| Get the Picture

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With questions over how and where Americans can vote amid a global pandemic, the upcoming election is a referendum not only on the offices on the ballot, but on democracy itself. With record voter interest and record campaign spending — projected at $11 billion — it’s clear what’s at stake: a battle between the voices of the people and a powerful plutocracy that seeks to control the narrative, regardless of which side of the party line we fall on. 

In the face of this growing fragility in our representative democracy, voting in this election is more important than ever before. By voting, we cast not only our ballot for our elected officials, but also assert the power of our voices as the driver of our democracy. That’s why I and the rest of the team at American Promise urge you and your family members and friends to check your state’s vote-by-mail status and your registration before Election Day on November 3. With partner organizations, we are working to ensure that every American can vote safely in their state while also protecting public health. 

As we move forward with our election-related work through the candidate pledge campaign, state-based strategies, and cross-partisan platform, we counsel peace and patience for what may be a longer vote count following Election Day. Our votes are still the most powerful force in our representative democracy despite the escalating influence of big money in our elections. This election year, be sure to claim your political voice, cast a ballot, and represent the values of equality and liberty that our democracy is founded upon. 

Easy Action Item

Jeff Clements
President, American Promise
Democracy in Action: Get Set to Vote by Learning Your State’s Guidelines and Making a Plan 

American Promise has joined Fix the System with other partner organizations from across the country to ensure that citizens have the resources they need so they can vote safely in their state while also protecting public health. Learn whether your state has vote-at-home options and what you need to do to receive your ballot.

Check Your State’s Vote-at-Home Options
Serve Your Community at the Polls on Election Day
Our democracy depends on ordinary people who make sure elections run smoothly and everyone’s vote is counted. This year, we’re facing an unprecedented shortage of poll workers that could mean closed polling places and long delays. That’s why American Promise is joining Power the Polls, a first-of-its-kind initiative to help ensure that voting is safe, fair, and easy for everyone. Register online to get connected to your local election office so you can learn more about serving as a poll worker.  
| State Highlight
Spread the Word: Ask Pennsylvania Lawmakers for a Fix Before Election Day 

Election management is imperative in these times of crisis. That’s why American Promise joined the nonpartisan coalition Fix the System to ensure the 2020 election puts voters and their votes first. In Pennsylvania, current state law prohibits election administrators from processing mail-in ballots until 7 a.m. on Election Day, November 3. This delay could leave election officials scrambling. If you live in Pennsylvania or know someone who does, it’s time for action: Reach out to legislators and urge them to change the state election laws to allow for a 10-day pre-canvassing period.

Contact Officials in Pennsylvania
| Democracy on Display
The issue: Voter turnout for the 2016 election hit its lowest level in nearly two decades, with 55% percent of the voting age population hitting the polls.

The action: High interest in the presidential race and national issues have experts predicting record voter turnout in 2020, even amid a public health crisis. Be sure to make a voting plan in advance and check your state’s vote-by-mail options.
| Candidate Pledge Signers
Every week more and more candidates sign our candidate pledge. Here, we highlight a few recent pledge signers — from Arizona and Minnesota — and celebrate their commitment to serving all Americans equally. Help us lift these candidates by downloading their pledge graphics from the link below and sharing on social media, making sure to tag the candidate and American Promise. 
Here are other recent pledge signers:
  • Chuck Hufstetler, Georgia State Senator, District 52
  • Shanna Danielson, candidate for Pennsylvania State Senate, District 31
  • John Calabrese, candidate for Wisconsin State Assembly, District 29
  • Kathy Lewis, candidate for Florida State Senate, District 20
  • Bob McDermott, Hawaii State Representative, District 40
Share Who Has Signed the Candidate Pledge
Join the call to build a stronger and more representative democracy: Sign your name to show the next administration and Congress that Day 1 is for Democracy and H.R. 1, the For The People Act which calls for our 28th Amendment, should be top priority. Be sure your voice is heard! 
Call on Congress to Prioritize the For The People Act
| National Business Network
What Do Americans Want from Businesses During Crisis? 

The majority of Americans can agree on one critical aspect of national interest: the direction they want for business and the economy. JUST Capital’s 2020 Survey Report, published in partnership with The Harris Poll, finds that Americans want companies to focus on building an economy that works for all, create value for all of their stakeholders, and prioritize their workers’ health and financial well-being.

Join other civically minded business leaders in the National Business Network and learn more by signing up for the quarterly newsletter.
Sign up to Receive the Quarterly Business Network Newsletter
| Upcoming American Promise Events

October 14: With the November election around the corner, it’s time for a final push to make the 28th Amendment a voting issue. This national call will highlight information about the American Promise Candidate Pledge from American Promise Chapter members across the country as well as Bradley Fitch, President of the Congressional Management Foundation, and Azor Cole, American Promise State Manager and Pledge Director. Register online.

October 22: Alaskans are invited to watch the movie “Dark Money,” then join this online discussion before they head to the polls to vote on a state ballot measure that includes a constitutional amendment to limit money in elections that would make it the 21st state to call for the 28th Amendment! The film will be shown at 5 p.m. AT, followed by a discussion at 7 p.m. facilitated by Bill Hall of Alaska Common Ground. Learn more and register online.

Help Us Shape the 2021 National Citizen Leadership Conference

The 2021 National Citizen Leadership Conference — American Promise’s signature event — will be a virtual gathering, with speakers, programming and two virtual Lobby Days. Help us shape next year’s conference by sharing your ideas in this online survey.
Take the National Citizen Leadership Conference Survey
| What We’re Tracking This Week

From Glenda Noble of American Promise MN: In a Constitution Day letter to the editor, Glenda Noble of American Promise MN calls for an amendment to overturn the Citizens United ruling and establish limits on campaign spending: “We must amend the Constitution, allowing Congress and the states to, once again, regulate campaign contributions and expenditures so the people may be heard.” Read more.

From Ellen Greene Bush of the Port Clinton, OH, American Promise Chapter: Ohio House legislators who have joined a bipartisan effort to increase transparency in the state’s campaign finance laws receive some appreciation in this letter to the editor from Ellen Greene Bush of the Port Clinton OH American Promise Chapter:
 “When you vote in the Nov. 3 election, elect candidates who have the interests of their constituents first rather than allegiance to political action committees.” Read more.

From the Center for Responsive Politics: The 2020 election will be the most expensive ever, with spending projected to hit nearly $11 billion. That’s more than 50% pricier than the $6.5 billion total in 2016 when adjusting for inflation. Despite being interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 election is seeing record levels of small-dollar giving. Read more.

From Brookings: This online scorecard assesses the ease of voting by mail in each of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., during the 2020 pandemic. Some states are expanding access or adjusting the process for voting by absentee ballot or a universal vote-by-mail system. Read more.

From the Juneau Empire: In this opinion article, the “Badass Grandmas” of North Dakota urge Alaska voters to approve Ballot Measure 2, which will improve transparency and reduce corruption in state elections. “One of us is a Democrat, another an Independent and the other a Republican, and we saw that politicians wining and dining with big donors is a bipartisan business,” they say. “Without transparency — and without the public being in on what’s going on — unlimited, secret spending creates an environment for corruption that knows no party boundaries.” Read more.

American Promise empowers Americans to act together to win the 28th Amendment so people, not money, govern in America.
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