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Demand Senators Wait for SCOTUS Replacement until 2021

Call your representatives and demand they wait: Find your Member of Congress and senators’ information here

Just before she died, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg told her granddaughter, “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

As Republicans plot to fill the seat before a new president is sworn in, the nation is faced with the terrifying prospect of a Supreme Court that is shifted to the far right for generations.

We've been here before. Before the 2016 election, the Republicans stopped President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland. Mitch McConnell declared: “Given that we are in the midst of the presidential election process, we believe that the American people should seize the opportunity to weigh in.”

That’s right: The American people must weigh in before the Senate moves to fill this vacancy. Honor Justice Ginburg’s memory and continue her fight for justice by calling your Republican senators today to demand that the Supreme Court vacancy stay open until after inauguration.

* Wondering what your senator said in 2016 and what they are saying now? Check out https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/what-every-republican-senator-has-said-about-filling-a-supreme-court-vacancy-in-an-election-year


Contact the USPS Board of Governors Now

Trump-appointee Louis DeJoy, the Postmaster General, is gutting the USPS in a blatant attempt to suppress the vote in the election this year.

Below you'll find the names and email of the members of the USPS Board of Governors. 

Because the Postmaster General is selected by and serves at the pleasure of the board, we encourage all members of DA to contact each member, explain why DeJoy should no longer be in his position, and why mail-in voting matters to you. 

USPS Board of Governors

Robert Duncan:
mduncan@inezdepositbank.com

John Barger:
barger.jm@gmail.com

Ron Bloom:
ron.bloom@brookfield.com

Roman Martinez:
roman@rmiv.com

Donald Moak:
lee.moak@moakgroup.com

Wiliam Zollers:
directoraccessmailbox@cigna.com


Take a Stand for Emailed Ballot Returns

The 2020 presidential elections are fast approaching, yet we know that due to the pandemic there are long delays in postal mail delivery and almost 80 countries who have suspended their international postal delivery service altogether (https://about.usps.com/newsroom/service-alerts/international/welcome.htm). This is an urgent time to voice our concerns about voter access and stand up for our voting rights. To have safe, healthy, and fair elections this year, Americans abroad must have the ability to return their ballots securely via email attachment or web portal. 

If your voting state has a Democratic Governor but DOES NOT allow ballot returns via email attachment or web portal, call or email your governor’s office to express your concerns and let them know how your ability to vote is impacted. Then let us know their response by adding that information here

Democratic led states that currently do not allow email, fax or web portal ballot returns (contact information for your state here*): CT, IL, KY, MI, MN, NJ, NY, PA, VA, WI
If you prefer to email rather than call, look up your governor's website here, then go to their contact form. Use your voting address in the US to identify your voting location prior to sending in your comments. 
**********

Script for Phone calls

Hi, my name is ____, and I’m a constituent of Governor [Name], residing in [name of country]. 

I’m calling Governor ____ to express my concerns about the fact that [state] does not offer ballot returns via email attachment or web portal for Americans voting from overseas. There are currently 26 states that do offer email or web portal ballot returns and 5 that offer fax returns. Unfortunately [name of state] is not one of these. 

This is important to me personally because _______. [Explain known travel times for mail, embassy guidelines that indicate delays, costs of courier from your country, etc]

Currently almost 80 countries around the world do not have postal service to the US and the majority of other countries are delivering postal mail to the US via boat, severely delaying delivery. In the UK, the embassy has notified its voters that they could use the diplomatic pouch for ballot delivery but are not advising it, as they are expecting delivery to take 8 to 10 weeks - well beyond the time for a ballot (released at the earliest on Sept 19th) to reach our state in time. Courier service is our only, very expensive, option at the moment, applying an incredible poll tax on voters from abroad. 

If Governor [Name], allowed ballot returns via email attachment or web portal for citizens overseas, they would resolve the problem immediately, allowing voters abroad to successfully vote this year. 

Will you make sure that the voices of American citizens living abroad are heard in the upcoming election by working to implement email or web portal ballot return in the state of ____ ?

Many thanks for all that you do.


Script for Answering Machine Message

Hi, my name is ____, and I’m a constituent of Governor [Name], residing in [name of country]. 

I’m calling Governor ____ to express my concerns about the fact that [state] does not offer ballot returns via email attachment or web portal for Americans voting from overseas. 

This is important to me personally because _______. [Explain problems/delays you’ve experienced, or describe why mailing your ballot from abroad is difficult]

Currently almost 80 countries have no postal service to the US and the majority of others are delivering mail to the US via boat, causing severe delays. Delivery via Embassy diplomatic pouch is also very delayed (UK guidelines are 8-10 weeks), meaning ballots may not arrive on time. Courier service is our only, very expensive, option at the moment, applying an incredible poll tax on voters from abroad. 26 states have successfully developed safe and secure protocols for accepting ballots through email or web portal ballot returns for Citizens abroad, but the state of ____ hasn’t.

Will you make sure that the voices of American citizens living abroad are heard in the upcoming election by working to implement email or web portal ballot return in the state of ____ ?

Many thanks for all that you do.

Script for Emails

Hi,
My name is ____, and I’m a constituent of Governor [Name], residing in [name of country]. 

I’m emailing Governor ____ to express my concerns about the fact that [state] does not offer ballot returns via email attachment or web portal for Americans voting from overseas. There are currently 26 states that do offer email or web portal ballot returns and 5 that offer fax returns. Unfortunately [name of state] is not one of these. 

This is important to me personally because _______. [Explain known travel times for mail, embassy guidelines that indicate delays, costs of courier from your country, etc]

Currently almost 80 countries around the world do not have postal service to the US and the majority of other countries are delivering postal mail to the US via boat, severely delaying delivery. In the UK, the embassy has notified its voters that they could use the diplomatic pouch for ballot delivery but are not advising it, as they are expecting delivery to take 8 to 10 weeks - well beyond the time for a ballot (released at the earliest on Sept 19th) to reach our state in time. Courier service is our only, very expensive, option at the moment, applying an incredible poll tax on voters from abroad. 

If Governor [Name], allowed ballot returns via email attachment or web portal for citizens overseas, they would resolve the problem immediately, allowing voters abroad to successfully vote this year. 

Will you make sure that the voices of American citizens living abroad are heard in the upcoming election by working to implement email or web portal ballot return in the state of ____ ?

Many thanks for all that you do.

Kind regards,

[Name]

Talking points that help customize your script.

  • Email and web portal ballot return provides a paper trail as voters return their marked ballot and there’s no risk that the ballot will be delayed or lost in the international postal mail system. 26 states successfully use email or web portal ballot returns for Citizens abroad but the state of ____, doesn’t. 
  • Requiring postal ballot returns puts my health at risk since it makes it impossible for me to keep to the social distancing and stay at home measures by requiring travelling to and standing in lines at post offices and US embassies. 
  • There are over 6 million eligible US voters living (and potentially voting) from abroad and our votes are proven to make the margin of difference time and again.

More information

The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) promoted accessibility, including expansion of electronic systems as a means of improving Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) ballot return rates. The majority of states allow for ballot returns options via email attachment, fax or web portal, 20 require ballot returns by postal mail.
Summary of HAVA plus link to complete bill (from the Election Assistance Commission).

Support ballot returns by email or web portal!

With hugely consequential elections taking place in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has never been a more important time to stand up for our voting rights, and protect our votes and ourselves in the process.

If we are to have safe, healthy, and fair elections this year, Americans at home must make widespread use of mail ballots, while Americans abroad must have the ability to return their ballots securely via email or web portal.

Many countries outside of the US have suspended postal delivery or have long delays in postal mail delivery.  Requiring American voters abroad to pay for expensive courier services to vote, or travel to embassies not only suppresses votes but creates a poll tax on voter participation. 

What can we do?

Contact your member of Congress and senators, to speak out on these issues.

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Virginia Voters - Take Action Now on National Popular Vote

Virginia voters are in position to help bring true majority rule to the U.S. This week the Virginia state senate is considering a bill to move America towards electing the President by National Popular Vote. The bill was passed by the Virginia House of Delegates in January and is now in a state senate committee. The committee is expected to vote Tuesday, February 25 following deliberations. By asking your Virginia state senator to support the National Popular Vote bill right now, you can help make far-reaching change in U.S. politics for the future.

What it is: The National Popular Vote bill guarantees the presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Since 2007, the bill has been passed by 15 states and D.C., and has collected 196 electoral votes. The bill will go into effect when passed by states with a majority of electoral votes - i.e. 270. Democrats Abroad urges your support.

Prospects for enacting this legislation in Virginia are leaning positive as a result of the recent elections for both houses of the legislature, but we know the vote will be close.  Please take a moment now to email your state senator, asking them to pass the National Popular Vote bill in Virginia. 

More information below.

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Demand a Full and Fair Impeachment Trial

You’ve heard the news - Mitch McConnell is trying to set up a sham trial in place of a fair and open impeachment trial in the Senate. He has set extremely tight time limits, and plans to limit or cut all witnesses. He may not even allow any evidence to be admitted to the proceedings at all. These tactics demonstrate to the White House and to the world exactly where his political interests lie - in a totalitarian state with Donald Trump as its leader. 

Call your Senators now and demand that they stand up to #MoscowMitch and fight for a fair and open trial, one that is not rushed through in the middle of the night, which has witnesses, and which considers the evidence gathered during the House proceedings. 

If your senator is Democratic, ask that they speak out loudly and firmly for a fair and open impeachment trial in the Senate.

If your senator is Republican remind them that they took an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Demand that they stand behind that oath and push back against the rules that McConnell is trying to push through. 

Find your senator contact information here: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members


Call Your Reps - Support the Articles of Impeachment

The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on articles of impeachment this Wednesday, December 18th.  

Please call your representative today and ask them to vote YES in support of these articles. 

Congress has the moral and constitutional responsibility to stand up to the illegal and unethical behavior that Donald Trump has clearly conducted.

Let your representative know that you expect them to fulfill their responsibility. And if your rep is already planning to vote yes, thank them - positive reinforcement is valuable information for their office to collect as well.

Find Your Representative

Sample Phone Script
Hi, my name is ____, I vote in ____, and I’m a constituent of Rep. [Representative’s name]. I’m calling to ask that she/he vote YES to impeaDonald Trump. 


Take Action Now: Shout about the UPU Treaty Withdrawal

The Trump administration is attacking voting rights again - this time the rights of Americans abroad - through their plans to withdraw from the Universal Postal Union on October 16th. If the withdrawal goes forward, postal mail service to the United States will be thrown into disarray and the USPS expects postal service to and from the States to be massively disrupted. 

This action will hit voters from abroad hard. Beyond the widespread, unprecedented disruption to personal, business and financial affairs that the withdrawal will create, voters abroad will not be able to return their ballots or ballot requests by standard postal mail. 

Just consider - in 2018, 67% of ballots from abroad were returned by postal mail. 

Call your Senators and your Representative and demand that they pressure the Trump administration to stop this nonsense now.

  • Demand they push for the Trump administration to allow the uninterrupted flow of overseas mail to the US
  • Remind them that your ability to vote depends on being able to get your overseas ballot back to the US on time, and that goes for everyone voting abroad in every state and district across the country.
  • Consider including a personal story of your experience returning your overseas ballot, or other ways you depend on sending and receiving mail to and from the US. 

Contact your governor and state legislators and ask them to step up to preserve your right to vote from abroad. 

Whether you’re voting for President or town council members, the rules that determine how you can request, receive and return your ballot are decided at the state level. State legislation can make it harder for you to vote from abroad, or it can create a path around the mess that will be made by the Postal Union withdrawal.

1. Use this guide from Vote From Abroad to look up your state’s ballot delivery methods.

2a. If your state requires ballot requests and/or returns be sent by mail (and not email/online submission), contact your governor and state legislators

  • Ask that they push for legislation in 2020 which allows their military and civilians abroad to submit their absentee ballot requests (aka “FPCAs”) and overseas ballots by email or online submission.

2b. If your state allows ballot requests and/or returns to be done online or via email, consider letting your governor and state legislators know how much you appreciate these essential, modern solutions which ensure that you can easily and securely request and return your ballot. In order for these options to be maintained, it’s helpful for them to know why it matters to you!

Protect your right to vote! 

  • If you aren’t registered to vote yet and will vote in any of these states, register to vote as an overseas voter NOW -- before the UPU withdrawal. 

Go to www.votefromabroad.org and click “start” to fill out your voter registration form and overseas absentee ballot request. Then mail it in ASAP.

  1. Alabama
  2. Arkansas
  3. Connecticut
  4. Florida
  5. Idaho
  6. New Jersey
  7. New York
  8. Oregon
  9. Rhode Island
  10. South Dakota
  11. West Virginia
  12. Wisconsin
  13. Wyoming

Tiny Action: Immigrants Welcome

From the non-emergency emergency, to continuing to separate families at the border, to making it more difficult for American citizens to return to the US with their own families, the Trump administration is taking drastic measures to effectively shut down all immigration, impacting thousands of Americans — not just those in the US, but around the world.

 

This week’s Tiny Action: Voice your support for families impacted by Trump’s Anti-Immigration Agenda, and share your story if these immigration policies are impacting you and your loved ones.

Secretary Nielsen’s legacy will be one of cruelty and inhumane immigration tactics, but that wasn’t enough. Trump purged DHS of leaders who told him his extreme immigration proposals weren’t legal, and then he personally ordered border agents to ignore rulings by federal judges.

Going largely unnoticed, the administration also announced plans to shut down all foreign offices of the DHS US Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS), a move that will worsen the already arduous immigration process, including for spouses, families and adopted children of Americans living abroad.

Meanwhile, House Democrats have introduced the Dream and Promise Act to protect DACA and TPS recipients, and Dems in both the House and the Senate introduced the NO BAN Act, to end the Muslim ban and future discriminatory immigration practices. But these bills will not proceed without your support, and they are only the next steps. There is still much work to be done.

 

1. Tell your representative that you support H.R. 6 in full, and that you oppose new family separation policies and closing overseas offices of USCIS.

First, check if they are cosponsoring H.R. 6, a bill which would allow DREAMers to apply for legalization, and TPS holders to apply for green cards. Then call your representative using our script here.

 

2. Tell your representative and your senators that you also support the NO BAN Act and strongly oppose separating families at the border.

First, check if they are cosponsoring H.R. 2214 / S. 1123, to put a stop to the Muslim ban once and for all, and prevent future discriminatory immigration bans. Then call your representative and both senators using our script here.

 

3. If your family could be directly impacted by the closure of the USCIS offices or Trump’s immigration policies, let us know. And then help spread the word about why this issue matters to you.

Real-life stories of how an anti-immigration administration impacts our members and the families of Americans abroad can be incredibly helpful in our fight for fairer policies for all. If you have a story to share about your experience under the Trump administration’s immigration policies, please reach out to info@democratsabroad.org. We will not share or publish your experience or identifiable information without discussing with you further.

Regardless of whether or not you are directly impacted, you can offer a new perspective by talking to friends and family about why you think immigration rights, and these bills in particular, are so important.

Consider posting a link to this action on social media, sharing one of the news stories mentioned below, or sharing your own family’s experience online, to start a conversation. It may seem small, but the more people are aware of this issue and how it impacts Americans like us, the more we can push for progress.

 

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Tiny Action: #ReleaseTheReport

ReleaseTheReport_site.png

The Mueller investigation is over. The Special Counsel has released the full report to AG William Barr, and Barr must now disclose those findings to Congress.

But on Tuesday, AG William Barr missed the deadline set by Congress to release the full Mueller report. Barr’s refusal to cooperate indicates that we are crossing one of the red lines that groups like Indivisible and MoveOn agreed to over a year ago: If Congress or the administration blocks the public from seeing Mueller's findings, we mobilize.

This week’s Tiny Action: Demand that Mueller's report must be made public, and that Congress must use their oversight power to fully investigate.

Today, April 4, groups are mobilizing across the US, calling for Barr to #ReleaseTheReport. Join these efforts. Make the national action global.

1. Tell your representative and your senators to ensure that the report is made public, and that Congress continue their investigations until they are complete.

Hello. I am a constituent who votes in [CITY, STATE], but I currently live in [CITY, COUNTRY]. 

I'm calling because I'm concerned about potential suppression of the findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. Even though the House Judiciary Committee has subpoenaed the unredacted report, and even though the House UNANIMOUSLY voted for the report to be released to the public just weeks ago, we cannot allow the administration to block the release of the report in full. That means no massive redactions, and that it must be accompanied by all underlying evidence and related matters.

Furthermore, I fully support the ongoing congressional investigations beyond the scope of the Special Counsel. Regardless of what the Mueller report may reveal, the undisputed evidence — such as what the president himself has said to journalists, on video — is enough for me to know that this administration is full of rampant corruption, and I ask that these investigations be supported and completed in full. This is not a witch hunt. It’s about transparency. It’s about the American people holding the government accountable, both the administration and Congress, elected to serve OUR interests. 

Thank you for your time and attention.

[Provide your full name and voting address if leaving a voicemail]

2. Record a video (via Indivisible) to tell your friends and family that you’re demanding the Mueller report be made public and that you support continuing the congressional investigations.

Find details from Indivisible here. 
Be sure to tag @DemsAbroad (@DemocratsAbroad on Instagram) if you share your video!

3. Not interested in video? Try one of our social posts below, or write your own.

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