Has early voting started in your state?

What is an AUC circle?

AUC circles mobilize our already existing social networks to encourage people to vote for Democrats. The development of these overlapping circles of political connection is essential for this midterm cycle, serves as advance planning for next year’s races and helps prepare for the presidential struggle in 2024.

YOU are already the center of an AUC circle made up of everyone who comes into contact with you: family, friends, colleagues, neighbors and people who follow you on social networks. By presenting a cohesive message about why people should vote for the Democrats, you spread facts and good vibes that others will in turn share, reaching people who might not be reached by conventional political advertising. In time, they become the center of their own AUC circles.

This action plan is designed to end frustration with the perceived lack of strong messages from party leaders and officials. We take matters into our own hands, craft messages and spread the word ourselves. It’s easy; anyone can do it. You can start TODAY. All you need is 1) the desire to find and share accurate information, and 2) the realization that the way you act and speak may be someone’s only opportunity to learn facts about who the Democrats are and what we stand for.

Starting with the people you currently know, you can be the source of a simple and powerful democratic message. We may not have the nationwide comms advantage right now, but as individuals the blue team has a huge advantage because we outnumber them. Everything is at stake and we have to start with what we have. Let it be here and now.

Each circle of the AUC has three weekly action goals:

  • Get the facts
  • spread the news
  • encourage each other

Let’s dive in this week’s action: raising awareness about early voting.

Get the facts

Focusing on “election day” is no longer campaign best practice. For lack of a better term, we now have election SEASON, and it is already well underway. Early voting has started in 18 states and 15 more states will begin early voting before the end of this month. Active duty service members have been sending in their ballots for weeks. Relying on the late October surprise, closing the gap after Halloween or hoping the polls move in the last 72 hours is no longer the way things work. Lots of people are voting NOW.

Many states changed their voting procedures in 2020 to make it easier to vote because of COVID, and some still have those new procedures in place for 2022. My state held early in-person voting for the very first time in 2020, but I find some people around me don’t know that the early voting calendar is back for 2022. Is it the same in your state?

If you’re an activist (or want to be), early voting is one of the best ways to help the campaigns that matter most to you. Once your vote is in the bank, you can spend the part of Election Day you would have spent doing other things at GOTV: calling or texting voters to remind them that November 8 is the last day to vote, posting signs and handing out information to voters in the area, driving people to the polls and offering other types of assistance at polling stations and at voting lines.

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Spread the news

Now that you know the facts, think of creative ways to share this information. If an ‘election day’ discussion arises, can you respond with ‘a lot of people across the country/in our state are already voting’ or ‘I see early voting starts in Georgia on Monday’ (use your state details) or “I definitely plan to get my vote well before November 8,” or something similar. If someone doesn’t know how to vote in advance, can you tell them about your experience with voting in advance and/or direct them to where they can find information about advance voting that applies to them? ?

Can you post your state’s early voting dates on your social media accounts, make it your pinned tweet, or message out-of-state friends and family with their early voting information?

Maybe you prefer to create an eye-catching ad and place a postcard on a bulletin board at a grocery store, laundromat, coffee shop, or other gathering place where signs are allowed. Or you can design a poster and share it on Next Door or another neighborhood mailing list where anyone can post announcements: “Election season starts NOW! Go to [appropriate local website here] for more information on EARLY VOTING!

It is legal to post voting reminder information in churches, as it is considered a nonpartisan activity. Can you put early voting dates in your church bulletin or on the church website?

There is still time to register voters in thirty-two (32) states! If you are in one of these late check-in states, you can ask a few friends to help you organize voter registration at a busy place in your neighborhood. AUC Circle assignments are generally simpler tasks that anyone can accomplish without organization, help, or funds, but if you have the time and resources to organize a voter registration table, go for it!

Encourage each other

This task is simple and the same every week. Find someone who is working on an issue you care about and encourage them. Tell a volunteer you’re grateful for their long hours, thank a politician for voting the right way, or show your appreciation to someone who gave you helpful information.

Be as creative as you want! Write a protest song that inspires people to become activists or draw a comic strip that helps us laugh at our opponents. Design a piece of art that ignites people, or is restful and relaxing to see, but make sure you share it somehow, even with just one other person. You can also find something uplifting created by someone else and pass it on. This is a difficult work. We all need support for the journey.

Summary of this week’s action:

  • Find early voting dates in your state and mMake a plan to vote earlier if you are able. Share the information on your social media feeds; or create an informative postcard/poster and leave it in a public place.
  • Start a conversation about early voting with someone: “The election is happening right now.” “I read that a third of the country is already voting.” “I voted early so I could spend election day going to the polls / calling and texting people to remind them to vote / go to Georgia and get arrested for giving water and snacks to people as they lined up to vote. (I joke about the latter, but I wish it were true.)
  • Don’t forget to offer someone a word of encouragement this week.

MORE Early Voting Support ACTIVITIES ANYONE CAN DO

Participation is always essential, and this year it is even more important than usual. We must vote in numbers too large to be manipulated and win with the largest possible margins. We have 24 days left to go all out in Getting Out The Vote (GOTV) for the 2022 midterms. When Democrats vote, Democrats win.

Do you know any Democrats Abroad? Many Democrats overseas think they can only vote in presidential elections. Help spread the word that they can vote this year too. Some are not allowed to vote in local elections from abroad, but ALL can vote in federal elections (House and Senate), and the presidential participation of Democrats abroad could swing enough close states to maintain our majorities in Congress. If you know any US citizens living abroad, contact them and make sure they vote. There is still time to request an overseas ballot in ALL 50 STATES. Click here for more information on Democrats Abroad and deadlines.

Remind your friends and family serving overseas in the military that they can vote mid-term and that there is still time for most of them to vote as well. If they have a ballot, the deadline to send it is October 24 for those overseas and October 31 for those serving in the United States. If they don’t have a ballot, they can still vote using the official ballot FEDERAL WRITE IN ABSENTEE BULLOT (FWAB): Information and instructions are available at this link.

Last but not least, our Daily Kos community has prepared a full list of GOTV activities at www.dailykos.com/gotv. If you have time to get more involved as November 8 approaches, this link has DOZENS of in-person and virtual projects anyone can do. Share this resource wherever you can!

Do it now!

if you leave it too late / all might fade / do it now / while your vision is clear

About Michelle Anderson

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