by Marc Berube
During what has been the most important voting period in the history of the United States (matched only by 2016, when many people unfortunately sat out), it has been remarkable to see the voting process in action.
I think we’ve all experienced our small moments of uncertainty and dread in figuring out if we completed our ballots according to the specific and oftentimes very confusing guidelines of our respective states. But imagine having to know, or at least understand and help interpret the guidelines for all states in assisting whichever potential voters asked for assistance.
I was fortunate enough to be a volunteer again this year working with Democrats SMA in assisting people to register, and then a short time later, to assist in helping to get the ballots sent to their respective states based on the guidelines and the various methods available to each state.
Besides the pride of being able to assist in such an endeavor, it was more of an honor to be part of the GOTV (Get Out the Vote) team that was run by Barbara Erickson and her equally knowledgeable sidekick, Lea Rege. In order to help so many people, with so many different state rules and methods, the volunteer team needed detailed training as well as constant assistance in interpreting the rules, even if the GOTV leaders were busy helping their own assigned voters. Erickson and Rege were always available. The training was super detailed and made as easy as possible.
In the past few months, Erickson, Rege, Hope Hartmann Bradberry, and other key team members, along with many volunteers, worked tirelessly registering voters and then assisting voters with their ballot submissions, which included form completion, deciphering state by state instructions, cutting out special attachments, calling state voter offices, printing, scanning, faxing, and much more—all while maintaining a safe and clean Covid environment for both volunteers and voters.
With the constant flow of prospective voters, it is estimated that the team provided bi-partisan assistance to at least 450 people in person.
I was fortunate to be part of democracy in action! Many thanks to Erickson’s GOTV leadership, Rege’s commitment to assisting with all questions, Hartman Bradberry’s leadership of the chapter and the many committed volunteers. SMA has many things to be proud of, and the Democrats Abroad SMA Chapter is certainly one of them!