We are 12 days out from what is clearly an historic election, and while the steadiness of the polls gives me heart, and there is anecdotal evidence to support a movement towards change, the hard fact is that "winning" will occur in stages – popular, electoral, and (alas, quite probably) legal.
What that means to me is that we must work even harder now until the election. It is because of that conviction that I am writing you today. Most of you, perhaps all of you, will have also been working hard towards this moment. Thank you. Thank you for putting aside your other pressing concerns, in the middle of a pandemic, to focus on our Democracy. We now have two fundamental tasks.
The first is obvious – VOTE.
The second is not so obvious but could be the critical element that carries us to victory. PERSONALLY REACH OUT TO YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS AND URGE THEM TO VOTE. Below are the pertinent talking points as I see them.
Are you registered? Deadlines are hard upon us. Always wise to check ahead even if you are sure your registration is secure.
Do you have a plan of action?
To begin, will you be voting Absentee or In Person?
Have you applied?
Have you received your ballot? If not, don't hesitate. Call to find out where your ballot is.
READ YOUR BALLOT INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY. A shocking number of ballots are tossed out for minor mistakes.
Decided how to return your ballot?
Mail? Legal Ballot Drops (be sure these official – already in CA, GOP officials are putting out bogus boxes.
VOTING IN PERSON
Do you know where your Voting site is?
Do you know their hours of operation?
Have you arranged childcare, time from work, etc, so you can vote?
Do you have proper ID? Check your State Laws.
Do you have a way to get to the Polling site? Transportation is available in some areas thru private sources but not in all. Plan ahead.
DO NOT WEAR PARTISAN/POLITICAL SYMBOLS TO THE POLLS. Hats, buttons, t-shirts with Party or Candidate. Some States will prevent your voting because of this.
If you asked for and received an Absentee Ballot but have changed your mind and now intend to vote In Person, BRING YOUR ABSENTEE BALLOTT WITH YOU. Some states require you to drop that off.
This personal encouragement to others makes a huge difference in Voter Turnout.
OTHER VOLUNTEER PRE-ELECTION
Phone banks. Text messaging. Letter Writing. Postcard writing. Door to Door (stay safe!)
Many groups do this. The NY Times has an excellent list of resources on their Editorial Page – "Five Ways to Focus Your Angst and Energy." https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/15/opinion/volunteer-election.html
Thank you for taking the time to read and consider this. If I have misjudged your politics, I apologize. Send me a private note and I will take you off the list. It is my deepest hope that this national four-year nightmare will be over soon. Thank you for everything you have done. Twelve more days.
Warmest best wishes,
October 22, 2020
Robert Schenkkan is a Pulitzer and Tony Award winning playwright (All The Way, The Kentucky Cycle, Building The Wall among others) and a three-time Emmy nominated writer. His films include Hacksaw Ridge and The Quiet American.
Voices4America Post Script. Sage advice from @RobertSchenkkan, Pulitzer and Tony Award winning playwright, and 3 time Emmy nominated tv writer. #Vote and work as if your life depended on it. It does. #BlueVoters #BidenHarris2020