Dear MoveOn member,
The latest polls since Mitt Romney picked Paul Ryan show President Obama still holding a narrow lead of 1-2 points in several key states.1
But, if the election was held today, President Obama could still lose—because of widespread Republican voter suppression tactics in key swing states.
Republicans are purging the voter rolls, shortening voting hours in Democratic precincts, kicking Democrats off local election boards, and requiring registered voters to show photo ID.2
There's no bigger priority between now and November than stopping these GOP voter suppression tactics so that no eligible Obama voter is turned away at the polls. And MoveOn is one of the few groups in America with enough grassroots supporters to do something about it.
Can you chip in $5 to help pay for our emergency campaign to stop GOP voter suppression? We need county-level campaign teams in hundreds of places, lawyers to figure out the local voting rules, field organizers to cover all the key states, and an ad budget for targeted local ads urging election officials to do the right thing.
Make no mistake: because of GOP voter suppression efforts, local election officials you've never heard of could easily decide the outcome of the presidential race.
The battle unfolding in Ohio is a perfect example. First, the Republican secretary of state tried to set shorter voting hours in Democratic counties versus Republican counties. Voters freaked out and he backed off, setting uniform voting hours statewide.
That was a great partial victory for voters, but the new hours he set are still shorter than in 2008, which will make it impossible for some students, folks with two jobs, and other Democratic-leaning groups to vote. And his new rules do not allow for any in-person early voting on weekends, the best time for many folks to vote.3
MoveOn members are pushing to reinstate weekend early voting hours so everyone can vote, but it's going to require another major grassroots push.
Similar fights are playing out Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and other key states, and come Election Day it'll be too late. We have to pull out all the stops now.
MoveOn is running local campaigns all over the country to make sure local officials do all they can to protect the right to vote.
You might have seen Pennsylvania MoveOn member Steven Singer on MSNBC's "The Ed Show" this week talking about the Allegheny County petition he started on SignOn.org, MoveOn's petition website.4
An election official in one Pennsylvania county is refusing to enforce that state's discriminatory new Voter ID Law, and now MoveOn members all across Pennsylvania are urging county election supervisors to instruct poll workers to let all registered voters vote.5 They have the authority to make that decision—we just need to give them the political backing to do the right thing.
We need county-level campaigns like this in hundreds of places around the country to make a dent in this problem. Can you chip in $5 to help pay for the lawyers, field organizers, and ads we need to win?
Thanks for all you do.
–Ilya, Anna, Steven, Bobby, Stefanie, and the rest of the team
1. "Election 2012 State Polls," Real Clear Politics, accessed August 18, 2012 http://bit.ly/NlHyMa
2. "Masters of voter suppression: Republicans employ many techniques to keep low-income voters away from the polls," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, August 9, 2012
3. "Ohio Secretary Of State Restricts Voting Hours In All Counties," Think Progress, August 16, 2012
4. "Keystone to Victory," The Ed Show, MSNBC, August 16, 2012
5. "Delco election official vows to defy ID law," Philadelphia Inquirer, July 28, 2012 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=278191&id=49415-10220574-tC9IuYx&t=8
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