Reclaim Our Vote Engages Disenfranchised Voters

Reclaim Our Vote (ROV) is a non-partisan outreach campaign organized by the Center for Common Ground that is reaching out to millions of voters of color in voter-suppression states, to make sure they are able to vote in upcoming elections.

 

These citizens have been removed from voter rolls simply because they haven't voted recently, or through other techniques designed to suppress the vote of legitimate voters.  ROV is working to re-register them and to make sure they are able to vote.  Voters of color are have been placed on “Inactive” or “Unregistered” lists at a 16% higher rate than white voters. They have also been more impacted by strict new voter ID laws, by the reduction in polling places and early voting, and through many other tactics.  According to the Public Religion Research Institute there is evidence of deep structural barriers to the ballot for black and Latino voters, Voter suppression is commonplace, and that voting is routinely harder for people of color than for their white counterparts.

 In 2017, ROV was instrumental in the significantly increased turnout by voters of color in the Virginia statewide elections and the Alabama Senate special election. ROV helped increase African American voter turnout in the rural counties of Alabama by approximately 35%.  In 2018, ROV in partnership with Black Voters Matter made nearly 500,000 calls to de-registered voters to ensure they had the opportunity to re-register.  Canvassing teams followed up with those who could not be reached by phone.  ROV also provided transportation to the polls.

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Voters: Educate. Register. Empower.

Lean Left VT is excited to support You Can Vote, a North Carolina non-profit that is focused on giving disenfranchised communities a voice in the political process! Since its founding in 2014, YCV has demonstrated tremendous success in registering and turning out voters at a rate that exceeds the state average.  Watch this video to learn more.  

North Carolina looms large in 2020 with opportunities for Democrats to add a Senate seat, additional US House seats as well as capture its electoral votes. Trump only carried the state by 3.5% and Thom Tillis, its freshman Republican senator, is vulnerable.   It is also important for Democrats to hold on to the governorship and to make inroads in the state legislature to reverse North Carolina’s severely gerrymandered districts, both Congressional and state legislative.  Democrats can win statewide in NC as Democrat Roy Cooper demonstrated when he was elected Governor in 2016. There is also a Congressional special election in September in the now infamous 9thdistrict, where the state Board of Elections called a ‘do over’ because of fraud by the Republican candidate.

Voter registration is critical to Democrat success in North Carolina and that is where YCV has a laser focus! Eager to keep their gerrymandered majorities, North Carolina Republicans passed (over Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto) voter id requirements that make it more difficult for North Carolinians to vote.  YCV is registering citizens to vote and teaching them the ins and outs of voting laws so that all citizens can successfully cast their ballot.  YCV focus’ outreach on youth, communities of color and low income areas, which traditional have lower turn out rates and are disproportionately impacted by voter id barriers. You Can Vote has demonstrated tremendous success in registering and turning out voters at a higher rate than voters statewide (63% to 53%). 

Donate to empower voters!

 

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Fair maps equal fair elections: Why VA matters

Gerrymandering undermines the concept of ‘one person, one vote’ by rigging legislative district maps to make some votes matter less than others. For Republicans, extreme gerrymandering is a means to their goal: permanent legislative majorities based on a minority share of the vote.  This problem originates in the states. It must be fixed state by state.  In 2019, Lean Left VT can help Virginia achieve fair maps for the next 10 years!  

Legislative district maps are redrawn every 10 years, based on the census.  In 2011, Republicans controlled the governorship and both chambers of the legislature. With that power, they made VA one of the most gerrymandered states in the country, at both the Congressional and state level.  Their unfair maps had immediate impact.  In 2012, despite a near 50/50 split in the statewide Congressional vote, Republicans won 73% of the state’s Congressional seats. Such is the power of gerrymandering to ignore the will of the voters.

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Virginians and their allies fought back, in courts and at the ballot box.  Incredible efforts have led to some progress.  In 2017, with the highest turnout in 20 years, Democrats picked up 15 seats in the House of Delegates, bringing the representation to 49 Democrats and 51 Republicans.  However, thanks to a gerrymandered map, Republicans retained the majority despite winning only 44% of the statewide vote.  In 2018, Democrats shifted the balance of power in the state’s Congressional delegation by eking out wins in Republican held districts. 

This success was due to Herculean efforts by Virginians and activists around the country including Lean Left VT.  There is reason to be proud.  But it should not be this hard. It shouldn’t take lawsuits and massive ground games.  There should simply be fair elections based on fair maps!  In 2019, if Democrats win just two more seats in each house of the state legislature, we can put an end to Republican gerrymandering.  After the 2020 census, Virginia can have fair maps that treat all Virginians’ votes as equal for 10 years!

A few other reasons to flip VA in 2019 include:

  • Prove President Trump Wrong. Trump has targeted winning Virginia in 2020 to demonstrate his popularity. We can stop him in his tracks.

  • Support the People of Virginia. Virginians deserve progressive legislation that supports gun safety, quality public education, environmental protection and quality healthcare.

  • Pass ERA Ratification. With a Democratic majority legislature, Virginia will ratify the ERA, potentially now close to successful nationwide ratification.

How can you help? Support Democrat candidates that believe in one person, one vote.  Lean Left VT is proud to supporting three specific candidates, our Sister Districts, who will support makes that value the vote of all Virginians.