October Email Update

Dear Friends—

The election season is upon us. In a little over than a month America will choose its next president. Rhode Island will stop accepting new voter registrations for the presidential election after October 4th. Before I update you on where FairVote's been and where it's going, I'd like to briefly share my thoughts on the election.

For the next four weeks all eyes will be on voters. FairVote Rhode Island supporters know that electoral reform is a long process that extends well beyond the final days before an election. Youth voter pre-registration, which I am hopeful will be approved this year over the governor's veto, has passed the General Assembly for its third year running.

Reform takes time, and it also takes your grassroots support. It will be easy for all of us (myself included) to get caught up in the presidential horserace over the next month--who said what, who outdebated whom, and where the poll numbers in Ohio or Florida are headed. Even in the midst of all this excitement, however, it's critical for supporters of electoral reform to keep asking our friends and neighbors fundamental questions about democracy in America: who gets to vote? Is every vote equal? Is every voice heard?

Talk to your friends about why there isn't a uniform advance voter registration age, or why the Electoral Collegemeans neither John McCain nor Barack Obama will visit Rhode Island in October. Let them know reform can start with something as simple as signing up for our email list (send a request to [email protected]) or donatinga few dollars. The word "change" keeps getting thrown around by both major campaigns this year--but sometimes it has to come from ordinary people. Some of them live in Rhode Island.

With that said, here's our October update. As always, I welcome your emails and phonecalls. Call at 401.429.6059 or write at [email protected].

Best,
Matt Sledge
FairVote RI Director

---

1. Voter registration deadline (Oct. 4) nears, FairVote announces bilingual registration drive

2. Brown hosts Electoral College debate

3. Absentee mail ballot deadline close

4. Pre-registration veto override drive gains steam

5. Volunteer opportunities available

---

1. Voter registration deadline (Oct. 4) nears, FairVote announces bilingual registration drive

Rhode Islanders hoping to vote in the November 4th election must register to vote on or before this Saturday, October 4th. Mail registrations must be postmarked by October 4th. At this late date, FairVote RI recommends delivering your registration form to your local Board of Canvassers in person (a list is available online). Call your local board to confirm hours.

[A quick clarification with regards to our October update email: this Saturday, Oct. 4, is the last day to register for a full ballot in Rhode Island for the November 4th election. In Rhode Island, you may also register on Nov. 4, but on that day you will receive a "limited ballot" that allows you to vote in the presidential election only. Same-day registration is available in select locations only, in many cases city or town halls.]

If you live in Providence, why not let FairVote RI deliver your registration form? This Saturday from 9am to 1pm FairVote will be hosting a bilingual voter registration drive at the Broad Street Farmers Market(the Algonquin House, 807 Broad Street). FairVote RI representatives will be on hand to answer registrants' questions--in English or en Español--and sign up more FairVote supporters. Drop by to pick up healthy foods, exercise your rights as an American, or just say hello.

2. Brown hosts Electoral College debate

Brown University will be hosting a debate on the Electoral College. At FairVote we've found the first step toward refomring the Electoral College is thinking about it. We encourage our supporters to come with friends.

Thinking Outside the Ballot Box:
Is the Electoral College Good for America?

Thursday, October 9th, 2008, 7pm
MacMillan Hall, C.V. Starr Auditorium

Guest speakers: George Edwards and Tara Ross

3. Absentee ballot deadline close

The deadline for Rhode Island's mail absentee ballot is getting closer. It must be received (not postmarked) by 4pm on October 14th. For more information, read the Board of Elections' information on mail ballots here.

4. Pre-registration veto override drive gains steam

The latest news from the Providence Journal is that no decision has been madeon when/whether there will be a veto override session. FairVote RI is ready to swing into motion at a moment's warning, however, and we'll need your help. Reply to this email to join FairVote's Override Team for youth voter pre-registration.

5. Volunteer opportunities available

There's always work to do for democracy reform on our Override Team and more. Reply to this email or call 401.429.6059 for more information.