Count Every Vote
Our communities have spoken by turning out in historic numbers. Now it’s time to count every vote and let the will of the people determine our next elected leaders. Join us in calling on every American to protect our democracy by demanding a fair and accurate count.
Making It Plain: Fighting Misinformation
We’re fighting misinformation and giving you the facts!
What is voter intimidation/suppression? How will I know if I see it?
Voter suppression is any effort to discourage or prevent eligible voters from registering and casting their ballot. Unfortunately, voter suppression has always been a part of our country’s history and many of these efforts, legal and illegal, have targeted Black communities. Since the moment Black people could vote in this country, attempts to suppress our vote and keep us away from the ballot box have been relentless. Tactics used to suppress our vote have included, but are not limited to: relocating or closing polling places in our communities, placing restrictions on student voters, gerrymandering, implementing ID requirements, purging voter rolls, felony disenfranchisement, denying funding to the postal service, and misinformation campaigns.
What can/should I do if I see voter intimidation/suppression?
All eligible voters have the right to have a say in who represents them in government. If there comes a time when you think your voting rights are being violated, there are some steps you can take.
- The poll worker says you’re not on their list: Even if you’re not in the poll book, which is a record that holds voter register information, you can still fill out a provisional ballot. Once election officials confirm you are eligible to vote, they will need to count your ballot. Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE or 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA to confirm your voter registration information.
- The poll worker says the signature doesn’t match the one on their record: Some states will send you a notice and allow you to correct any signature discrepancies on a mail-in ballot. If you’re not able to correct a perceived mismatch in signatures, request a provisional ballot from your polling place in the meantime.
- The polling place closes while you’re in line: Do not leave – you still have the right to vote if you are in line before closing time. If someone forces you to get out of line, report them immediately to the Election Protection Hotline 1-866-OUR-VOTE or notify the Department of Justice Voting Rights Hotline at 1-800-253-3931.
- If you need assistance filling out a ballot, you can bring a friend or family member. Both you and your companion will be required to swear under oath that you asked the person to help you vote and that your companion did not tell you how to vote.
- It’s never too late to make sure that your family, friends, and community members have a plan to get their ballot to the box. Visit: https://www.vote.org/ to check your registration status, find early voting locations, and election day locations.
When will we get election results and why might it take a while?
More Americans have voted by mail in this election than in any other election in history, overwhelming election offices across the country. In some states, ballots cannot begin to be processed and counted until Election Day or after the polls close. All of this means that the chances we’ll know who the winner of the election is on Election night are slim. In fact, it could be days, maybe even weeks, before we know who the winner is. But don’t let anyone fool you into thinking that’s reason to believe the results, or even the election itself, are flawed or fraudulent. To proclaim a winner before ALL votes have been counted would be the real fraud.
Why are states counting ballots after election day?
A record-breaking number of Americans are voting by mail due to the coronavirus and mail-in, absentee, and provisional ballots take longer to process and count than in-person votes. Even with the increase in voting by mail, it’s important to remember that results are never finalized on election night and it’s a normal part of the electoral process for ballots to be counted days or even weeks after voters go to the polls. In the past, TV networks have been able to declare a winner on the day of the election based on available results, but this year is different. More voters than any other time in history are voting by mail — about 70 million people. That’s a lot of ballots to count. Please don’t believe the lies and misinformation that you’ll hear in the days after the election. There is nothing fraudulent about voting by mail and it does not favor one political party over another. Our democracy is worth the wait and we must demand that election officials count every vote, no matter how long it takes.
What is the “blue shift” and “red mirage?”
Due to the pandemic, we have seen a surge in voting by mail. Although we’re seeing increases from both parties, the majority of Republican voters are expected to vote on Election Day, while the majority of Democratic voters are expected to vote-by-mail.
The ‘red mirage’ refers to a scenario in which the Republican candidate is leading in the polls on Election night. This could happen because votes cast in person on Election day may be counted faster than mail in ballots, which in some cases, can not begin to be counted until polls close on Election nightMost Republican voters have said they will vote on Election Day, while the opposite is true for most Democratic voters. Because of the differences in voter preference the country may go to bed on Election night with the Republican candidate in the lead. However, it’s important to remember that not all ballots will have been counted.
Due to an influx in vote by mail ballots this election and rules in some states that prohibit mail in ballots from being counted until Election day, we can expect that it will take more time to count these ballots. The ‘blue shift’ refers to a scenario where in the days after the election, as mail-in-ballots are being counted, the Democratic candidate closes the gap and even overtakes the lead.
One thing must be made clear- elections do not end until every ballot has been counted because our democracy is worth the wait.
Does my vote matter?
Your vote is your power. In our fight for liberation, we must use every tool available to us and voting is one of our most powerful tools.
“Nobody else is affected by you not participating except for you. The people in power are not impacted by you not participating. In fact, they’re emboldened.”– Alicia Garza, Principal Black to the Future Action Fund
Make Your Voice Heard
Black people have too much at stake to not have our voices heard and our needs addressed. We have an opportunity to level the playing field but it only happens with your help. We fought hard to cast our ballot in the 2020 election and now we must fight to ensure every vote is counted. Join us in the fight! Our democracy is worth the wait!