I understand the pull to Facebook. Months of isolation and so many losses. Many of us are spending more time than ever on social media in efforts to connect and mitigate our loneliness and frustration.
But I am frustrated by the amount of time people spend commenting on arguments that go nowhere. And I began to think, what would it be like if we could encourage ourselves and our friends to spend a little less time commenting and posting on Facebook, and a little more time helping to ensure that we have the fullest and most robust turnout in history for the election of a lifetime where so much is at stake.
October 7 is the deadline for voter registration in Missouri. The deadline varies according to state. I urge everyone to check with your state for any recent changes to election rules and to make sure that you are covered. We know of all too many instances where people have been kicked off the rolls if they have moved, because of administrative mistakes, or for other reasons.
Go to www.vote.org to check your registration and make sure that you are registered.
Also, I urge you to spend some of your precious energy on some of the programs that have been proven to be effective that are already in place.
This includes www.indivisible.org,
www.swingleft.org, and www.VOTEFWD.org. It is easy to get involved and these groups provide scripts that you can basically follow in case your inner introvert is afraid of tackling this.
Experts say that phone banking or texting is the gold standard for communicating with voters and given that we can't canvas in the ways that we normally would, this is an excellent option. It is especially important that we reach out to the swing states, sometimes called the battleground states.
Election analytics say that Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin are perennial swing states that have regularly seen close contests over the last few presidential campaigns. Many of them have begun voting and it is important reach out to them now.
In the electoral college system, each state gets a certain number of electors based on its total number of representatives in Congress. There are a total of 538 electoral votes and the candidate that gets more than half, or 270 votes wins the election.
Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by almost three million last time but not the electoral college and thus, that antiquated but legal system resulted partially in the mess we are in.
We must win in the swing states.
The many people with whom I talk, say that they plan to vote, whether in person, absentee or mail-in. That’s great news.
Every vote matters, we all matter. And it matters up and down the ballot: Governor, Congress person, Secretary of State.
But voting is also the minimum that we need to do next few weeks.
It is all hands-on deck to ensure democracy which is disintegrating by the day.
If we care about LGBTQ rights, reproductive choice, institutionalized racism, climate change, immigration reform, healthcare, gun sense, public education and so much more, we must all get involved.
For inspiration and more info, check out our website, www.dancethevotestl.org, like us on Facebook, or follow us at @dancethevotestl on twitter and Instagram.
As they say on the commercials, my name is Joan Lipkin and I approve this message.
Joan Lipkin is a playwright, director, educator and social activist who divides her time between St Louis and other parts of the country. She is the recent recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from Out in Stl as well as a Woman of Achievement. She votes every time.