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Simpich writes: "All around the USA, we can make Super Tuesday a Get-Out-the-Vote holiday. Many of us can get paid for it."

Sen. Bernie Sanders. (photo: Bridget Bennett/The New York Times)
Sen. Bernie Sanders. (photo: Bridget Bennett/The New York Times)

Bernie Organizers: Make Super Tuesday a Get-Out-the-Vote Holiday

By Bill Simpich, Reader Supported News

27 February 20


ll around the USA, we can make Super Tuesday a Get-Out-the-Vote holiday.   

Many of us can get paid for it.

Did you know that most of the Super Tuesday states mandate that the voter be given time off work to vote?  

Furthermore, half of the Super Tuesday states mandate that employers provide their employees two or more hours of paid time to vote.  

Whether or not we can shake the cash from our bosses’ pockets, let’s roll up our sleeves and transform this country in an unprecedented act of American solidarity.   

Nationally, the primaries are going to suffer from voter suppression techniques aimed at people of color, independent voters, and students.  

In California, the 5.5 million voters of Los Angeles — and millions of others in fourteen other counties — are urged to study their voter packets due to their new Vote Centers. By ending the use of neighborhood polling stations, these centers will make voting easier for some and cause great confusion for others.   

Here are a number of ways Bernie organizers can maximize the vote in a sometimes-difficult situation. All of us should take on at least one of the roles set out below.

Early voting is available almost everywhere in the USA between now and Tuesday. When more of us vote early, we create room at the polls for someone else we don’t know who can only vote on Tuesday. Here is a list on how to vote for Bernie in every state of the country.

In California, you can now register and vote any day up to and including Super Tuesday at your county elections office, voting center, or polling location. This polling place lookup tool provides local polling locations and times. For any questions, the California voter hotline number is 818 / 856-5083.

Phone banking and door-to-door canvassing. These two tools are essential in getting out the vote. Your local Bernie organization can find the right fit and the right spot for you.

Election observers are needed. Someone has to make sure the poll workers get it right — and help the voters get it right.  Stand “close enough” to watch the poll workers and adroitly provide your observations to the right people. Stand “far enough away” from the polls with a colorful sign and leaflets for the voters.

Campaign supporters are needed. We need people who can get other people to the polls — or even to a mailbox. We need people who can bring food and water to voters waiting in line. In the words of my election warrior sister, Ida Martinac, “Everything we love is on the line!”

Fight like hell to get a ballot to vote for Bernie. See this state-to-state guide to figure out how to do it for both Super Tuesday and the general election in November.

Californians can register, re-register, update their registration, and check their registration here. Again, use this polling place lookup tool to find your local polling location. 

Are you an independent voter? Many states allow independent voters to vote for Bernie even though he is running on the Democratic line.

In California, independents are called “no party preference” or NPP voters. NPP voters have to request a Democratic crossover ballot in order to vote for President.  

Thanks to a new California law, NPP voters can now go to the polls and should be able to cast a ballot that enables them to vote for Bernie and maybe even have it counted that day!  

In California, due to popular pressure, an urgency statute was passed two weeks ago that will enable no party preference voters to vote for Bernie and those who have changed their address to make a written request as late as Super Tuesday itself at the voting locations provided at this website. This urgency statute, in many cases, will mean that these voters will be able to cast a non-provisional ballot that will be counted on election night. 

If you received a VBM ballot and want to cast it personally to ensure it is counted on election night, play it safe and bring your ballot and envelope to the polls, even though this precaution may not be required under the new rules.

If necessary, cast a provisional ballot. Casting a provisional ballot is an emergency measure that is better than not voting at all. Most provisional ballots are eventually counted, although well after Super Tuesday. Track your ballot and make sure they count it.

Working to make this very-troubled election happen is an act of solidarity, which brings to mind a very short story.

When Bernie came to Richmond, California, last week my friend’s band, Phat Luv, opened for the campaign event. A mostly African American group, they played Grand Funk Railroad’s “We’re an American Band” — changing the chorus to “We Are a Socialist Band!”   

Never in my life have I ever heard an African American even mention Grand Funk Railroad — struggling white kids from Michigan who sold out Shea Stadium in the ’70s faster than the Beatles. I doubt that the elite critics who run the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will ever let the scruffy Grand Funk inside its gates.  Meanwhile, these black musicians honor this largely-forgotten legacy of the white working class — and they most definitely brought the funk.

In the midst of some of the darkest days of the Republic, a new spirit of solidarity is sweeping this land. People are reaching out to support someone they don’t know. Are these the first signs of an American renewal? A fundamental realignment? A Second Republic?

Bill Simpich is a California civil rights attorney and a member of Ballots for Bernie. For more, visit Ballots for Bernie on Facebook.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News. your social media marketing partner
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