We are now within six months of the 2020 general election. Typically in May, we would all be getting lots of publicity about multiple candidates vying for at least one party’s Presidential nomination, plus endless fliers and campaign ads on every media platform imaginable for candidates at every level up and down the ballot.
This year’s circumstances are not typical. Most of our attention has been focussed on a tiny virus and on efforts at all governmental levels to craft appropriate responses to minimize both loss of life and economic dislocations. The intrusion of covid-19 into our lives has substantially changed the way our elections may play out this year, at the same time it increases our stakes in the outcome.
Our Voter Advocacy team at UUFR has been virtually active, gleaning information, spreading links to helpful websites, attending Zoom meetings, making phone calls, reaching out to previous volunteers, forming and strengthening strategic alliances. Co-Chair Nancy Moxley has found an additional post carding effort we can participate in, encouraging NC voters whose registrations have recently been canceled to reclaim their votes through reregistration. If you haven’t been contacted and would like to participate, please get in touch with Nancy at [email protected] to see whether there are any spaces left for this effort that will be launching in the next couple of weeks.
We’re increasing our contacts with North Carolina’s UU social justice ministry, UU Forward Together, and will be partnering with other NC congregations on voter advocacy efforts, with help from a voter advocacy grant from UUA.
The UUA website has extensive links about voting in 2020, including a list of “50+ Ways You Can UU the Vote (https://www.uua.org/justice/vote2020/50-ways-you-can-uuthevote).” Not explicitly on the list, but quite important, is making sure that your voter registration is current, then encouraging everyone in your social networks to check their registration status as well. It is now possible to do online voter registration (and some registration updates) if you have an NC driver’s license or ID card:
The next weeks and months are likely to pose novel challenges. Now, while many systems remain on “pause,” is a good time to make sure you will be able to vote this fall, whether by mail, during early voting, or on election day. Educate yourself. Help educate others.
None of us are likely to complete all of the UUA’s “50+” suggestions, but all of us can do at least one, maybe small, thing for voting in 2020.
– Jinny Batterson