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INDIVISIBLE MONTGOMERY
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Hi <<First Name>>,

Many of you have questions about the status of your mail-in ballot. We have a message into the Montgomery County Board of Elections and will let you know once we receive clarification on ballot statuses.

This is an update from Steve Pressman, chair of the Indivisible Montgomery Elections committee. Steve also has FREE Biden/Harris yard signs. Send him an email if you want one.

In this message, you'll find:
  1. What we're reading
  2. Maryland voting news, including how to vote!
  3. Indivisible Montgomery for the Win
  4. Writing Vote Forward letters
  5. Donating
  6. Fight voter suppression
  7. Election protection
What we're reading:
  • Raging Trump wants the Supreme Court to save him. Here’s why it probably won’t. (The Washington Post)
  • What you can do if Trump stages a coup. (The New Yorker)
  • Biden's oil comment: a gift, not a gaffe (The Message Box)
  • How we got Trump voters to change their mind (The Atlantic)
  • How battleground states process mail ballots -- and why it may mean delayed results (ABC News)
Maryland voting news
You can vote in-person during early voting from 7am to 8pm now through Monday, Nov. 2, including Saturday and Sunday. Here are the early voting locations in Montgomery County and the rest of Maryland. You can also vote on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, from 7am to 8pm. Election Day polling places have changed! You can vote at any of the 2020 voting locations in Montgomery County.

The deadline for requesting a mail-in ballot has passed. If you have a mail-in ballot but haven't voted it yet, you should complete it, sign the envelope, then drop it in a drop box near you. Here are the locations of drop boxes throughout the county. You may use the drop boxes until Nov. 3. If you mail your ballot, it must be postmarked on or before Nov 3. You can track the status of your ballot here.

When filling out your ballot:
  • Use a black pen to fill out your ballot. Blue or other dark color reportedly is acceptable but the ballot instructions say to use black. Do NOT use a pencil.
  • Fill in the oval completely. Do NOT use other marks.
  • Check to ensure that the return envelope provided with your ballot has your name on it. Some voters in New York were sent ballot envelopes with the wrong name and address.
  • Be sure to sign the oath. If your ballot came in the mail, the oath is on the back of the envelope. If you printed the ballot at home, the oath will also be printed along with the ballot - you must sign that oath and include it in the envelope with your ballot.
Never give your ballot to a stranger. There have been news reports of people going door-to-door in Maryland to illegally collect ballots, claiming they will turn them in and save the voter the trouble.

Ballot counting is underway in Montgomery County, but results will be held until vote centers close on Nov. 3.
 
If you haven't registered to vote, Maryland has same-day voter registration during early voting and on election day. Bring a Maryland driver's license or identification card or, if you don't have these or they don't show your current address, you can show a paycheck, bank statement, utility bill, or other official document with your name and new address.
 
National voting actions
1. Indivisible Montgomery for the Win is in the final stretch run. We are making calls and sending texts to targeted voters in swing states about voting and supporting Democratic candidates. We need all hands on deck now to Get Out the Vote.
 
It will be tempting to spend the next six days reading how great the polls are, but that will not help end the nightmare of Trumpism. Please don't sit on your hands during the most important week of the last four years. Do something - make calls or send texts to voters or friends and family, call to confirm volunteers' attendance at our events or donate to candidates who need it. Then do it again. This is why we are Indivisible Montgomery.
 
Please commit now to make a difference - sign up and bring a friend to a Biden/Harris GOTV Phone Bank for as many shifts as possible. We will be calling Democrats to make sure that they actually vote. If you haven't phone-banked, that's fine - we'll train you at the start of the shift and provide tech support if you need it. The phone banks will run all day Saturday - Tuesday. Pick a few 2-hour shifts and join the fight!
  • Saturday, Oct. 31: 10am to 8pm - GOTV phone and text banks
  • Sunday, Nov. 1: 12 to 8pm - GOTV phone and text banks
  • Monday, Nov. 2: 10am to 8pm- GOTV phone bank
  • Tuesday, Nov. 3: 9am to 9pm - GOTV phone bank
Sign up so we know you'll be coming and can send you a confirmation email with the details of your events. If you don't sign up in advance and decide to come at the last minute, that's okay, too. Here is the Zoom link to join the Biden/Harris GOTV Phone and Text Bank for any shift this Saturday through Tuesday: https://zoom.us/j/94290803441?pwd=RGR1YW5HVzZ4TVFJdS9FOHZHRFBEdz09
 
In addition, Indivisible Montgomery is continuing our weekday phone and text banks:
  • Tuesday, Oct. 27: 7 to 9pm - Biden Battleground GOTV phone bank
  • Thursday, Oct. 29: 4 to 6pm -  Biden Battleground GOTV phone bank
  • Thursday, Oct. 29: 6 to 8pm - Outreach to Voters of Color phone bank
  • Friday, Oct. 30: 4:30 to 6:30pm - NC phone bank
 
Can you help us confirm attendance at our events? We need more volunteers to call and text people who have signed up for our events to confirm their attendance. This important work will help ensure that we have enough callers and texters in the last few days when we need them most! If you have just a few hours to spare this weekend, please join our Confirmation Team.
 
Help us run the Zoom calls. We need more people to help manage the big Zoom GOTV phone banks this Saturdays to Tuesday. If you can help, please contact Steve. Thanks for being a volunteer!
 
Almost every phone bank requires you to have an Action ID. If you don't already have one, get it here by just providing your name, email, and phone number. Once you have an Action ID, you won't have to do this again. Remember to keep track of your password!

If you've never phone banked or aren't sure you want to, read Phone banking: Conquering your fears, making a difference or Phone-Bank-Phobia. And if you need a shot of motivation, watch this.

Use our Campaign Texting Guide to be a nimble texter! Many of you text on your own, not just during our Tuesday and Wednesday text banks. To give you options so you can text whenever you like with various campaigns, we've created a Campaign Texting Guide! It briefly explains the texting program of Biden/Harris and various Senate campaigns and gives you the information you need to text for each of them: links to sign up for their training and for texting shifts, and their texting schedules. These campaigns all use ThruText and Slack, so they are very similar. We update the Guide regularly - just bookmark it and keep using it to be a nimble texter!

Do you speak Spanish? The Biden/Harris campaign is looking for people to make calls or send texts in Spanish. If you can help, check out their Spanish Calls program! They also have started a Spanish texting program to reach voters in Spanish-sign up today! If you want to text voters in Spanish, the Mission for Arizona text team needs Spanish speaking volunteers. Start by signing up for their text training here and then go here for instructions.
 
2. If you forgot to mark your Vote Forward letters as "sent," please do that now. Log in to your account at votefwd.org and on your Dashboard, click the “In the Mail? Mark letters sent” button at the top of the “Letters You’ve Prepared” column to move all of your letters to the “Letters You’ve Mailed” column.

3. Donating to funds like Indivisible Payback Project, Ditch Mitch, Retake the SenateFuture Now Fund or any of the SwingLeft funds is the smart way to target your donations to important races in November. There are only a couple of days left to donate! You might also consider donating to the Reclaim Our Vote Billboard Campaign for Rural Voters, which supports a highly effective strategy for reaching voters of color who live in rural parts of eight target states. These voters matter but are often difficult to reach by phone, postcard or text.

We also highly recommend donating through Give Smart 2020, which has identified the eight campaigns where your dollar can make the biggest difference. These are state legislative races where control of the state legislature hangs in the balance and your small donation can have a huge impact. Control of state houses is crucial to stopping voter suppression, gerrymandering, and attacks on democracy and human rights.

The Give Green website lists toss-up races around the country where you donate directly to candidates who will take real action on climate change. It's a great way to give because it doesn't just support climate champions but also tells politicians that climate change is important to their supporters. 

4. Voter suppression may be the biggest obstacle to a big Democratic win in November. The Republicans have shown that they will do almost anything to hold on to power. You can donate to or volunteer with a group fighting voter suppression. Check out these organizations that need our help in that critical fight: Democracy Docket, Fair Fight, Let America Vote, NDRC, ACLU, and Brennan Center. Another good option is donating to swing state organizations like Wisconsin's Voter Protection Fund.

Want to help people who don't drive find a ride to the polls? Donate to Souls to the Polls, the famous church network in Milwaukee that's fighting voter suppression and providing voter assistance in this critical community, or RideShare2Vote, which provides free rides to polling places for voters supporting Democrat/ Progressive candidates in Texas.

Volunteer with the Biden/Harris campaign's National Voter Assistance Hotline. Get trained in advance of your first shift as a hotline volunteer. You'll be prepared to answer voters' questions about voting, help them make a plan to vote early and help ensure that every eligible voter is able to exercise their right to vote. Sign up for training here.
 
5. Election Protection. As Trump makes it clearer every day that he will try to delegitimize and overturn the results of the election if he loses, we need to think about what we can do to stop him. Here are some things you can do right now:
 
If you haven't already, please sign up with Protect the Results, a national campaign by Indivisible and dozens of progressive groups building a massive coalition of citizens ready to mobilize if Donald Trump refuses to accept the results of the election.
 
Volunteer with or donate to groups like the Democratic National Committee and Election Protection that will monitor the election and help ensure that voters are not deprived of their rights. You can be a poll watcher or election official, or you may be able to work on an election protection hotline without leaving home. Get in touch with them and see how you can help.

You can sign up to be a Maryland Election Protection volunteer. All volunteers will receive training, materials and support. Volunteers will not be asked to risk their health by interacting with voters or election officials, but will work from the safety of their car. For details see these FAQs.

The Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection (ICAP) at Georgetown Law has prepared a fact sheet on voter intimidation laws, detailing what kinds of conduct could constitute voter intimidation and what to do if you see it. They also have fact sheets for all 50 states explaining the laws barring unauthorized private militia groups and what to do if groups of armed individuals are near a polling place or voter registration drive. Here's the fact sheet for Maryland. These could be very useful for poll watchers and phone or text bankers.
Your support for our work will be critical to making the change we need in 2020. Please consider giving to Indivisible Montgomery today!
And visit our website: indivisible-montgomery.org
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