Six weeks remain until polling stations open for what is being called one of the most important presidential elections. Various nationwide organizations and coalitions are encouraging all persons, eligible and ineligible voters, to take action.
MoveOn PAC has raised $22,500,000 for canvassing and partisan efforts in swing states. Election Protection 2004 is organizing thousands of poll monitors and training them to respond to voting challenges on Election Day.
TechWatch, a project of the Verified Voting Foundation, asks for programmers, technologists and geeks to volunteer time and knowledge to create the Election Incident Reporting System, or EIRS. The TechWatch Web page defines the EIRS as “a Web-based software application designed to help voter protection organizations identify and respond to situations preventing voters from voting or from having their votes recorded as intended.”
Locally, 500 residents of Indianapolis raised more than $5,000 this past weekend at the Bake Bush sale. “Bake Bush volunteers also registered scores of voters and sold nearly $1,400 in shirts from Clothing of the American Mind, whose proceeds support progressive and Democratic causes,” said Scott Hall, one organizer involved in the event. The money was added to the millions already raised by numerous other volunteers organized under the Leave No Voter Behind effort of MoveOn PAC.
Greg O’Mara, an Indianapolis resident, will travel to Cincinnati this coming Friday to encourage the GLBT guests attending the King’s Island Pride Night. O’Mara wants to get Democrat GLBTs registered and excited about voting this coming weekend.
Prior to his weekend political activism, O’Mara is hosting a debate party at Club Industry, 416 E. Wabash St., to hear from local Democratic candidates, discuss politics and watch the presidential debate. “I think this election is so important to our standing in the world,” O’Mara said. He encourages all interested people to come and attend the free event.
Election Protection 2004, a voter empowerment program started by the People for the American Way Foundation, is supported by a coalition of more than 50 organizations, including the NAACP National Voter Fund, the Native American Rights Fund, the United Church of Christ and USAction just to name a few. Lawyers, law students, clergy, Spanish speakers and willing volunteers are requested to give their time on Nov. 2 to monitor the vote and report any voting rights infringements. Volunteers are needed in cities like Columbus, Ohio, to make sure minority voters are allowed to vote without harassment and intimidation.
Interested in becoming an election monitor? Visit www.electionprotectionvolunteer.org. Or do you want to give time now to registering voters and canvassing neighborhoods in swing states? If so, visit www.moveonpac.org/lnvb.
If you want to volunteer but do not have access to the Internet, call me (254-2400, ext. 5230) and we will work together to get you involved.