Election Protection Activities

Report ALL election intimidation efforts and other shenanigans!

Check out this website and share on social media: SeeSay2020.com!

Shine daylight on voter suppression.  All voters can report voting problems at SeeSay2020.com – they are published to a national map and acted on as needed. Follow @SeeSay2020 on Twitter and seesay_2020 on Instagram – spread the word so that everyone knows they have this option.  #SeeSay2020 #PhonesUp.  SeeSay2020 was developed by DemLabs and Reclaim Our Vote, and staffed by Reclaim Our Vote volunteers.

For voting emergencies, call 866-OUR-VOTE. Questions about voting? https://www.vote411.org/

Groups are looking for volunteers to photo/video poll tapes across the country.

Updated Nov. 1, 2020 Revision of participating organizations.

(For those of you who volunteered as poll workers for Indivisible Ventura in the past, remember those strips from the scanning machines we had to tie on the door handle as we locked up for the night? Those were the “poll tapes”. We didn’t have them at the last election, and our county won’t have them for this one either.)

This isn’t such a huge issue for us here in Ventura County. Not only are we doing a mail-in election because of the pandemic, in-person voters are using paper ballots that get placed into ballot boxes, just like in your 6th grade election for class president. (But that doesn’t mean you can’t help other precincts…)

Other CA counties do have poll tapes, and states are still using machines proven to cause serious problems. How serious?
Gore vs. Bush serious. Kemp vs. Abrams serious.

Bennie Smith, a financial software developer in Shelby County, Tennessee, which includes Memphis, was contacted by a candidate after losing an election they felt they should have won in their majority Black and Democratic district. However, for years, the winning candidates were overwhelmingly white and Republican. Who was electing these people?

These confounding results were the source of numerous lawsuits. Bennie, though well-versed in computer programming, did something old-school to solve this mismatched mystery. He photographed the poll tapes from a high-density precinct and compared them to the results from the Elections office. There was a 40% difference. After a judicial ruling and the “retirement” of the elections official involved, the winning candidates finally reflected the actual votes…

(Oh, and Bennie is now an elections commissioner.) How do these kinds of shenanigans occur? Well, it appears to be a feature, not a bug.

OMG! – This is crazy. How can I help?

  • I live in an area with all mail-in elections and/or no poll tapes…
    • If you have the skills to find election results posted online and match the numbers with the numbers on poll tapes, you can help with this — even if there are no poll tapes posted in your community. Contact any of these groups to volunteer to help with analysis, which will happen after the election: 
  • I, or my friends and family, living in an area whose polling places produce poll tapes.
    • How do I (or a friend/family member) become volunteer photographers? Sign up with one of these groups.

Go here for more specific instructions on recording poll tapes and how to upload them.

Volunteer opportunities to protect our elections.

  • Sign up hereWe need your help to protect voters’ rights from the unprecedented threats they will face this year when trying to cast their ballot. Nonpartisan Election Protection volunteers like you will be voters’ first line of defense against restrictive election laws, coronavirus-related voting disruptions, or anything else that could silence their voices.
  • Biden/Harris Campaign: Volunteer with the Biden/Harris campaign here. You can sign up to be at the polls during in-person voting, or to work on the voter assistance line.
  • CADEM: Volunteer with the California Democratic Party Voter Protection Team. Early Oct. deadlines, so don’t wait.
  • Equal Justice Society: The national, nonpartisan Election Protection coalition, a co-sponsor of EJS’ voter summit, are rapidly ramping up recruitment of Election Protection volunteers. Please sign up to volunteer!
    • The Equal Justice Society held a virtual Voter Mobilization & Protection Summit in April. (Video of meeting included in link) involving leaders of The New Georgia Project, SEIU 1021, Disability Rights California, Advancement Project, The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Transformative Justice Collective, and She the People.
    • There’s a role for everyone — whether it’s helping voters from home, assisting voters safely in person, or tracking online disinformation. Nonpartisan Election Protection volunteers like you will be voters’ first line of defense against restrictive election laws, coronavirus-related voting disruptions, or anything else that could silence their voices.
    • The Election Protection team will help you find the best way to get involved — whether that’s monitoring polling places (from your vehicle, or remotely), watchdogging social media for disinformation and voters in need of help, or reaching out to voters to make sure they know their rights. 
    • Unfortunately, voters this year will face obstacles that have no place in a modern democracy — and these impediments to voting will hit communities of color the hardest.
  • SURJ National – Election Defender: SIGN UP HERE! If you are able, you can also help by DONATING to SURJ’s Transformative Electoral campaign.
    • What is an Election Defender?:
    • Election Defenders are the core leaders in local areas that will be the heartbeat of our campaign to defend the right to vote, and the integrity of the 2020 presidential election. Election Defenders will be part of a team of 200 people that will recruit & develop 1,000 grassroots SURJ leaders who will move 100,000 people to take sustained and visible action
    • As and Election Defender, you will recruit a core group of 5 people to plan 2 visibility actions before the election 1 action during the election and 1 action after the election.
    • When you sign up you’ll get:
    • Training on recruitment, direct action planning, telling your personal story, and understanding key topics such as fascism, racial capitalism and SURJs theory of change.
    • Guidance from coaches and trainers on planning local visibility actions such as action to protect the USPS, hold election officials accountable, defend voters against intimidation from law enforcement and white supremacists, and to call out Trump and the GOP’s attempts to intimidate voters.
    • Resources to help you plan your actions and recruit people into action with you.
    • Connection to hundreds of other leaders across the SURJ network to build community and provide mutual support.
    • Election Defender Commitment:
    • Volunteer 5 hours per week from September 8th to November 20th performing the following tasks.
    • Attend weekly national trainings and host a weekly local team meetings (zoom or in person).  
    • Recruit and facilitate a group of 5 or more local friends, family, activists, and organizers.
    • Help plan and lead 2 actions before the election, 1 on election day, and 1 after election day.
    • Meet with a coach two times.
    • Participate in discussions and questions and answers using Slack (communication app).
  • Movement for Black Lives: They are enlisting “Election Defenders”; they will be trained to provide safe supports for voting (such as PPE and water) as well as to offer election & voter defense; they hope to de-escalate right-wing intimidation tactics and will contact a network of groups and lawyers, if and where trouble arises.  Given the GOP supporters intimidation tactics at the Fairfax VA polls in mid-September, the avowed intention of Republicans to recruit tens of thousands of unofficial “poll watchers” and Trump’s call out to the Proud Boys in the first presidential debate, check out MFBL’s site and consider signing up for training.

Report Voter Intimidation.

  • See Something, Say Something (2020): Report issues preventing free and fair voting here.
  • CADEM’s VOTER HOTLINE: (877) 321-VOTE (8683). Trained volunteers and the CADEM Voter Protection Team Hotline will assist you between Tuesday, October 20, 2020, until the polls close on General Election Day, Tuesday, November 3, 2020.