Friday, September 14, 2018

Feel Good Friday - Spread The Vote

There are only 52 days left before the midterm elections in the US, so on this Feel Good Friday we're going to profile Spread The Vote.

As explained on their Facebook page, Spread The Vote "fights voter suppression by helping citizens of states with Voter ID laws get the IDs they need to vote."

You can get a great overview by watching this recent report on CNN or continue reading here.

Founded in 2017 by Kat Calvin, Spread The Vote operates in 5 states with strict voter ID laws: Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Georgia and Florida. This link shows what the requirements are in all 50 states.

The problem Spread The Vote is solving is that 21 million eligible voters in the US do not have photo ID. On average IDs cost $40 and take 3-4 weeks to obtain. 57% of these voters also need to obtain a birth certificate for an additional $60.

Spread The Vote helps people obtain IDs by following a 5-step process:
  1. Create community chapters and train volunteers to become ID experts.
  2. Partner with local service organizations like shelters, food banks and free clinics.
  3. Connect volunteers with eligible voters in partner communities who need IDs.
  4. The voter-volunteer pairs work together to get all information needed to obtain an ID. Spread The Vote covers all the costs.
  5. Voters use their IDs to help find jobs, housing and of course, vote!
As elections near, Spread The Vote provides voter education and rides to the polls on election day. Volunteers across 30 chapters have obtained over 100 IDs with 200 more in the pipeline. You can click this link to see short videos of the impact getting IDs has on new voters.

If you need help getting an ID, you can fill out this short form and someone from Spread the Vote will contact you to get the process started. If you're in one of the states with an active program you can volunteer. No matter where you are, you can donate, shop and spread the word on social media by liking the Facebook page and following them on Twitter @SpreadTheVoteUS.

This is what democracy look like!

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