Jorge Vasquez, new director of Power and Democracy Project at the national Advancement Project office, shared plans to help communities cope with difficult voting situations. Planning — for individuals and communities — is key, he explains. Waiting until voting day is unwise, and his “Power and Democracy” team is poised to help in these next few crucial weeks.
It’s important for individual voters to be aware of the tracking process for mail-in ballots, wherever they are voting, and to track their ballots once sent. If a problem arises and the vote does not appear to be counted in a timely way, everyone should be aware that voting in-person is also still a possibility. Vasquez urges anyone with questions to contact Advancement Project for details on how this works in your locality.
“No Question Too Small or Too Large”
Communities, too, can consult Vasquez to look at ways in which planning for the vote is being undertaken. Advancement Project is looking into many factors, including over-policing at polling places — which can be a form of intimidation for some communities — and wants to help communities make sure that voting procedures and safeguards work toward equity.
The Power and Democracy project is also looking into helping communities arrange for as many poll watchers as possible, especially those with stronger immune systems (perhaps younger people).
The discussion also ranged over related issues, including policing and the U.S. Census, as well as challenges to ballots in recent voting. In Pennsylvania, for example, 40 thousand ballots were challenged because of technicalities, and half of those succeeded. Advancement Project has been working, via legal channels in several states — and Vasquez invites listeners to read more at the website and follow on social media to stay on top of what happens in the next 48 days. In addition, they are working with other organizations, including the Movement for Black Lives.