Don’t Have Your Vote Purged – Check Now On-Line!

New Orleans   This isn’t news:  the midterm elections are around the corner.  It’s crazy time!  Anyone who is not worrying about whether or not their vote is going to be counted or purged for some unknown and scurrilous reason is just not paying attention.

If you live in a red state, as I certainly do, you simply must realize that being purged is an ever-present danger.  That is especially true if you live in a blue island with an African-American majority or any minority-majority that exists like a big open wound on the political map of the state.  Think not only New Orleans, but Austin, Houston, Charlotte, Memphis, Tampa, and more.  We may not be battlegrounds, but we are the last of the sturdy forts in our states hunkered down to prevent the zombie apocalypse of the right. We’re sending out scout teams and recruiting every day.

Kris Kobach, the ruthless enemy of democracy and wannabe national gatekeeper locking access to the voting booth for anyone who doesn’t look and think exactly like him, has created voting purge systems of questionable technological efficacy that have wrongly knocked voters off the rolls in dozens of states around the country with the database he created to so effectively do so as Kansas Secretary of State.  Having now barely survived as the winning candidate in the Republican primary of governor in Kansas by 110 votes at last count, he feels the importance of voter suppression very personal for him and his allies’ path to potential power.

A friend, fellow traveler and long-time politico out of nowhere sent me a link, https://www.dontgetpurged.org/ with the cryptic message, “pass the word.”  A simple click on the link allows you to type in the information and within the twinkling of an eye, you find out whether you are good to go for the coming elections or have been…dread the word…purged!  The site walks you through what to do next to get right, if the answer was bad news.

This is a project of something called Vote.org, which from its website seems to be a Silicon Valley-lite project enlisting tech tools to deal with voting access.  Its backstory seems to have been an effort 10-years ago to deal with absentee voting that got a new life and a fresh wind behind its back in its new iteration with a refreshing lineup that breaks at least a little of the techster mode with a woman as CEO, an all-woman board, and a small staff lineup that is overwhelmingly populated with women as well.

None of this will stop the apocalypse we’re facing, but it’s another strong nail helping hold the wall up and making sure that everyone we need is lining up inside the fort to vote for our future in the coming election.  You got the message, https://www.dontgetpurged.org/, click the button, spread the word, and get your vote on!

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Counting Down, But All Over But the Shouting – and Hard Work!

2000 after Gore-Bush election protests & counting every vote

2000 after Gore-Bush election protests & counting every vote

New Orleans   Donald Trump’s campaign manager is a political professional. She has now admitted that they are behind without any hanky-panky accusations or artifice. She argues that there is still a possible path to a Trump victory but it is minuscule. Aggregates of all polls and predictions are rating Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning at 90%. Clinton is now putting money and time into states where Senate races are in play on the chance that with her victory and four seats swinging to the Democrats with the VP as the deciding vote on a party line division, control would shift. Few see a flip of thirty seats in the House, but most seem to believe that the margins will tighten and it could fall. President Obama is putting muscle and work behind more than 150 state legislators to see if control of some statehouses and chambers can be jilted to achieve more balance in the states. Obama has also committed to supporting former Attorney General Eric Holder’s project to try and impact redistricting in 2020 and reduce gerrymandering.

All good, but here’s the big but….

Turnout predictions are way down. Early voting is happening in Florida and North Carolina, and Clinton is pushing for more turnout, but numbers coming from Ohio so far are considerably down compared to the two Obama elections. This is even true among African-Americans where Clinton’s strength is huge.

In fact, television interviews and newspaper reports with black millennials are depressing. I read one wondering “why would I waste my time?” I saw a television piece interviewing a half-dozen very bright black millennial activists, and no matter how many times the interviewer posed the threats of a Trump candidacy, they were immovable on voting for Clinton, and perhaps voting at all. The third party candidates, god love them, don’t seem to have picked up the Sanders movement, so that seems less of a monkey wrench in this election, but voter antipathy to the candidates and a feeling that it’s over before it begins could spell trouble.

Here’s where the hard, usually invisible work of a field program comes to the fore. The AFL-CIO says it’s putting 100,000 volunteers on the streets of battleground states over the coming weeks. The Clinton campaign has invested deeply in offices and staffing in many battleground states in order to maximize the get out the vote effort, while Trump’s ground game still seems to consist of multiple rallies of the faithful. This is also where having a financial advantage helps the Clinton campaign by allowing them the resources to fuel the field. I even heard about a unique effort by some techies to encourage vote trading from blue to red states, but I doubt if that’s a movement. The additional incentive that Trump has offered the opposition is the need to pile up the score in order to de-legitimize any allegations of election rigging by administering an electoral beat down.

Nonetheless, it all boils down to getting yourself in gear and down to the polls on Tuesday, November 8th. Don’t go alone. Do your piece to make democracy work a bit better. Pressure your relatives, call your friends, post on your Facebook, Twitter, whatever, and let your small voice roar one way or another.

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