Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile Metphistopheles Previous Previous Next Next
Thanks and No Thanks. - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
Thanks and No Thanks.

This afternoon, I received a thank-you email from the lawyer organization which set up the Voter Protection effort I joined in earlier this week.  Its contents resonated with a lot of what I've been feeling about how it all went (some identifying information is omitted):

On behalf of the Voter Protection Action Committee (VPAC), we want to thank you for signing up to participate on Election Day.

While Tuesday’s results may make you weary as a lawyer, know that your efforts to protect the vote were noticed. On Tuesday, you volunteered to stand up for our most fundamental right, and millions of Americans exercised their vote with your help. Our lawyers proudly served the electorate all over the country by working as poll monitors, hotline volunteers, election rovers, and in other important capacities.

Congratulations, your contributions were instrumental to the voting process.

With that said, we know there were setbacks with the volunteer process. Many of you experienced delays in getting assignments and training, and some of you were not assigned at all. Unfortunately, AAJ relies almost exclusively on national campaigns and organizations to facilitate the placement of our attorney volunteers in the states. It is designed to be a streamlined approach so people are not only placed where needed (i.e., battleground polling locations & states), but also so that they are not double and triple booked which causes confusion and uncertainty. Please know that we did everything in our power to provide our partners with the necessary volunteer information well in advance of Election Day. Unfortunately, the process did not go as planned. As a result, a lot of you were forced to sit on the sidelines when you wanted to be in the game. Trust us, we wanted you in the game, too.

I felt a lot of that frustration, but I at least did get both training and an assignment, although the former came very late and the latter may have been a misplacement of my effort (my assignment was to a historically low-turnout polling place in a county that traditionally went for Democrats and did this year as well).

We take full responsibility for the flaws in our volunteer system. We are truly sorry if you had a negative experience with VPAC and promise to have better systems in place for the next election. We ask that you not let your experience this year deter your participation in the future. We will need you next cycle, and your help is so vital to making sure everyone is afforded the right to vote. As we saw this year, voter suppression is an ever constant issue, and lawyers truly make a difference. Please give us another shot.

I hope to.  And despite the result and the seeming futility of my effort, I got to see things that gave me hope. The number of voters bringing their kids in with them throughout the day- as my parents did with me and we did with Emily. Seeing them getting their own I VOTED stickers (even though they didn't) helped build their respect for the importance of this civic duty. It may even help, in the long run, in beating back further efforts to suppress the exercise of that duty among the lowest and the different.  Also, seeing the number of mixed-race and mixed-ethnicity families coming and going. White supremacists may have enabled this victory, but to a meaningful extent they have already lost, just because the world has changed and no wall, no court, and no executive order can undo what the past several years of progress have brought to us.

In the end, the good news is that our national partners were able to make good on hundreds of connections, and our lawyers did indeed help protect the vote. Hundreds of you were there to help solve problems as they arose, to assist voters find correct polling locations, to challenge the handing out of provisional ballots, and to support voters when they were turned away and said to be in the wrong polling place. You were a voice for those when it counted. You made a difference when it mattered.

Thank you again for volunteering your time and energy to help protect the vote. And thank you for your continued commitment to the civil justice system.

You're welcome.

Know who I haven't heard a peep from? Hillary herself.  Her campaign apparatchiks were the ones who coordinated the actual assignments, provided the materials, and kept in constant contact with us throughout Election Day.  Our last word from HQ was when we sent our final check-ins right before 8 that night, and ever since, not a word of thanks or encouragement has come from "Victory Counsel." 

I never saw her election as a fait accompli either before or after her nomination- and while it will take at least four years before a woman finally shatters the glass ceiling of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the woman who does will almost certainly do it with her own maiden name, her own record, and without any baggage coming from the men in her life (one husband, one sexting relation of an employee).  It will be worth the wait.

1 comment or Leave a comment
angledge From: angledge Date: November 15th, 2016 09:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, thank you from me. If Trump really does appoint Kris Kobach as Attorney General, we're going to need a lot more lawyers.
1 comment or Leave a comment