EDIT @ 2:30 Eastern -- THANK YOU all for your questions and your interest! We'll keep going through and answering questions, and try to field additional ones as they come in!

You can get involved by signing up as an Election Protection volunteer, visiting our website to get Common Cause alerts and updates, or making a contribution in support of our work!

Hi Reddit! We are a team of non-partisan voting experts who have spent all year watchdogging our elections to prepare for November 3rd (and the days after, until the election is certified.)

We believe our right to vote is sacred, and that every eligible voter -- whether they're Republicans, Democrats, or Independents -- all deserve a say in our future.

This is an absolutely unprecedented election. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how elections are done -- officials face higher demand than ever for absentee ballots, and more election lawsuits have been filed than any previous year. That's on top of the same threats we've dealt with year after year -- like long lines at the polls, partisan voter suppression schemes, and the need to secure our elections against interference.

This year, we have been engaged in legislation, litigation and other efforts to help every voter be heard. We'll have thousands of nonpartisan volunteers in the field and remotely working to make sure voters know their rights. Plus, we'll be watchdogging social media for disinformation that could make it more difficult for people to vote.

Want to know about the security and integrity of your ballot (absentee or in-person)? Curious about what a 'provisional ballot' is? Or how to 'cure' your ballot if something went wrong?

We're here to answer those questions and more. We are:

  • Sylvia Albert, Director of Voting and Elections at Common Cause. Sylvia manages Common Cause's work for safe, secure, and accessible elections, including our litigation against unfair or suppressive voting rules. She helps our state leaders enact reforms like Automatic Voter Registration that help every eligible voter participate in our democracy.

  • Susannah Goodman, Director of Election Security at Common Cause. Susannah leads our work to help secure our election systems against infiltration and manipulation -- and works directly with local election officials to make sure they're following best practices, like ensuring all votes cast leave a verifiable paper trail, and auditing results after the fact to confirm accuracy.

We're here to answer any question you have about how to safely cast your ballot (and make sure it counts!)

The most important thing you can do is make your plan to cast your ballot this year -- and use the tools on our website to make sure you're ready to be heard. You can also help your friends and family know their rights by sharing reliable information from trusted sources, like your state's Secretary of State's website.

Want to get involved and help voters near you? You can sign up as an Election Protection volunteer at protectthevote.net.

You can also learn more about our work on our website, or our Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram.

Proof: https://twitter.com/CommonCause/status/1318371206110871552

Comments: 1295 • Responses: 57  • Date: 

WaterFriendsIV412 karma

I've volunteered to be a poll worker on election day. Any suggestions on how to deal with people who aren't supposed to be there? I'm in Michigan and am glad people won't be open carrying, but I'm worried about people who won't follow this rule. Training is coming up soon. What questions should I be asking about these concerns?

Common_Cause348 karma

Thank you for being a poll worker! The good news is that election officials around the country are aware of this and are planning for it in advance. They are setting up systems for workers to report issues to election officials, who will take on the burden of dealing with them. They are also providing de-escalation training. In your training, I would want them to provide a clear escalation policy and tell you what precautions they are taking.

DoctorImperialism326 karma

Do you expect that the current political climate and covid-19 crisis will have a negative impact on voter turnout?

Common_Cause555 karma

Before the pandemic, voter interest in this election was higher than any recent election and we expected exceptionally high turnout (largely due to the political climate).

We have not seen any indication that voter interest has lowered due to Covid. To protect against lower voter turnout as a result of covid, we and our partners pushed for states to expand access to the ballot. Happily, this has worked in most states and there are only a small few who have not expanded access.

But even in those states, we are seeing record turnout in early vote and vote by mail. As of today, over 40million people have already voted. It looks like people aren't letting bad law or covid stop them from exercising their right to vote.

FTPLTL230 karma

I am very concerned about all of the disinformation and hoaxes being spread about voting and the election. Are you doing anything to combat the spread of disinformation?

Common_Cause214 karma

Yes. We believe that every voter should not have undue burdens in casting their ballots; and we are doing everything we can to stop targeted voter disinformation which could confuse voters and suppress the right to vote.

We have set up a major operation with thousands of volunteers to scrape the web for just this kind of disinformation and misinformation. We have preexisting relationships with platforms like Twitter and Facebook to flag these kinds of posts on social media - and ensure they are taken down (if they violate terms of service i.e. they contain false or misleading information). We are also working to point voters to trusted sources such as state election director web sites, county web sites, etc. If you want to be part of this effort please sign up at [protectthevote.net](protectthevote.net).

FTPLTL20 karma

Thank you! This is very helpful and I appreciate all the work you are doing.

minicpst37 karma

Just want to say, volunteers are on reddit as well.

Source: hello! I’m a common cause volunteer and I watch reddit during my shifts. It’s far less common, but those of us who know Reddit want to protect our communities as best we can as well.

Common_Cause29 karma

Thanks so much for volunteering! We are so grateful to have amazing social media monitors like you. If you want to volunteer, join us at protectthevote.net.

Usurpist186 karma

What's the likelihood of states passing rank choice voting nationwide?

Also what are your thoughts on rank choice voting as a voting method?

Common_Cause249 karma

So I'd say that is very unlikely at least any time soon. Only one state uses RCV statewide and that is Maine and it just passed it in 2018. RCV is on the statewide ballot in Massachusetts on Nov 3 and if passed that would make it only the second state to change their voting system. Lots of major municipalities use RCV including San Francisco, Portland, ME, Minneapolis, etc. But it's a big leap from there to the state ballot.

Common Cause supports RCV and is actively working to pass it in MA. Join in the effort!

ProbablyHighAsShit151 karma

You guys say you are non-partisan, but yet on your home page is this link. While I agree, don't you think it's a little disengenious to put the entire blame on the current administration when the democrats have made a concerted effort to remove the Green Party off the ballot in multiple states?

E: National board is a bunch of old white neolibs with a smattering of light diversity. Non-partisan my ass.

E: Any time a political organization claims to be non-partisan, you need to scrutinize it because the majority of time it isn't.

Common_Cause49 karma

Common Cause is nonpartisan -- but that doesn't mean we don't call it like we see it. Being nonpartisan means we have independence. We don't always support one party or one candidate. Instead, we hold power accountable no matter who holds that power. We have a 50 year history of holding Democrats and Republicans accountable to the public and for our democracy. We also don't traffic in false equivalency. That report -- and the other reports we have on the abuses of power by the Trump administration -- are not reflective of a partisan bias, but our response to what we know to be true by this President and his administration. We've challenged Democrats in the past, for example in Maryland where they are the party supporting gerrymandering, or the Obama administration's misuse of the Organizing for Action group that supported his campaign. Most of all, we are fighting for defending and expanding our democracy -- in state houses controlled by Democrats or Republicans, and federally. We've even got a nonpartisan Democracy Scorecard for any major candidate for Congress (including some third party candidates) here: ourdemocracy2020.org/

myripyro121 karma

Or how to 'cure' your ballot if something went wrong?

I'd never heard this term before--is this for correcting mistakes on mail-ins? How do you do it?

Common_Cause137 karma

Yes. The term "cure" means to fix a problem that could prevent the ballot from being counted. This applies to in person voters who have to cast "provisional ballots" and for voters who are casting absentee ballots/voting by mail. States have different rules for curing mistakes but the goal of the curing process is to ensure that that every eligible voter is able to cast a ballot that counts.

moldyghosty115 karma

What kind of fuckery should I expect when I vote in person?

Common_Cause144 karma

If you see or experience any issues at the polls, please call the non-partisan voter assistance hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE.

Almost_Feeding83 karma

How can an institution call itself or claim its non-partisan? Or rather, what practices do orgs like yours use to ensure that political biases don't interfere with the work you do?

Common_Cause94 karma

We don't endorse candidates or provide funding to their campaigns (like PACs do). We look at the merits of the issue instead of through a partisan lens. We work well with both parties (particularly on the state level) to pass bipartisan reforms -- for example the Automatic Voter Registration reforms in the states were often passed with strong bipartisan (or unanimous!) support in state legislatures. Check out our map here: https://www.commoncause.org/our-work/voting-and-elections/voter-registration-modernization/

This is one example of a number of reforms we pass (and often can only pass) with bipartisan support.

RevGingerman73 karma

Would love to vote. My ballot is lost in the mail. I live in Oregon anyone else having problems"Lost Ballots"?

Common_Cause88 karma

We'd love for you to be able to vote, too! Please call the voter assistance hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE.

WhiteMoonRose65 karma

Is it possible to confirm receipt of my mailed completed ballot?

Common_Cause85 karma

Yes you can! You can find your state ballot tracker here or call your county board of elections: https://www.commoncause.org/democracy-wire/track-your-ballot/

mikerichh60 karma

How do ballot verifiers determine if a second submitted vote under one name was submitted by accident, by another person posing as them, or with the intent to vote twice? How do they determine if it’s a crime being committed and that person should be fined or whatever?

Common_Cause44 karma

Each state is different. All have ballot security divisions who determine how they will proceed. Sometimes it involves investigating the voter, and if something nefarious is happening, it's referred to a district attorney for prosecution. What I've heard from a lot of election officials is that voters tell them they voted by mail and then voted in person because they were worried their vote by mail ballot wasn't going to count. So the majority of duplicate ballots are not referred for any sort of prosecution.

AssMuncherDa3rd56 karma

Ok, I have to ask. Not to sound biased, but I’ve yet to find a single reliable source that argues that voter fraud is a genuine concern and a massive threat to the legitimacy of our elections. Am I just looking in the wrong place, or is voter fraud a boogeyman to justify voter suppression?

Common_Cause85 karma

I think you've hit the nail on the head. You have a better chance of being hit by lightening or winning the mega millions than any shenanigans with your ballot. In the past 20 years, there have been less than 200 confirmed cases of ballot issues. These allegations are part of a dedicated campaign to suppress access to the ballot for some communities and just undermine faith in the election system all together. It goes hand in hand with closing polling locations, limiting early vote, instituting voter id laws, and just in general spreading disinformation to voters.

MoccaFix-GOLD44 karma

Can you people stop texting and calling me incessantly? It's incredibly annoying.

Common_Cause27 karma

Hi -- and we're sorry for bugging you! We send voting alerts and information like this to help make sure every voter knows their rights, but if you DM me the phone number you're receiving unwanted messages at, we'll be happy to remove you from our list!

flyhob8041 karma

How can I tell if information I read on line about the election is accurate? What should I look for to ensure that I am not tricked by disinformation?

Common_Cause86 karma

Partisan actors are seeking to amplify disinformation before the election, but through careful consumption of media, you can avoid being tricked by disinformation.

DO be a discerning and careful consumer of information online! Trust your instincts -- if a profile looks fake or unreliable, then double check whatever they’re saying against a trusted source. DO share accurate information from trusted sources (like your state’s Secretary of State office) about how to vote. Useful websites include: https://www.commoncause.org/vote https://866ourvote.org/ https://canivote.org/

DO NOT reply to, share, or retweet voting disinformation. The more people comment on a post or share it, the more users will see it -- so even if you are trying to debunk a piece of disinformation, by responding you’re only exposing more voters to the disinformation!

DO NOT feed the trolls by engaging with them in any way -- remember that their whole goal is to confuse, frustrate, and suppress voters -- and getting into a lengthy, public back-and-forth doesn’t help anyone. So whenever you see disinformation online, report it at reportdisinfo.org , and move on!

UntoldBizarreTC27 karma

Have early votes been counted yet? This will be my first time voting and am wondering if my vote will be recorded. Who will have access to who I vote for? It may seem like a dumb question but with such strong emotions on each side, I don’t want my vote to be known or be released in any way.

Common_Cause43 karma

You can rest assured that your ballot will always be kept secret. Some states are processing vote by mail ballots as they come in, and some will not process them until election day. When your ballot is received, election workers verify your eligibility using the envelope and other info you've provided. Once that happens, your ballot is separated from the envelope and put aside to be tabulated. Which means there is no way to tell which ballot belongs to which voter.

MarkHofmannsGoodKnee27 karma

Some states, including California, are sending blank ballots en masse to every registered voter. Many of this blank ballots are bound to be sent to a wrong address or returned undeliverable.

What protections are in place to ensure these extra ballots are not used by persons other than those to whom they are addressed?

Common_Cause36 karma

When a ballot is returned to election officials, they verify the eligibility of the voter, verify the info on the ballot, and verify that the voter has not already voted. So no matter how many ballots one receives, only one vote will be counted per eligible voter. And with the security protocols in place, that ballot will only be counted once the election official verifies that the person who voted it is the eligible voter.

moodboom22 karma


Details: I have diligently pursued the casting of my vote. I'm in NC. Due to Covid-19 issues, I requested an absentee ballot early in the process. When early voting began, I went several times to find a place where the lines were not going to potentially jeopardize my ability to vote. I found a place and time where I could early vote in 20 minutes, and got the job done. Now when I check my ballot status, it is officially SPOILED. I assume my in-person vote is valid and I don't need to worry about the spoilage. But I should not have to assume anything! How can I verify my in-person ballot was accepted? I was told it was at the early vote site, but the "spoilage" status has me very worried.

Common_Cause28 karma

Hi, call the voter assistance hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE!

marshalgivens21 karma

How do you think the end of the 1981 "consent decree" against Republican election observers will affect this election?


Common_Cause43 karma

Regardless of whether or not the consent decree exists, there are federal and state laws that ban voter intimidation. Our election protection coalition recruits volunteers nationwide to be at polling places to answer voters questions and report any issues to our lawyers who can help eliminate any problems. (You can join that group at protectthevote.net) We will always be on the lookout to protect voters and ensure access to the ballot.

-TracerBullet20 karma

I signed up to be a poll worker weeks and weeks ago. They still haven't contacted me. Does this mean they're full up or is it because I don't speak a useful second language?

Common_Cause21 karma

Hi -- and thank you for volunteering! Could you please DM us with more information about where you live and where you signed up? We can make sure to connect you with the right people -- thank you so much for helping protect voters!

n3rdgir718 karma

What should be done in California to make sure your ballot box is not a fake one. Are other states having issues with fake ballot boxes?

Common_Cause28 karma

Hi, you can check this website for a list of official drop boxes in California: https://caearlyvoting.sos.ca.gov/

kickdrive17 karma

Is there a way to verify that my vote was counted and counted correctly?

Common_Cause22 karma

Yes! You can find your state ballot tracker here: https://www.commoncause.org/democracy-wire/track-your-ballot/

IndieGravy12 karma

Is a source such as ballotpedia.com trustworthy?

Also, how can I lower my anxiety about the upcoming result and validity of the election aside from voting?

Common_Cause14 karma

Hi there -- yes, we partner with Ballotpedia, they're a reliable source of who is on the ballot and candidate information.

One of the best ways to lower your level of anxiety is by getting involved and doing something to help ensure a fair election! You can sign up as a non-partisan Election Protection volunteer at protectthevote.net to get started -- there's ways for everyone to get involved, whether in-person, or from home!

HeySolaire9 karma

  1. I’m thinking about becoming a poll volunteer but I live with several high risk individuals. Is it worth it? I’ve already voted, and I think volunteering to be a poll worker is a very noble cause.

  2. Do you have any safety precautions in place for poll workers who might have to deal with voter intimidation? How would you even deal with an individual who is fully armed and confrontational, as a poll worker?

Common_Cause8 karma

Hey there! That's awesome - it is super important to help out, but there are lots of ways you can do help. To be clear on definitions for a second, poll workers are the folks who actually run the elections process. Poll monitors are the folks that are nonpartisan volunteers to help voters who have problems and support voters from outside the polling place.

  1. There are lots of ways to get involved! Head to protectthevote.net and choose the role that feels that best for you in your state. States are looking for poll monitors, roving monitors (who stay in their car), social media monitors, and many more.

2.Yes! Our volunteers are trained in de-escalation and many poll workers are being trained to deescalate as well.

minomonster8 karma

I requested an absentee ballot back in August and according to my home state’s ballot tracker, it shipped almost a month ago, but it never arrived. Is there anything I can do to find the ballot or request another one or is it too late?:(

Common_Cause11 karma

Hi, call our voter assistance hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE for help.

LuxInLA8 karma

Any progress update on a National Voting Law that simplifies voting for all US Individuals eligible to vote in 🇺🇸?

Common_Cause19 karma

We support the For the People Act, HR1, which passed the House with this Congress. This Act protects and expands voting rights and election security. Although it did not get taken up by the Senate, we will continue to push for these reforms with every congress.

RaddestCat6 karma

Is it better that elections are ran and managed locally, or do you feel a more singular or federal led approach would be safer or more efficient? It seems odd to me that in some states, every county can use different voting machines and have their own rules and so on.

Common_Cause8 karma

Honestly, I can see the benefit in both sides. On one hand, the decentralization means that a voter is treated differently depending on what side of a county line they live in. This allows some states to enact regressive laws which suppress the vote. On the other hand, it allows other states to enact new reforms which expand access or help secure the elections process. For example, risk limiting audits are a new type of audit that ensures that ballots are counted accurately. The reform was piloted in a number of states and because it was successful there, more states are now looking to adopt this reform. I think decentralization can work if there is more guidance on what the floor is for election policy. So that no matter what state I live in, I'm afforded certain rights that protect my vote.

mother_of_baggins6 karma

Is it possible for Pennsylvania (or other states) to send GOP electors in spite of a popular vote for Biden? What would happen?

Common_Cause11 karma

Understand why you would be concerned about this! We are too, but it might be harder than you think. The federal law that controls allows legislatures to appoint electors if the regular election has "failed". The historical context of that has been if there was no run-off when one was required, but who knows how courts will now interpret this if a legislature declares one after the election. Another important protective factor is that most states are out of session and most have very high hurdles to come back. Unfortunately Pennsylvania is still in session. Here's a list: https://www.ncsl.org/research/about-state-legislatures/2020-state-legislative-session-calendar.aspx

beatschill5 karma

Do you know if NH does early in person voting?

Common_Cause9 karma

New Hampshire does not offer early voting: you have to either request an absentee ballot (and have that request received) by Nov 2 and turn it in (either by mail or in person) by 5.00 pm on Nov 3, or vote in person on Election Day.

GodDuckman5 karma

I sent my ballot in by mail, absentee. Unfortunately I have not been able to confirm that my ballot has been received due to New York State's lack of tracking absentee votes outside of New York City. How long before election day should I be worried?

Common_Cause6 karma

Hey there! You should call your local board of elections and ask them about the status of your ballot. You can find your county here: https://www.elections.ny.gov/CountyBoards.html

BrooklynLivesMatter4 karma

There are a few states that are prohibited from counting ballots until Election Day, which will inevitably result in states being overwhelmed and potential voter suppression. Is it possible for people with free time from other states to help those states count ballots?

Common_Cause5 karma

Yes, you are correct that there are some state legislatures out there who have not done their job to ensure there is less confusion on election day. The good news is that election officials in those states are preparing. They have hired more workers and bought more tabulating machines, and have a plan for securely processing the ballots. I don't think there is a place for volunteers there, but if you would like to do some volunteer work, you can visit protectthevote.net for opportunities.

energeticstarfish4 karma

I've heard that people in some states have been setting bags of mail-in ballots on fire. Is there any way to recover those votes or let those people cast a new ballot? Are those votes just lost?

Common_Cause2 karma

Hi, we've seen those reports too--local officials are working to determine whose votes were affected. We have a site with resources for people who wish to track their ballots as well: https://www.commoncause.org/democracy-wire/track-your-ballot/

nom_de_plume_2k3 karma

Do you think that publicly financing all campaigns with democracy vouchers would foster a more engaged voter base? Every eligible voter would become a public small donor.

Also, what are your thoughts on requiring a ballot to be returned to get a tax credit? Not mandatory voting. An empty ballot would suffice as long as it is returned.

Edit: grammar

Common_Cause4 karma

Hi there! Yes, we are big supporters of citizen-funded elections -- it helps amplify the power of ordinary voters so big money can't drown them out. You can read more about our work on this issue here: https://www.commoncause.org/our-work/money-influence/campaign-finance/citizen-funded-elections/

Common Cause does not take a position on mandatory or otherwise incentivized voting.

Jb1210a3 karma

I feel I should know this but it’s always lingered in the back of my mind. How susceptible is our voting process to “hacking” by foreign agents? I’m concerned that there will be attempts like this happening in most every state and I want my vote to be counted.

Common_Cause4 karma

Since the 2016 election, the fact that a foreign power, with resources, motivation, and talent could effectively interfere in the US elections through numerous cyberattacks has been taken seriously. Beginning in January 2017, election infrastructure was declared “critical infrastructure” by then DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson.

The private sector (including vendors of election equipment and software), state and local governments, and federal agencies have all worked together to acknowledge election security vulnerabilities, create plans for resilience, create plans for effective communication including warning and alerts, and even takeout the infrastructure bad actors use for their attacks (the cyber version of destroying the railroads and bridges).

Recently, heads of the FBI, the National Security Agency, DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and National Counterintelligence and Security Center put out a video to discuss the ways they are working together to combat cyber threats in advance of the election.

Also, recently there was a high profile efforts by software giant Microsoft and other tech companies ESET, Symantec and Lumen —to take down ransomware delivery system Trikbot. This ransomware delivery system was a threat to internet facing election infrastructure systems like voter registration databases and electronic poll books. In recent weeks, U.S. Cyber Command also hacked into Trickbot’s servers and temporarily severed its ties with its victims.

Additionally, in most states, because of two decades of determined advocacy from Common Cause and our partners, voters mark paper ballots which are the ballot of record. Paper can't be deleted or changed in a cyber attack. Many states conduct a post election audit using those paper ballots to either spot check machine function or check the election results. This use of paper ballots is a wonderful deterrent to cyber attacks which would affect the vote count.

So, in other words, government agencies, the private sector and state and local governments have been working together to mitigate possible cyber attacks to our election infrastructure which could alter votes, delete or change voter registration data or otherwise wreck havoc with our elections.

Our long term advocacy against internet voting, for paper ballots and risk limiting audits, are acknowledged to be the best defense against vote changing attacks. Furthermore, this election cycle we have been working at the county level in target states to ensure that when electronic poll books are down, there is paper back up, and when machines fail there are paper ballots. And states have been working with vendors and DHS to ensure there are adequate back ups to the voter registration databases. DHS, Cybercommand and the private sector are working together to stop other kinds of attacks.

There is no 100% assurance, but we have a lot of both low tech and high tech defenses in place to stop the kind of attack you asked about.

leastcmplicated2 karma

What will happen to these “poll watchers”? This is a clear intimidation tactic and will no doubt shy some would-be voters away. Is anything being done to monitor these poll watchers to guarantee voters’ safety and fear?

Common_Cause3 karma

While the rules for poll monitoring are different across the country, if you see something you believe to be intimidation, you can call 866-OUR-VOTE to report it to a voter assistance hotline.

MD_Wolfe2 karma

Why they say voters cant wear BLM but can wear MAGA?

Common_Cause1 karma

Every state has different rules about allowing political attire in polling locations, and those rules are enforced by the poll workers. So some states don't allow any political attire and some states say all systems go. Since MAGA is a campaign slogan, it is not allowed in any of the locations barring political attire. BLM is being interpreted as political attire in some places, and as non political attire in others. There should never be a situation where MAGA is allowed (since it is a campaign slogan) when BLM is not, but there can be situations where both are allowed or both are denied.

christopher_mtrl2 karma

We are non-partisan voter protection

How can one be non-partisan arguing for voter protection and "make sure every voter's voice is heard" when one party have a prominent and unashamed voter supression strategy ?

Common_Cause1 karma

We can, and we do :) We are nonpartisan -- we believe every Democrat, Republican, Independent or third party who is eligible to vote in 2020 should vote! Your vote is your voice, use it!

There is historic bipartisan support for voting rights (in 2006 the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act was passed overwhelmingly in the House and then through unanimous vote in the Senate). And Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) co-sponsored the Voting Rights Advancement Act in February 2020, but Sen Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hasn't allowed the bill to come up for a vote.

It is unfortunately true that some partisans have made such an effort to depress turnout through restrictive voter laws (like overly strict voter ID), or excessive purges of voter registration roles, or today's online disinformation campaigns designed to confuse voters or cause them to distrust our (very secure) elections process. That includes the Trump re-election campaign and the President himself who has promoted blatant disinformation about our voting and elections process. And many Republican-controlled states have been moving to restrict voting -- particularly after Supreme Court gutted Section 5 (the 'per-clearance') of the Voting Rights Act.

Democrats have also done anti-democratic actions (including gerrymandering in Democratic-controlled states), but right now, it isn't "equal on both sides."

We need major democracy reform, like the kind outlined in the For the People Act (HR1) and the Voting Rights Advancement Act (HR4) that both passed the House, but have been held up by Mitch McConnell in the Senate.

Vote suppression has no place in our democracy, no matter who does it or what form it takes, and Common Cause will continue to call out and hold accountable politicians on the state and national level who engage in vote suppression activities.

Borigh1 karma

How much voter fraud vs. votes wrongly disallowed do you expect in this election? How much have you seen of each in past elections?

Common_Cause2 karma

Hi there -- the odds of a fraudulent ballot being cast and counted are lower than being struck by lightning or winning the Mega Millions. But every election, tens of thousands of eligible voters are wrongly disenfranchised by obstacles to the ballot box, rollbacks of reforms like early voting, unjustified voter purges, and other measures that prevent eligible citizens from voting.

Shoopdawoop9931 karma

I predict slow downs with counting mail in votes, leading to what looks like a landslide for trump. As the mail ins get counted, the total slowly comes back toward biden, but the republicans find some 'fraud' and the election goes to the supreme court. Trump is declared winner, riots break out across the country. Do you think that's likely?

Common_Cause21 karma

All of us have read the predictions that there will be incomplete results on Election Night with premature pressure to declare a winner. We are actively working with national news media to ensure that the election outcomes are not called until the results are clear. State election officials - across party lines -have also committed to push back against any premature calling of results.

Additionally, we are part of the National Task Force on Election Crises, which is a bipartisan group of election experts and attorneys, and have spent the last year gaming out election scenarios that could disenfranchise voters and are working on ways to ensure that doesn't happen.

waterbuffalo7501 karma

Can you truly be non-partisan when taking on a partisan issue? I mean, generally, one side prioritizes voter rights while the other prioritizes election integrity (on the surface at least). It just seems like a non-partisan group defending gun rights... there's clearly some partisanship involved, right?

Common_Cause2 karma

We think we can. And not just us -- there are other nonpartisan democracy organizations working to protect and expand democracy. There is also bipartisan support for voting rights -- Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) co-sponsored the Voting Rights Advancement Act in February 2020, but Sen Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hasn't allowed the bill to come up for a vote. There is a historic bipartisan support for voting rights (in 2006 the reauthorization of the VRA was passed overwhelmingly in the House and then through unanimous vote in the Senate).

Without a doubt the political parties have coalesced around a set of issues and view points, but we believe our democracy is far too important to be just a 'partisan issue' -- voting, our elections, and our campaigns system is how we the people decide who leads us. It should involve all eligible voters, not just some.

Alien_Nicole1 karma

I've been registered to vote for years but I never tried until this year. I haven't moved. I have no criminal record. When I get to the polls with my voter registration card and valid ID they say I am not eligible. The voter registration office couldn't clear it up because according to them I am eligible. Any idea what could be going on here and what I can do to fix this?

Common_Cause0 karma

Hi, you can call the voter assistance hotline for help at 866-OUR-VOTE.

opendomain1 karma

What will be done with the illegal actions ALREADY done in this election?

ONE ballot box per district in Texas

Fake ballot drop offs in California

Dumping of mail by QAnon postal worker that contain ballots in Pennsylvania?

False and misleading statements by Barr?

Common_Cause22 karma

Common Cause's state offices have been active on each of these issues. When state election policies are put in place which could have the impact of suppressing the vote we challenge them. As stated above, we also have a major operation involving thousands of volunteers to combat misinformation and disinformation and we work with the major social media platforms to do that.

Furthermore we work with the national news media to let voters know the correct options they have with respect to voting options and official places to cast ballots.

leastcmplicated1 karma

Is there a way officials are making sure mail in ballots get to their destination? I know there are precautions we should take, such as not giving our ballot to someone else to mail, and I also know that you can check the status of your ballot. However, my question is for those ballots that are in transit.

Common_Cause4 karma

Unethical political operatives are trying to fuel fear about mail-in voting. They're spreading baseless conspiracy theories about postal workers manipulating the election. This is absolutely false. Postal workers are part of our communities and we can trust the USPS to do its job. Voting by mail is secure and who you vote for is secret: there is no way for a postal carrier to know who you are voting for I understand there is a lot of misinformation out there, but the truth is voting by mail is a tried and tested process that is safe, secure, and trackable. The U.S. Postal Service has a multitude of checks and balances on mail-in ballots to ensure every vote is counted as cast. The USPS treats all ballots as first-class mail and there are tracking codes unique to each voter. After voters cast their mail-in ballot, they can go online to track the status of their ballot in most states.

Tlwofford1 karma

It’s become fairly obvious that Trump will fight with legal means if he loses. To what extent can he actually do this, if he simply doesn’t have the votes?

Common_Cause19 karma

Our elections are a very decentralized system, where each state certifies their election results. A president is elected when they receive 270 electoral votes. A person cannot declare themselves the president. We expect there will be lots of litigation around the counting of the ballots from both parties, and are prepared to intervene if needed on behalf of the voter. And we're not the only ones who will be working to ensure every eligible voter's ballot is counted as cast.

r_bogie1 karma

I voted by mail, I've checked online and my ballot has been accepted. But what happens to it now? Beyond what I already know how can I be sure that my vote was actually counted? Can they still decide at this point there is something wrong with my ballot and throw it out? I voted in Georgia.

Common_Cause2 karma

If your ballot is rejected, your county is required to let you know! If you keep checking the tracker, it also should provide information if there is anything wrong with your ballot: https://www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do

shrek_cena1 karma

Is there anything that can be done about the sabotaging of the USPS and other mail services?

Common_Cause2 karma

We have a site set up at saveusps.cc with resources, actions you can take, and updates about the USPS.

today_is_yesterday1 karma

How is it possible to be non-partisan in what you are trying to do here? When I hear the words "make sure you vote", it has democratic implications because it seems like the more people that vote, the happier democrats tend to be and angrier republicans get.

Perhaps my thoughts aren't coming out right, maybe someone can see where I am going with this? We are conditioned by the media we consume (i.e. reddit, cnn, fox, facebook, twitter, whatever....) but when i hear GO Vote! my mind is conditioned to think ok this is a Democrat saying this.

Perhaps I need someone that consumes the republican world to weigh in but i feel the message is that Voter Fraud is everywhere! = Republican viewpoint. I don't hear the message, REPUBLICANS GO OUT AND VOTE.

Anyone else with a non-partisan or less bias have any thoughts on this?

Common_Cause2 karma

Thanks for the question! It is remarkable that when we say "every eligible voter should cast a vote" that it is seen through a partisan lens. We think democracy works best when more voters are involved. It is unfortunately true that some partisan have made such an effort to depress turnout through restrictive voter laws (like overly strict voter ID), or excessive purges of voter registration roles, or today's online disinformation campaigns designed to confuse voters or cause them to distrust our (very secure) elections process.

For the record: every Democrat, Republican, Independent or third party who is eligible to vote in 2020 should vote! Your vote is your voice, use it!

Snoopfernee1 karma

Should someone be able to wear BLM attire to vote? Is this considered a political statement?

Common_Cause2 karma

Every state has different rules about allowing political attire in polling locations, and those rules are enforced by the poll workers. So some states don't allow any political attire and some states say all systems go. And similarly, different states have interpreted BLM to be political attire vs. not political attire. So just like everything else with our elections - it's a local issue!

vitaminbthree-5 karma

How do we get rid of these Trump idiots who want to watch the voting? This is obviously sectarian hatred and racism


Common_Cause9 karma

Hi: see our answer here