theatlantic.com
The Atlantic: A Grassroots Call to Ban Gerrymandering
Voters Not Politicians gathered an astounding 425,000 signatures in Michigan to secure a spot on the November ballot for a proposed constitutional amendment creating a citizens’ commission for redistricting.
By Erick Trickey

A bipartisan push to combat gerrymandering has been building among grassroots activism for quite some time.

In Michigan, Voters Not Politicians, a grassroots activist group fighting against gerrymandering, has collected enough signatures to place a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballet that dismantles the current way redistricting is done in the state. It would create a citizens’ commission for the process, where a group of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans with no loyalty to the politicians in power would instead create these districts.

Whether this would work is up in the air, as these nonpartisan commissions are still open to manipulation, but it’s obvious that it would be better than current practices, where politicians leverage the redistricting process for maximum impact against their opponents, disenfranchising voters in the process.

What’s amazing about this is how quickly and effectively this grassroots effort was organized. This could be easily replicated in other states as well, and in a fashion similar to Michigan, where the message isn’t Democrat vs. Republican, but voters vs. political corruption. And that’s a message that resonates with most voters.


I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: Vote! Check the registration deadlines in your state, get registered, and vote! If you have to get an ID, do it. If you have to jump through some hoops to prove eligibility, jump! They aren’t going to make it any easier to vote, so start now!

Hey, U.S. Tumblrs. Your country needs you. 

In just about six weeks, on November 6, you will have the privilege of exercising your right to vote in the midterm elections. You, the people, will determine one-third of all U.S. senators and all 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives. And we want you to feel empowered as hell as you make it happen.

But you can only make a difference if you’re registered to vote.

National Voter Registration Day is on September 25. 

Take a few minutes right now and visit NVRD (@nationalvoterregistrationday) to register anytime between now and then. Don’t forget: if you’ve recently changed your name or moved across state lines, you need to update your registration. Have questions? @plannedparenthood wants to help! This Monday, September 24, they will be answering your questions about voting. Go ahead and head over to their ask box now. 

What else can you do?

Stay informed. Over the next six weeks, right up until election day, we’re going to highlight and partner up with a number of organizations that can help you stay educated about issues that matter most. We’ll put a spotlight on some of our old favorites for educational resources, like @everytown for sensible gun laws and Fight for the Future (@fight4future) for net neutrality. You can also look forward to hearing more from:

  • Women — There are more women running for office in 2018 than there has ever been in U.S. history. Huffington Post and and MAKERS (@makerswomen) will be interviewing some of these incumbents and newcomers.
  • Headcount — Headcount (@thefutureisvoting) stages voter registration drives at concerts and runs programs that translate the power of music into real action. Their goal? Change the culture of voting to turn every election—local, state, and federal—into an event worth celebrating. It shouldn’t feel like a chore. 
  • When We All Vote — @whenweallvote is a new national, nonpartisan, not-for-profit that promises to spark new conversation around the responsibilities we all share in shaping the promise of our democracy.  Namely, the responsibility of registering and voting. 
  • #VoteTogether — #VoteTogether offers grants of $2,500 to local organizers to hold and promote nonpartisan block parties near polling places. This year Tumblr will be the financial sponsor and partner of two #VoteTogether events.
    • 10/25 — Black Girls Vote + Tumblr present: #VoteTogether in Baltimore. BGV focuses on organizing Black women across the country to participate in local, state and national elections. Tumblr will be supporting BGV for an all-day event led by 50 of their student leaders from Morgan State University.  We will then lead a march to the polls followed by a #VoteTogether block party with announcements of scholarships for some of the incredible students.
    • 10/27 —  Equity Alliance + Tumblr present: #VoteTogether in Nashville. This year will be Equity Alliance’s third #VotingIsLit celebration. EA is planning on hosting a Halloween-themed and family friendly event in the Antioch neighborhood of Nashville, and we want to see you there. The spookiest costume? A person who forgot to register to vote by September 26, National Voter Registration Day.

Be on the lookout for more information on these events in the coming weeks! We want you there.

Phew. That was a lot. We know. But this is important stuff. The past few years may have felt particularly exhausting to you. You’re not alone. Take care of yourselves however you can, and remember that you and your vote matter. Let your voice be heard.

And one more time, for good measure: 

National Voter Registration Day is on September 25.

Art by Creatr @libbyvanderploeg

things to update after a legal name change!
  • Social security card
  • Driver’s license
  • Passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Employer HR
  • Bank account
  • Credit card company
  • Car insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Utilities
  • Cell phone account
  • Voter registration
  • Your school
  • Professional organizations (for nursing, bar, teaching, etc.)
  • Doctor’s office & other health specialists
  • TV & internet
  • Paypal

*Please add to this list if you can think of anything else!!!

independent.co.uk
General election 2017: Quarter of a million under-25s register to vote in one day
Young people heavily outnumbered people of pensionable age among registrees.

A last minute surge in people registering to vote has seen a quarter of a million young people under 25 years old sign up on the last possible day before the general election.

Cabinet Office figures show that a total of 622,000 people registered to vote on 22 May, of which 246,000 were under 25.

Young people were dominant among those registering, with 207,000 aged 25 to 34 – compared to just 10,000 people over the age of 65.

Anyone who registers to vote after 22 May will not be eligible to vote in the general election on 8 June.

The 620,000 figure is up from an average of about 100,000 a day throughout the last week, itself up on about 30,000 a day since the general election was called in April.

The figures should only be treated as indicative because there is no easy way to check whether you are registered to vote, meaning some people who signed up may have already been registered.

Young people are also far more likely to live in private rented accommodation and thus have to move house frequently, which would require them to re-register.

As well as the surge on Monday, more than 200,000 people in total applied on Sunday, with a similar age split.

The statistics could be good news for Labour, which is far more popular among young people than it is among older people.

The spike comes after a huge voter registration drive that saw social networks including Facebook and Snapchat encourage their users to register to vote.

Musicians ranging from Pink Floyd frontman David Gilmour to grime artist JME also urged people to register. One scheme offered voters free Grime concert tickets if they signed up.

Kenny Imafidon, of the Bite The Ballot campaign said: “In the past week alone we have seen over half a million under 24 year olds apply to register to vote.”

Read More

10 Things America should do if we actually value democracy

  1. Automatic voter registration for all citizens
  2. Allow all citizens of voting age to vote, including felons and people currently incarcerated
  3. Mandatory voting
  4. Mail in voting available for all
  5. Election day becoming several days, including a weekend
  6. Abolish the electoral college and move to the popular vote in presidential elections
  7. Institute ranked voting systems to encourage third parties.
  8. Eliminate gerrymandered districts (moving, perhaps, to a proportional party vote) in state elections
  9. Ban corporations from donating money to politicians
  10. Restrict active campaigning AND political fundraising to only 8 weeks before election day.
vote.dosomething.org
Register to vote in less than two minutes
You can register to vote online... literally right now! It's fast, easy, and requires only basic information like your street address. Let's Do This!

Elect officials who care about the things you do.

TAKE 2 MINUTES AND REGISTER TO VOTE!

Do you care about gun safety? Education? The environment? Vote for decision makers who will stand up for the causes you care about. You can register online right now.

September 26th is National Voter Registration Day.

For many states, it’s the last day you can register to vote on the upcoming November local ballots.

Voting local is voting for issues that impact you directly—quality of roads and public transportation, education for the next generation of voters, parks, public safety, minimum wage laws, local healthcare access, and so very much more.

Don’t let this deadline slip by. Millions of Americans were unregistered for last year’s presidential election. Millions of voices went unheard. We can’t let that happen again.

Missed it last year? Register. Changed your name or moved in the past year? Update your registration. Completely prepared and feeling good? Great. Now tell a friend to register.

This is how we take care of each other, Tumblr. This is how we start to change what needs to be changed. Get ready to vote.

2018 is going to be a good year

Today is the first ever Art Action Day. We’re partnering with a group called The Federation to encourage artists and activists to speak out with their art.

We gave you this prompt:

When they write the headlines and history books what do you want them to say? And #WhatWillYouDo to make it happen?

Now we want to share our own commitments for making 2018 the best it can possibly be.

We want 2018 to be a year of Black voices.

To make it happen, we’re going to use Tumblr to double the number of people who see this year's #Blackouts and help create sustainable online spaces of positivity for Black people all around the world. We’ll also be working with Color of Change to increase the number of Black writers and showrunners in Hollywood. Look for some of that next month during our Black History Month celebration.

We want 2018 to be a turning point for gender equality.

During Women’s History Month (and all year long) we’ll be working with NARAL Pro-Choice America end pregnancy discrimination, advance paid family leave, and strengthen the economic security of women and families. And we’ll elevate the stories of sexual assault and harassment from the #MeToo movement, rooted in the idea that bodily autonomy is a basic human right.

We want 2018 to see record voter turnout among young people.

We’re planning four voter registration drives with DoSomething.org to make sure everyone who’s eligible can vote and make their voices heard in the midterm elections.

We want 2018 to guarantee equal rights for everyone.

We’re partnering with Freedom for All Americans to protect the LGBTQ+ community from discrimination, and It Gets Better to elevate LGBTQ+ voices. And we’re throwing everything we can behind the passage of the DREAM Act.

We want 2018 to be the year mental illness loses its stigma.

We’ll be walking for mental health with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to get 10,000 people to sign the Stigma Free pledge.


#WhatWillYouDo in 2018?

If you haven’t made your own commitment for 2018, there’s still time. Draw, make a GIF, write a song or a poem—anything you want! Just tag it #ArtActionDay and #WhatWillYouDo to inspire other people to make their own commitments.