Voting In Our Democracy
In the world's leading democracy, voting should be free, fair, and equally accessible to all.
Values: America was founded on the principle that we're all created equal and voting is the one thing that brings us all together and makes us equal as Americans.
Define: As the world's leading democracy, America should have a voting system that is free, fair, and equally accessible to everyone -- no matter what you look like or how much money you make.
Contrast: New anti-voting laws are preventing law-abiding citizens with the least time and money from voting, including people hit hardest by the recession. That's not all: seniors and veterans who are lifelong voters suddenly can't vote either.
Explain: These new restrictions require specific kinds of ID that politicians know many citizens don't have, take away the flexibility that parents and workers need to vote early or on weekends, and block nonprofit groups from helping people with their voter registration paperwork.
Aspire: We're Americans -- it's our responsibility as citizens to participate in our great democracy, even if some politicians are manipulating our voting laws to stop us.
This is America -- it should be voters choosing our leaders, not politicians choosing voters.
Connect: Thisis America - it should be voters choosing our leaders, not politicians choosing voters.
Define them: Republican politicians are trying to manipulate voting laws just to save their jobs and perks and put up barriers that prevent law-abiding citizens from voting.
Expose: Here's why: if they can't count on your vote, they want to keep you from being counted at all -- no matter the consequences. They're rigging the vote so the system stays rigged in their favor.
Discredit: We should stop the rare cases of ineligible people casting a ballot, but it's wrong for Republican politicians to take away the voting rights of millions of eligible Americans in the process -- especially our seniors and veterans who've been lifelong voters.
Aspire: America isthe world's leading democracy. We set the example by making sure every eligible American can participate equally in our great democracy.
Words to use: Free, fair, and equally accessible to all;
Fundamental freedom; American right;
Making it harder to vote; Law-abiding citizens
Words to avoid: Disenfranchisement; Discrimination
To illustrate the impact of these new anti-voting laws, here are specific examples and stories to use:
- In Florida, the Republican governor recently created a list of tens of thousands of voters to kick them off the voter rolls, but almost all of the people turned out to be eligible voters -- including some World War II and Vietnam veterans.
- In Tennessee, Dorothy Cooper, a 96 year old lifelong voter, felt so strongly about meeting her responsibility to vote that she repeatedly went back to a government agency with numerous other IDs to meet the state's new voter ID requirement.
- Some states are now starting to impose heavy fines on non-profit organizations, like the League of Women Voters, if they cannot turn in voter registration forms within 48 hours, regardless of the reason. These rules are shutting down many of their voter registration drives completely.
ATTACKS AND RESPONSES
- There's no question we should stop the rare cases of ineligible people casting a ballot because protecting the integrity of our elections is vitally important. That's why we have strict laws and protections already in place.
- Instead Republican politicians are trying to use these extraordinarily rare instances of simple mistakes to drum up support for their anti-voting laws -- so they can prevent eligible voters they don't like from voting against them.
- In the world's leading democracy, our own voting system should be free, fair, and equally accessible to all and our leaders should be working to make sure every eligible citizen can vote.
- We're Americans -- it's our responsibility as citizens to participate in our great democracy. And helping us to get registered and get the info we need is exactly what nonprofit organizations like the League of Women Voters and the Voter Participation Center do.
FALSEHOOD: "The Obama campaign is trying to end early voting for our military in Ohio."
- Actually, the Obama campaign is fighting to restore early voting in Ohio, and the President signed the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act into law -- which gave military voters more time to vote.
- Thankfully Ohio service members never lost their right to vote early, but Ohio Republicans took it away from almost everyone else -- including more than 900,000 Ohio veterans.
- Romney's claims are flat out untrue and even Fox News admits it, but he's still trying to twist the truth into a falsehood for political gain. That's shameful.
- Politicians should be protecting our democracy by making sure everyone eligible to vote can vote -- not ending early voting just to keep voters they don't like away from the polls.
- We all agree that protecting the integrity of our elections is vitally important -- that's why we already have strict laws and protections in place.
- We should stop the rare cases of ineligible people casting a ballot, but it's wrong for Republican politicians to take away the voting rights of millions of eligible Americans in the process -- especially seniors and veterans who've been lifelong voters.
- Even they admit there's no evidence to back up their scaremongering. In fact, dying from your nightwear igniting is more common than someone impersonating another voter at the polls -- which isn't surprising because doing that just to add one more vote can land you in jail.
- In the real world, these partisan accusations are coming from the same Republican politicians trying keep people they can't count on to vote for them from voting at all -- and they actually admit it.
- Voting is a fundamental freedom guaranteed by more Constitutional amendments than any other right we have. Getting on an airplane and buying cold medicine aren't enshrined in our Constitution.
- Republican politicians are trying to rig our voting system with these anti-voting laws for one purpose alone: to keep Americans they don't like from being counted at all by imposing requirements they can't meet.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Since President Obama was elected, many Republican-governed states have enacted new laws that make it harder for people to register and vote, such as --
- Purges of voters off the voter registration rolls in Florida even though almost all of the people turned out to be eligible voters -- including some World War II and Vietnam veterans.
- Catch-22 laws that require a photo ID in order to get a photo ID or the birth certificate you need to get a photo ID;
- Laws ending or reducing highly popular early voting, absentee voting, and Election Day and same day voter registration opportunities; and
- Heavy fines on non-profit organizations, like the League of Women Voters, if they cannot turn in voter registration forms within 48 hours, regardless of the reason. These rules are shutting down many of their voter registration drives completely.
- The new GOP anti-voting efforts could undermine the voting rights of as many as 5 million American citizens in the 2012 election -- the margin of victory in two of the last three presidential elections.
- Over 20 million American citizens do not have government-issued photo identification, including an even greater percentage of families hit hardest by the recession and seniors. (They could be, for instance, people who let their driver's license expire after they lost their car or retired veterans who get by fine with their VA ID.)
- In a study of 10 states with anti-voting ID laws, more than 10 million eligible voters -- including 500,000 without a car -- live more than 10 miles from their nearest state ID-issuing office open more than two days a week.
We develop messaging by aggregating, analyzing and distilling polling, tested messaging, and expert recommendations, and monitoring the media to identify what is and isn't working. See here for some of the experts and organizations we draw on.
Posted in - Voting Rights