The killing of a mentally ill man by police officers adds to the chaos of the moment as our City prepares for the most important election of our lifetimes in the midst of a global pandemic. Then there are the post election activities to secure the counting of ballots and the threat by a sitting president to not accept the results unless he wins. We hope this missive provides guidance in a dangerous time.
Psst…There’s an Election on Tuesday…
We are knocking doors in NW Philly as part of a coordinated campaign to Get Out Every Voter for this election. With the fate of our republic hanging in the balance, we don’t have the luxury of sitting out this election. So, do your part and sign up to take a shift of socially-distanced door knocks to share important information with our neighbors about how to vote (drop-off or in-person) and where to do it.
Last Minute Tips to Get Your Vote Counted
VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! BEFORE OR ON ELECTION DAY, NOV 3. We need to win big in PA. Thousands of voters have already returned their mail ballots, but there are thousands still not returned. Polling Locations are open and ready. Don’t let all the chatter suppress your vote. Here’s what you can do in the last few days of this election:
1. DROP OFF YOUR BALLOT AT THE SATELITTE ELECTION OFFICES
It is too late to put your ballot in the mail to assure it gets to the Election Office on time. AND you cannot return your mail ballot to your polling location on Election day.
You can drop off your mail ballot at any of the Satellite Election Offices and drop boxes. It only takes a few minutes. You can only drop off your own ballot unless you complete a designated agent form to drop off a ballot for a voter who is physically unable to do so.
Find the drop off locations outside of Philly
2. GET A REPLACEMENT BALLOT AT SATELLITE ELECTION OFFICES
If you requested a mail ballot that has not yet arrived, you should request a replacement ballot at the county elections office or any of the Satellite Election Offices on or before Election Day (until 8 PM).
3. VOTE AT YOUR POLLING PLACE
Some polling locations have moved this year. Most are open. Find your polling location here.
We expect long lines due to the new voting machines, need to clean after each voter, and requests for provisional ballots. Bring a folding chair, book, and another friend to keep you company and vote.
Have your Mail Ballot but you want to vote in person? Surrender your entire mail ballot and you can vote on the machine. This will take extra time.If you applied for a mail ballot but you did not receive it or you did not return it, you must vote on a provisional ballot (instead, we recommend a replacement ballot – see 2 above).Still have Questions about voting- Call Voter Assistance Hotline: 1-833-PA-VOTES
The Days after the Vote – Be Prepared to Defend Democracy
Although we are all immersed in getting the vote out for this election, we must be prepared for what might happen if there is any interference with the results of the election process. We have a President who has openly said he might not respect the outcome of our election. We have to be ready if he claims victory before all the votes are counted, thwarts the counting of mail-in ballots, tries to stop counting, or refuses to accept a loss.
Philadelphia Neighborhood Networks is preparing for what we should do in the days after the election. We are part of the Philly Action Council, a coalition of many local community organizations so that we can share information and communicate information as accurately and quickly as possible. We have been attending national trainings and workshops. For some resources and trainings on how to prepare, check out Choose Democracy which is committed to peaceful resistance to illegal grabs for power.
Here’s two things you can do right now:
1. Take the Pledge To Count Every Vote
We all know how crucial Philly is in this unprecedented election. We won’t let fear tactics get in our way. Pledge to not accept anything but a full vote count, and to protest, defend our election, and rise up until our city, state and nation #CountEveryVote. PNN has endorsed this pledge and we ask you to individually take the pledge.
2. Join the Protect the Results Mobilization on Nov 4 in Philly
Protect the Results is a nationwide network of over 100 grassroots organizations, progressive and conservative advocacy groups, government watchdogs, voting rights advocates, and labor unions that are committed to preparing for peaceful responses should there be any interference in the counting process and the lead-up to the inauguration. They are preparing to mobilize millions of Americans through non-violent “Count Every Vote” rallies to demand that every vote is counted and to help ensure the peaceful transition of power.
There is a “Count Every Vote” Rally scheduled for November 4 in Philadelphia. PNN supports this rally because it is important that we stand up for democracy at this critical time. All the sponsoring organizations are committed to nonviolent peaceful activities. All details are tentative at this time, depending on what happens. The best way to get updated information as Nov 4 approaches is to register for this mobilization.
Police Killing A Tragedy that Calls for Changes in Our Police
Yet another black person was killed by the police – On Oct 26, Walter Wallace, Jr., a 27-year old father and West Philadelphia resident, was suffering a mental health crisis and his family called for an ambulance, but the police arrived first. As is too often the case, someone in need of support was met instead with deadly force. Walter Wallace Jr.’s murder by police in West Philadelphia is a tragedy and we mourn his passing.
At PNN’s recent Town Hall on Police, the participants stressed over and over again that our society must invest in social services, housing, healthcare with particular attention to mental health, and not more police and firearms. We remain committed to structural reform of our police department so that police are accountable to the community they serve. There is still much work to be done to make black lives matter.
Thanks again for your activism!