Did you ... suppose democracy was only for elections, for politics, and for a party name? I say democracy is only of use there that it may pass on and come to its flower and fruit in manners, in the highest forms of interaction ... in religion, literature, colleges and schools: Democracy in all public and private life.
How to Organize a Voter Assembly Manual
I want to organize a Voter Assembly in my community, where do I start?
Choose a Good Location and Time
Accessible, public spaces outside (parks, prominent intersections, or in front of civic buildings) are usually a good bet. If you need to use an indoor space then an accessible, public space such as a community center would be ideal.
Next choose a time on Wednesday November 7th (the day after the election) to start your event. Depending on where you live you may want to have it at around noon or after most people will be done with work around 5 or 6.
Register your event with No More Stolen Elections!
Register (http://nomorestolenelections.org/node/add/assembly). We'll be in touch shortly to see if you would like any help with event logistics.
Get out the word about the Voter Assembly
Flyers and Posters
Create a quick poster and/or quarter-sheet flyers with the info about the assembly. Put up the posters in public spaces such as coffee shops, community billboards, and street kiosks. Get a team of friends together on Election Day and distribute the flyers in high traffic areas (remember to stay at least 100 feet away from polling places so you don’t make the poll workers nervous) or at public election result watching parties.
Create a Facebook event for your Voter Assembly right away and ask all of your friends to invite their Facebook friends to the event. Then tweet about the event and include the link to the Facebook event in the tweet.
Be sure to include the Facebook event link when you register your voter assembly on nomorestolenelections.org. If you create the Facebook event after you completed the registration, send the link to Jolie Lizotte at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add it to the website.
Blogs are also a good way to spread the word about your voter assembly. If you don’t have a blog, then ask around to find out if anyone you know would be willing to write a blog post about the importance of acting now to protect the integrity of this election.
One of the best ways to spread the word about the voter assembly is to ask local grassroots organizations to send out an email announcement to their list serves. Here are some suggestions for organizations to outreach to:
NAACP local chapters
Move to Amend local chapters
League of Women Voters state branches
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (state/local branches)
Your local Center for Peace and Justice/Peace and Justice Networks
Local Labor Unions
Students for Democratic Society
ACLU state branches
Citizens for Clean Elections
any non-partisan Get Out the Vote efforts
other state and local election integrity organizations
The Election Defense Alliance has a list of statewide election integrity groups on their website
Sample Email for Listservs
American democracy is in crisis. The election of November 6th, 2012, is less than one week away, and certain aspects of that election are already perfectly clear. Millions of Americans may be denied their inalienable right to vote. Millions more will be denied the right to vote for the candidate of their choice. And the vast majority of Americans will have their votes tabulated by unverifiable electronic voting machines. Meanwhile, the power of a tiny, wealthy minority is greater than ever, causing private campaign funding to reach previously unimaginable levels and making this the most expensive election in U.S. history.
You can do 3 important things to protect the 2012 elections from being stolen:
1. Read and sign the No More Stolen Elections! voter pledge of action and forward it on everyone you know.
2. Report election violations at report.nomorestolenelections.org.
3. Join us on November 7 (the day after the election) to take a stand for fair elections! The [Name of City] Voter Assembly will be held at [location] from [time of event]. We will be discussing acts of voter suppression that occurred on Election Day and, if necessary, will take action to prevent this election from being stolen. Contact [Insert name and contact information] for more information.
Thank you and please forward this email to as many people as you can!
Running the Voter Assembly
On Election night, as we figure out exactly what the situation is, we will write up a report and send it to organizers across the country. You will be able to use this report as the basis for both discussion and action at your voter assembly. You may also want to invite individuals from related organizations to speak at the assembly (see the above list for some ideas of good groups to include).
Here's a sample agenda for how to structure the assembly:
Welcoming participants - 5 min
Report back about the election's integrity (from NMSE email to go out on e election night and early Wednesday morning) - 10 min
Other invited speakers (see above for ideas) - 15 min
Report back from participants about election violations they observed in their community - 15 minutes
Action steps (ideas will be outlined in the report we send out) - 15 minutes
Sound- you will definitely want some sort of amplification equipment to make sure you and others can be heard. A good megaphone should do the trick, but if you are expecting a larger crowd you may want to secure a portable battery powered
Clipboards with pens and sign up sheets- Be sure to pass around a sign-on list so you can forward event attendees additional info after the rally.
Camera- Take lots of photos at the event! (have someone other than you do this)
After the Assembly
Afterwards get in touch with us to let us know how things went, and pass along any photos/contact info you gathered at the assembly. We'll let you know how things are looking nationally, and whether or not continued organizing is needed to protect the integrity of the election!
Questions? Contact Jolie Lizotte at email@example.com or (920) 312-4246