the address.
We recommend you order enough cards to write over the next two months. Once new legislation is passed we’ll change the cards to reflect the new benefits.
The packet you receive will include the postcards and the list of addresses. We’ll email you all the instructions and the script. We are preparing packets in 50-card sets, so please order them in multiples of 50.
We ask that you donate $7.00 per set of 50 postcards to cover our costs. We understand that in these times some of you may not be able to incur this cost in addition to buying the postcard stamps, BUT we want you to participate anyway. So please don’t let the donation stop you from ordering the postcard packets. On the other hand, if you can, please consider chipping in a little extra to cover the cost for those who cannot.
Here’s how to sign up –
Email us at this link to tell us how many postcards you want.
Purchase your 36-cent postcard stamps online at this link or at your local post office.
Donate $7.00 per set of 50 postcards at this link.
Here’s how you'll receive your postcards – If you are in the Philadelphia area, we will deliver the postcard packets to you or you can pick them up. If you haven’t written postcards with us before, please give us your address. If you are outside the Philadelphia area, we can ship the packet to you. Please add $5.00 to your donation for shipping costs. Here's the card!
2. NEIGHBORHOOD CANVASSING We'll use some of the same techniques used by Stacey Abrams and other Georgia groups to expand the electorate and sign up voters. We're canvassing in Philadelphia, focusing on infrequent voters and non-voters by using proven persuasion techniques. Our first training is this Thursday, May 20 - Indivisible's Zoom registration link
Our first canvass is this Saturday, May 22 at 11:00 a.m. in Queen Village. Sign up here. 3. 35 DOORS PROJECT In this project you’ll be a Neighborhood Leader interacting with voters at 35 addresses in your neighborhood. It involves going to doors a few times per year and using the information we’ll provide about upcoming elections. You’ll be ready to be the local election expert after our training session and the information and handouts we’ll provide. We’ll also provide the addresses. NEW PROJECTS TRAINING – This is for both projects. An expert Indivisible trainer will lead the training. When: THIS THURSDAY, May 20, at 4 pm. Sign up at this Indivisible Zoom registration link
If you can’t make this one, don’t worry. We’ll record it and there will be more live sessions too. For more information email us here or just sign up for the training and/or first canvass!
We've set two dates to register voters in Rittenhouse Square. We’ll register voters safely and follow all COVID protocols. Meet up in front of the Ethical Society, 1906 So. Rittenhouse Square. Three shifts on each day – 10 am–noon; noon–2 pm; 2–4 pm When: Saturday, June 5. Sign up here.
When: Saturday, June 12. Sign up here.
TODAY'S ELECTION INFO
Voting By Mail Return your mail-in ballot TODAY before 8 pm at a drop box. The list of locations is at this link.
– Mail-in ballots must be turned in only by the voter, unless the voter is disabled and can certify another person to deliver it. Certification forms are at this link (at the bottom).
– Follow the directions on the card included in the ballot envelope. (1) Fill out the ballot with blue or black pen; (2) vote for the right number of candidates as indicated; (3) put your completed ballot in the blue secrecy envelop; (4) put that envelope in the mailing envelope; and (5) be sure to sign on the back of it where indicated.
Voting In Person Find your polling place at this link. Polling places are open from 7 am to 8 pm.
Track your ballot at this link.
Remind your family and friends how important it is to vote in this election! This is a lower-turnout election so your vote is more important than ever.
Ballot Questions You can see the more expanded rundown in our recent newsletter and below is our quick review.
* Constitutional Amendment to Article IV. Transfers certain of the Governor’s existing authority to manage disaster emergencies away from the Governor and to the General Assembly. We recommend voting NO to this Amendment.
* Constitutional Amendment to Article III, Section 9 – Allows the legislature to terminate or extend the Governor’s disaster emergency declaration without the Governor’s approval. We recommend voting NO on this amendment.
* Constitutional Amendment to Article I – Creates a PA constitutional prohibition against restricting or denying an individual’s equal rights under Pennsylvania law because of race or ethnicity. We recommend voting YES on this amendment.
* Statewide Referendum. Allows Municipal fire and emergency services companies to be eligible to take out loans from an already existing state loan program. We recommend voting YES on this referendum.
* Philadelphia Home Charter Rule Change – Expands the Board of License Inspection Review from six to nine members who can hear and decide cases in three-member panels. See more here.
For more --> Progressive Voters Guide for Constitutional Amendments at this link. --> State website with the descriptions of the ballot questions at this link. --> Committee of Seventy’s voter guide at this link.
Judges * PA Supreme Court – summary of who they are and their positions is here. * Committee of Seventy’s round-up of the races for judge and the statewide ballot questions is at this link. * Philadelphia-specific races are at this link. * The Philadelphia Bar Association’s recommendations are at this link.