The Melrose Democrats want to help support the efforts in Georgia for the Jan 5, 2021 Run-Off for Senate seats, helping to secure a 50-50 (+VP Harris) to get a balance to a majority in the Senate. We’re going to write some postcards to help make that happen!
If you’re like me, you’re a Democrat in Massachusetts who feels like it can be hard to take action when we’re living in a blue state. I was struggling with this and then in the fall of 2017 discovered Postcards to Voters. Postcards to Voters writer focus on increasing registered Democrat voter turnout for races, from very local to state races for Senate, House, and Governor roles, where the seat has been identified as potentially “flippable” from red to blue.
This grassroots organization started in Georgia in March 2017 to support the first Jon Ossoff special election bid. 5 people started it, and within one month, they had 1,200 volunteers across the country, sending 51,000 postcards, at their own expense of time and cards and stamps. Since then, P2V has grown to over 75,000 volunteers, written more than 8,000,000 postcards for 230+ races across the country.
The Melrose Democratic City Committee is sponsoring our ability to write for this extra special campaign, and we’re getting messages and addresses through Postcards to Voters. Postcards, stamps, and addresses will be provided (pick them up from Kathy).
What to know about our efforts:
- HOW MANY CARDS WILL I WRITE?: Please be willing to write 10 postcards if you’re joining us. You can pick up packages of 10 or more postcards and stamps from Kathy at 43 Howard Street in Melrose. Let her know how many you want (ideally in sets of 10, no more than 50). You are also welcome to use your own postcards (see more in the rules below) or provide your own 35 cent postcard stamps. Just let Kathy know how you plan to participate so that she can get you an emailed set of addresses.
- WHAT IF I’M NOT ARTSY AND/OR CRAFTSY? You do NOT need to be super creative to help support Democracy! Yes, for some people, this is their time to be a #craftivist, but don’t feel pressured to be that person! The postcards we’re providing are COMPLETELY blank, and you can use the space how you want. (Don’t forget the space for the voter’s address, though!) Some people use color and stickers (nothing 3D that won’t easily pass through mail sorting machines). Some just use their legible handwriting and that’s totally fine, too! Looking to get inspired? Check out the Twitter feed for the #PostcardsToVoters to see the excitement of Craftivism at its finest!
- DO I NEED STAMPS? The Melrose Democratic Committee is supplying stamps. That said, if you have your own or want to contribute to your own efforts, you are welcome to! Postcard stamps are $0.35 each.
- SO, THERE ARE PROBABLY SOME RULES. WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW? While there aren’t a lot of rules, there are a few we DO need to follow, in order to stay clear of any campaign finance violations. Postcards to Voters have worked extensively with legal counsel to understand how we can best support our candidates and not get them in trouble. The rules are:
- They need to be handwritten. (This makes your note a First Amendment right to express your opinion, rather than with preprinted marketing materials, which are subject to campaign finance rules, you know, like the “this message approved by ____”). Nothing preprinted in terms of messages.
- They need to have the core messages written on them, exactly as prescribed. See below for the section “What to write on these postcards”
- Keep the language positive. We don’t bash opponents; we only promote candidates and our desire that they VOTE.
- Yes, it’s the holiday season, but don’t mention the holidays. Keep all language and images inclusive, neutral, and benign.
- You do NOT have to sign your name. If you choose to, only use your first name or your initials. No last name, email, address, or social media info.
- You are only writing a voter once. Do not contact them again.
- If you want to take photos to share on social media, please be sure to cover all voter address information before taking the photo.
Next steps for you:
- Reach out to Kathy to let her know how many postcards you want to write. She will also need your email so that she knows where to send your voter address list (email: email@example.com or text: 617-803-6874)
- Pick Up the cards and stamps (will be waiting for you in the vestibule, no arranged time necessary) at 43 Howard Street in Melrose. Pull into the driveway; it’s safer.
- Join us for the Zoom call to get everyone oriented & write with others, virtually! But take your time, you don’t want to screw up 🙂
- Share a picture of your finished postcards with Kathy so that she can be sure that all the rules were followed before stamping them. Get them in the mail by Friday, Dec 4th.
What to write on these postcards:
These postcards are supporting 3 candidates AND encouraging people to vote EARLY or via ABSENTEE ballot. As of December 14th, early voting is open and a record 1,000,000+ absentee ballots have already been requested!
- Jon Ossoff, US Senate Candidate
- Rev. Raphael Warnock, US Senate Candidate
- Daniel Blackman, Candidate for GA’s Public Service Commission (which helps regulate utility companies)
First, every postcard MUST have these 3 messages handwritten on them, no matter what:
Elect Democrats Ossoff + Warnock for Senate and Daniel Blackman for PSC.
Return your absentee ballot ASAP and make history!
Or plan now to vote early in person starting Dec. 14
Second, you *may* add additional information/messages to help round out your postcard. Here are some examples:
– We are encouraging all Democrats to request a vote-by-mail ballot.
– It’s convenient, easy, and safe.
– Take all the time you need to study a long ballot and research your choices.
– Vote By Mail is the easy way to make your voice heard.
– Be a voter!
– Voting is one of the best habits you can start (and keep).
– Protect Democracy by voting.
– I’m volunteering to write this because the stakes are so high.
– I am a real person. This is my actual handwriting. I hope you vote.
– I am mailing this to you on my own dime because it’s that important.
– Your vote will matter more than ever. (Yay you!)
– Democracy only works when more of us vote.
– Your Vote = Your Voice
– These days, every election needs committed voters like you.
Third, We don’t have names of voters, so find a generic and positive term that works for you, such as:
Important Voter, VIP Voter, Best Voter Ever, Valued Voter, Essential Voter, Esteemed Voter, Much-Needed Voter, Partner in Democracy, Voter Friend, Terrific Voter, Awesome Voter, Patriotic Voter, Concerned Citizen, Defender of Democracy, Super Voter, Serious Voter, Responsible Voter, Winning Voter