Today is the last day to cure the polls in Georgia. This is the second time this cycle that Hope Springs has since Field PAC screened voters with problem ballots that needed to be attended to (the first, of course, was the last Senate ballot), and we’re learning things in the areas we had looked into in the 2021 runoffs. Some of the same voters (and in some places, many of them) needed their vote taken care of again. Most likely, their ballots were rejected due to a signature mismatch. Their signatures changed as they got older. So you’d think registry offices would update their signatures, right? You would think.
Volunteers chasing voters with rejected ballots, however, report in Georgia that they aren’t confused this time. Most acknowledge that they received some form of communication, although they could not necessarily distinguish between communication from the local registrar’s office or that from Democratic organizations (such as Field’s Hope Springs) that are engaged in wide dissemination. “What should I do?” seems to be the most common question. Not resistance (“I know I signed my vow!” was a frequent response in 2021), not necessarily acceptance, but determination. Let’s go do this.
Georgia isn’t the only place. We’ve seen the same kind of raw determination in Pennsylvania as well. It didn’t hurt that the media covered up the court rulings that led to their ballots being rejected. The window to curate your vote in Pennsylvania was short and ended on Election Day. But, again, we’ve seen other Democratic organizations reach out to our constituents to let them know they need to correct their mail-in ballots. In Pennsylvania, organizers reported not so much resolve as anger. More than once the organizers have heard comments about the judges and how they were the ones who needed “fixing”.
448 volunteers drove a circuit and knocked on doors last week, trying to locate interested voters and bring them to the electoral office if necessary. A volunteer in Nevada asked a voter’s wife, after repeated attempts to locate the voter, to tell her when she would be back and “I’ll make sure she’s here.” They did, it was, and the volunteer drove it (both, actually) to the office. The nuisance works.
But we’ve also had volunteers asked other questions by people who have opened their doors. Can I still vote if I haven’t returned my ballot? Volunteers in Georgia and Florida were even thanked for fixing a local infrastructure problem because we walked with constituent service request forms when we knocked on doors this spring and summer and the problem was fixed (perhaps without our help , we did not trace CSR and could not know if we had something to do with it). But this kind of deep organization pays dividends. Democrats are doing something!
Signature curation is perhaps the least understood aspect of our GOTV plan, and we will work to the last and last minute we can help voters in Senate swing states to make sure their vote counts. We are focused on 51 counties in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, Ohio, and Pennsylvania (the states/counties we’ve knocked on that allow voters to troubleshoot absentee or mail-in ballots when their local election administrator identifies them). And we’ve had volunteers out knocking on doors or texting or making phone calls in these states from the moment the ballots started being marked. They will continue until such time as they can no longer be adjusted.
Ballots are rejected largely due to a perceived signature mismatch. This hits fringe voters hard: minorities, youth, people with disabilities, trans and gender nonconforming people, women, people with English as a second language, and military personnel. Women who change their names after marriage or divorce are also often affected (as we found in our efforts to cure voting during the Georgia Senate ballot in 2021).
when Hope comes from the field started campaigning in June 2021, we always knew that the 2022 Midterms would end in a run-off. You understand that this is the reason because we have invested in mobile scanners/printers for use with voter registration, absentee ballots (VBM) and ballot care. Mobile printers allow voters to bring their acceptable identification to the volunteer’s car, scan their ID, and bring back the copy to include with their absentee ballot or ballot care form. They scan and print so they know their “numbers” are safe. We knew we had to have these assets in the field, ready to go when the time came.
That moment is now. Volunteers were covering the areas where we had been knocking on doors before. For the most part, these volunteers aren’t our “Super Volunteers” who have come out week after week (which still amazes me!), because many if not most of them have gone on to the senate and coordinated efforts on the ground of the countryside. We called them the LWV volumes, but one of our (African American) organizers corrected us (white people), noting that most of these volunteers are not the white women typically found at League of Women Voters events. Most of these volunteers in Florida, Georgia and even Ohio are African Americans, mobilized primarily through the Divine Nines and Black Churches. In Nevada, most of them are union activists and in Arizona alone they are mostly Caucasian volunteers drawn from our previous propaganda work there (please realize that for both Arizona and Nevada, this was our first summer campaign in those states (also in Ohio, but we were already connected with Divine Nines there), and therefore are heavily dependent on our volunteer base in those two states).
Here’s the thing. Elections Administrators inform and wait for voters to follow. Campaign engagement is something more akin to annoying. Elections Administrators can notify via one-time phone calls or a single letter. But we’ll use every tactic to make sure voters are aware that their signatures need to be “curated”: emails, roaming, live calling, texting, and knocking on doors. Repeated efforts to connect, notify and resolve. Repeated contact until deadlines expire.
Hope comes from the CAP field knocked on doors in a grassroots-led effort to prepare the electoral battlefield in what has been called the first round of a traditional five-round canvas. We are bringing these efforts to the doorsteps of the communities most affected (the targets or intended victims) of these new voter suppression laws.
Of course, we rely on grassroots support, so if you support field/grassroots organizing, voter registration (and follow-up), and our efforts to keep our constituents safe, we would certainly appreciate your support:
Hope comes from the CAP field understands that repeated interactions with voters are key. We’re going back to the old-school basics: repeated contact, repeated efforts to remind them of protocols, meet them where they are. Mentor those who need it (such as first-time and newly registered voters). Remember, remember, remember and then go after those voters whose votes need to be taken care of.
While we focus on these five pivotal Senate swing states, there are other states that have ballot care provisions. Each state is different, of course, as you can see from the spreadsheet image above.
Many states allow you to track your grade with an online portal that shows you when your vote is received and then processed. Some of them even let you know if your ballot was rejected. They might even provide a reason why.
This information is also available on VAN. And VAN allows us to not only track those voters who need their ballots corrected, but also to track how many times we’ve contacted those who need their ballots corrected.
In the 2021 Senate ballot in Georgia, Hope Springs volunteers handled over 200 ballots. It was in that effort that we learned of the need for portable printers. But it was through the process of helping (mostly minority) Georgians. get free voter IDs with photos that we realized there were conservative organizations and Republican volunteers determined to challenge as many voters as possible on the most picayune issues, trying to force voters to document those issues before their votes could be accepted and counted.
In the last week, we reached out 2,438 voters in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, Ohio and Pennsylvania on their doorstep. Hope comes from the field it also placed 32,157 robocalls and sent 10,091 messages to these voters. We it took 611 voters to their election administrator’s office to rectify their problem and deliver the necessary documents to the election administrator 218 voters. We will continue to contact these disenfranchised voters through various means of communication until they have resolved their ballot or the deadline to do so has expired. But we need your help, especially your money! – if you have the ability to help. Since we are making several attempts to contact voters, printing costs and telephone communication costs are difficult to plan for.
The Civil Rights Lawyers Committee he thinks this has disproportionate effects on people of color. I have no reason to think they are wrong.
But, as a result, Democratic campaigns can no longer functionally end on Election Day, but must anticipate continuing at least until Election Day. the voting period it’s over. Activists need to start taking this into account too. The election won’t end until (Democrat) the boards are healed!
The money raised for this is used for Literature, Robocall and Gas Card for volunteers. If you are able to support our efforts to mobilize these tough and brand new voters to vote in November, especially in minority communities, by expanding the electorate, or simply believe in grassroots efforts to increase voter participation and electoral protection , please donate:
Thank you for your support. This job is up to you!
Did the Democrats do better or worse than you expected on Tuesday?
Did the Democrats do better or worse on Tuesday than you expected?