IDCCA President’s Message
by Doug House, IDCCA President
@ILDCCA @RICoDemocrats @Doug_Dem_House
We’re all aware of the stories of near-wins in elections. Every election year it seems there’s one or two disappointments that come within a vote or two from victory. For Democrats it doesn’t have to be that way. The fact is, the more people who vote, the better Democrats do.
There are about eight weeks left in the 2018 campaign cycle. And, there are just under three weeks until voters can start casting their ballots. So now is the time to coordinate the plans to vote.
More than anything else, having a simple plan to vote is proven to be the most effective approach on boosting voter turnout. In multiple recent practical studies, the effort to encourage voters in creating a voting plan is proven to increase turnout by anywhere from 4 to 8 percent! When the right tactics are applied to Democratic voters, our victories multiply substantially.
For many of us, GOTV efforts have solely relied on literature drops or Election Day reminder phone calls. We’ve avoided asking, encouraging and helping our fellow Democrats to create a voting plan. That’s a mistake we don’t have to repeat. Frankly, we can’t afford to.
As a county chair, precinct committeeperson, candidate or activist, it is critical to start asking voters to consider when, where and how they’re going to vote. And while other states have crafted complicated guidelines that serve to suppress voting, Illinois has generally been expanding access and ease to the polls.
The availability to vote at locations beyond the neighborhood polling place, a widened timeframe to cast a ballot and the aggressive Democratic Party effort to help keep voters informed of their voting options all make it easier to develop an individual plan.
Vote by Mail
For those of you with children away at college, make sure they submit a vote by mail application to their local county clerk’s (or election authority’s) office. Applications can be printed from the local election authority’s website. Your student can fill out and sign the application and should receive an official ballot to their college address. Make certain they complete it and mail it back. Stay in constant contact with them to ensure they don’t overlook this important election.
Another popular voting method is early voting. Every Illinois election authority must provide voters with opportunities to cast their ballots prior to Election Day on November 6th. While the methods vary among counties, beginning on September 27, voters can cast their ballots at the county clerk’s / election authority’s office. It’s not just a convenient way to cast your ballot, it’s a great way to get it done well before you get busy on Election Day. Again, check your local websites to determine when and where these early voting opportunities will be available.
Illinois citizens can register vote up until October 9th. So, there remain a handful of weeks left to help get your friends, family and neighbors registered to vote. But, there’s also another way to register to vote – by registering online. Voters have until October 21st to complete that application. The best way to register online is by clicking here. Share this link widely. Remember, it is critical to do more than just register. Our voters must vote.
How are you and your fellow Democrats planning to vote?
So, what is your plan? Who are you taking with you to vote: a spouse, a group of friends? Perhaps on September 27th, the first day of early voting, you’re planning a lunchtime retreat with friends and co-workers to get over to the courthouse to vote?
On Election Day, do you have a friend or relative who wants to be at the polling place to vote in person? Do they need a ride? Is there a group that will meet for coffee afterwards? Will you pay for their coffee when they show you their “I voted sticker?”
A Blue Wave must be planned.
This year, we have more Democrats running for various offices than we have had in a long, long time. Locally, your Democratic candidates need your vote. But they also need you to bring one, two, three, ten, twenty or more voters along with you. There’s ample opportunity to design your approach. So, do it now!
The Blue Wave is only real if we refuse to make the same mistakes we’ve made in the past. Hoping, wishing and praying is as effective as casting magic spells on Republicans. We have to work a plan, together, to Get Out OUR Vote.
Elections are lost because too many of us fall into complacency. We can’t afford that this year. Just this this week, I was fortunate to be in Champaign to hear President Barack Obama who reminded us that, unlike any election in our lifetimes, 2018 is unquestionably critical.
“Thirty minutes. Thirty minutes of your time. Is democracy worth that?” Obama asked us.
Oh, it’s worth it. Far too many Americans have literally given everything they have to justify the excuse that somebody, “just got too busy to vote.”
If you’re in need of guidance and support to get your plans underway, contact the IDCCA team as soon as possible. We’re excited to help.
We’re in high gear towards victory and I’m honored you’re with us!