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Keep the Faith

Posted on August 14, 2020

Dear Bombarded-from-All-Sides Activist Leaders,

There are moments in every campaign when leaders, faced with complications and assailed by doubts, are tempted to change course. Any strategy, no matter how data-driven, can seem outdated when unforeseen problems arise.

The plan to boost turnout by encouraging Democrats to apply to vote by mail has had more than its share of detractors recently. Problems with the postal service and unrealistic deadlines for Vote-by-Mail requests have raised serious concerns that absentee ballots will not be counted. Meanwhile, concerns about Covid have caused equally serious concerns about long lines and lack of polling places. 

It may be helpful to remember that most election officials are doing everything they can to learn from election problems earlier in the year to minimize voting risks as much as they can. Indeed, primary elections held in August have run more smoothly than those held in the spring. 

We should also bear in mind that It is the responsibility of voters to vote using the mode they feel the most comfortable with. This gives us the opportunity, as volunteers working to win back the White House, to offer a vote-by-mail request form to every likely Democratic voter in the swing states.

Since 2019, volunteer leaders working with Swing Left Greater Boston have sent hundreds of thousands of vote-by-mail applications to Democrats in Florida, Maine and Pennsylvania. Research has shown that these voters are more likely to vote — by any method — when they are registered for vote-by-mail.

While we need to be aware of the risks, leadership requires staying calm and confident while encouraging others to keep the faith. It might not always look that way, but we’re making progress. 

Thank you for sticking with it.

Susan Labandibar and Lisa Greenberg
(from the Leader’s Bulletin)