Image via opensocietyfoundations.org.
The presidential election is coming up on November 3 and tension is in the air. Climate change, racial justice, immigration rights, and public health are currently on the ballot, and the results of the next election will have crucial effects nationwide and internationally.
While going through a pandemic, we still have the ability to ensure the protection of basic human rights. For those who have already voted - you have done your civic duty. But for those planning to vote on November 3, there are fears of voting rights being respected, such as actually voting in the correct location, dealing with long lines, and the threat of voter suppression.
So with masks on and freshly-sanitized hands - be prepared, and go as early as you can to celebrate your right to vote. Check out these groups, NYCLU, The Center for Popular Democracy, and Open Socity Foundations, who are fighting to ensure that your vote counts this election year.
“Voting is the right we exercise to protect all others. Your vote is your voice in your government, and critical issues impacting you are on the line this Fall.”
New York Civil Liberties Union
New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU)
The NYCLU is a nonprofit organization that has led the way and helped to create a more open, just, and equitable society since 1951. The NYCLU fights for civil liberties and civil rights through a multi-layered program of litigation, advocacy, public education, and community organizing.
“When the NYCLU was founded, civil liberties were under siege. McCarthyism was in full swing, and blacklisting and loyalty oaths were the norms. Government censorship of books and magazines was common, and abortion was a crime. People of color were subject to discrimination in education, housing, and employment. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender New Yorkers lived in fear of exposure.”
There is still much work to do on all fronts, as many of these rights and liberties are still at risk. For this election, NYCLU created a guide called Be A Voter, where you can find information about your rights and voting information.
Checklist via nyclu.org
The Center for Popular Democracy (CPD)
CPD works to create equity, opportunity and a dynamic democracy in partnership with high-impact base-building organizations, organizing alliances, and unions. The organization works to strengthen citizens to use our collective capacity to envision and win an innovative pro-worker, pro-immigrant, racial and economic justice agenda.
“We are working to make sure that we end the policies of mass incarceration and criminalization of black and brown communities and we are working to make sure that we take the money out of the criminalization apparatus and put it in the things that give people the opportunity to survive and to thrive.”
Ana Maria Archila, Co-Executive Director at The Center for Popular Democracy
Some of their main projects include:
- Building a just economy.
- Fighting for community dignity.
- Expanding democracy.
Explore more of their initiatives here.
Open Society Foundations
The Open Society Foundations supports a range of groups working to protect voting rights, including supporting efforts to promote voting by mail and safe access to the polls during the COVID-19 pandemic, and advocating for minority voters who have been targeted by partisan gerrymandering.
The organization believes that the solutions to the national, regional, and global challenges we face demand the free exchange of ideas and thought, and that everyone should have a voice in shaping the policies that affect them.
Image via opensocietyfoundations.org.
The group also works internationally in issues like early childhood and education, economic equity and justice, health and rights, among others. For example, they developed an internet-based election observation platform called the Election Situation Room. It pools independent reporting by monitors during voting, helping electoral officials to respond to emerging issues before they become critical. The model has been successfully piloted during elections in Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, and Nigeria.
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