"More than 70 million Americans have cast ballots, a pace that suggests highest turnout in a century."
- BBC, October 28, 2020 (BBC.com)
Voting continues apace here in the United States, as people across the country mail in, drop off, or line up to cast ballots. We have already passed half of the turnout in the entire 2016 election and six days remain until November 3rd. That scale of civic engagement is refreshing and hopeful - and worrisome to those of us who care deeply about the results (tens of millions on both sides). Impossible to know how the early voters voted, and which candidates and issues are ahead.
Meanwhile, Democrats and Republicans are waging hundreds of legal battles in court to determine whose vote will count. "In almost every instance," says my morning update from the New York Times (NYT, David Leonhardt), "Democrats are trying to make it easier for Americans to cast ballots, and Republicans are trying to make it harder." My coffee boiled anew in my stomach as I read that sentence, and I searched my inbox for more hopeful signs.
Fortunately I came upon a thank you note sent from the folks at Vote Forward. As I wrote several weeks ago, I composed and sent some sixty letters through this organization. The letters were addressed to likely Democrats who had a spotty record of turning out to vote and were sent out en masse on October 17. Vote Forward had some awesome statistics listed in their thank you email:
- 17,562,304 letters written by 184,059 volunteers
- Total value of stamps purchased, supporting the USPS: $9.7 million
- Total estimated words written: 643 million
A tale of successful citizen activism; fingers crossed that the letters, with their impassioned pleas to vote, have found their mark in battleground states across the country. Less than a week to go, time to volunteer wherever you can in order to make this election a success for the majority of Americans.