The price of voting has gone up!
Republican voter suppression schemes are making it more costly to vote. And soon it may only be the rich who can afford to vote.
The right to vote in the Declaration of Independence was restricted to property owners. Women, people of color and those without property were only allowed to vote much later. Republican voter suppression schemes take us backwards and make voting a privilege only for the rich.
Their new poll taxes deny voting to poor Americans who have little free time between multiple jobs to fill out more paperwork or stand in line to vote, lack internet access needed to complete new voting paperwork and money to pay for transport to travel to a distant polling location. They discourage voting by driving up the:
- Distance people have to travel to vote (by restricting vote by mail and removing drop boxes)
- Expense they have to incur by taking time of work and the cost of traveling further to vote
- Effort they have to spend to meet new requirements
- Time they have to spend standing in line to vote
The Supreme Court led by Justice Roberts gutted the Voting Rights Act in 2013 which held back discriminatory voting laws. Voter suppression has increased steadily with 'Republicans state legislatures recently proposing 408 voter suppression bills according to Democracy Docket.
Voting rights advocates help lighten the burden for voters in the face of this massive voter suppression. It is a huge task.
How can volunteers be quickly equipped and trained to contact potential voters? How can they canvas in areas without internet access? Find unregistered voters not in the voter file? Collect information efficiently and accurately with just a phone? How can the data collected by hundreds of canvassers be routed quickly to help desk volunteers? How can data security be protected? How can such help campaigns be launched quickly with little funding?
Leave No Voter Behind system
Field surveys & canvassing
Survey 123 is an app from esri, a 50 year old, multi-billion dollar software firm whose solutions are used by government agencies, defense departments and non-profits around the world. It is designed for conducting surveys and is widely used around worldwide for applications ranging from fighting poaching, environmental protection to removing landmines.
DemLabs is partnering with voting rights advocacy groups to use Survey 123 to help voters. Survey 123 is flexible, proven and affordable. An annual non-profit license starts at $100.
How it works
A campaign organizer creates the survey questions that canvassers should ask.
The survey questionnaire is shared with volunteers in the form of a link or a QR code (above).
Volunteers can conduct surveys immediately without having to instal an app.
Surveys in areas without internet access are done by loading the questionnaire into the free Survey 123 app.
Canvassers can even take photos of documents and attach them to their submissions.
Records are automatically geo-tagged with the location of the survey, or an address can be entered later.
Survey results are saved online immediately and shown on a realtime map.
Security is enhanced by restricting access to the submissions database to authorized volunteers
Conducting a survey
Monitoring data collected in real-time
Answers to frequently asked questions.
- Can volunteers use it to contact voters not in the Voter File? Yes.
- Can the data collected be integrated with the Voter File? Yes. The data collected can be exported and integrated with other applications.
- Can voters request help directly without a canvasser? Yes. They can also click on the link and fill out a request for help.
- How does the system cope with bogus entries? Volunteers in the back office filter out spam.
- Can volunteers complete surveys with pen and paper initially and enter them into the system later? Yes.
- Can the survey questions be changed after a campaign has started? Yes.
- What devices can be used? A phone, tablet or laptop computer.
- Can different groups share the same app? Yes. The survey can be designed to ask the volunteer for the group they are affiiated with.
- How long does it take to deploy this system and train staff? About 10 days.
Survey 123 monitors voter suppression
DemLabs used Survey 123 during the 2018 and 2020 elections for SeeSay, an online system for voters to report obstacles they faced while trying to vote. The results were collected, screened and routed to groups who could help them quickly and shared with the media to expose voter suppression as it was taking place. You can research the type and locations of incidents at this online console. See Say 2020 was featured on Inside Edition with Deborah Norville.