National Initiatives to Protect the Election

Note that some of these webinars will have passed. Often they are recorded either on Facebook or YouTube, so you can search for them there. We will not be able to keep with this easily.

With Trump’s statements about the election, it is clear that there will continue to be a concerted effort at voter disenfranchisement, and then, there is likely to be chaos on election day as well as serious attempts to discredit the election if he loses. There are several national initiatives that are organizing to protect the election.

Choose Democracy is “a crew of organizers, activists, trainers, academics, and concerned citizens preparing for the scenario of a coup in 2020. They’re building it as a short term platform, not an organization that lasts beyond this moment, and focus on ‘What if there’s a coup?’” What they are suggesting:

  1. Sign a pledge to: vote, refuse to accept election results until all the votes are counted, nonviolently take to the streets if a coup is attempted, and if necessary shut down this country to protect the integrity of the democratic process.

  2. Go to a two hour training via zoom. The next training is Tuesday, October 6. Click here to register. From Andy Mager, who attended the training October 1: “How to Beat an Election-Related Power Grab” is a national workshop led by George Lakey, with Zein Nakhoda. It shared important lessons about how to prevent or stop a coup or power grab by Trump and his cronies. The workshop I joined featured 1000 people from across the country. There was lots of great interaction via the chat. The presenters did an excellent job of providing some basic information based on extensive research on what works to stop a coup from being effective.

  3. Watch the webinar on “What to Do If There’s a Coup,” with Training for Change organizer George Lakey. This is highly recommended. Carol Baum just watched it and felt energized and hopeful. For 1.5 hours, George talks about the research into nonviolently resisting a coup, and offers organizing ideas. He cites Stephen Zunes’ work on “Civil Resistance Against Coups: A Comparative and Historical Perspective” (104 pages).

  4. Resources they offer include10 things You Need to Know to Stop a Coup,” other trainings, and their four top picks of articles to read in preparation.

Hold the Line Organizing. M+R and re:power held a national roundtable featuring their Hold the Line Guide, and are supporting groups who want to create their own Hold the Line teams. What they offer:

  1. Watch the 1 hour webinar here in which the Hold the Line  authors discuss possible scenarios resulting from a contested election, the nonviolent approach recommended for resisting, and how nonprofits can respond. The slides from the event are here. They outline the scenarios, key questions, and additional resources. Carol Baum watched it and thought it was worth checking out, although the focus is on more traditional non-profits.

  2. Hold the Line: A Guide to Defending Democracy focuses primarily on the period starting on Election Day and continuing through Inauguration Day, attempting to answer the question of how to prepare and what to do in case attempts are made to subvert the election results. Download it here.

  3. To start an election protection group in your community, attend a Hold the Line Training. They are Oct. 6, and Oct. 13 at 7:30pm. Register here.

Protect the Results is a joint project of Indivisible and Stand Up America, with a growing partner list of 100+ groups,  to protect the valid results of the 2020 election. (Click here to see the list and/or join as a partner group). Sign up here to get action alerts and pledge to take action if Trump refuses to accept the results of the election.

The Frontline is a campaign of About Face, Working Families Party, United We Dream, Movement for Black Lives Electoral Justice Project and more. They state: “The Frontline is a powerful coming together of people across differences to meet this generational challenge. We’re going to defeat white nationalism, protect our democracy, and demand that those in power advance a people’s agenda”.  See their introductory video - the video starts at 30:26. What they are doing:

  1. Trainings for Election Defenders. Election Defenders will be working to provide safe supports for voting and election and voter defense, de-escalating right-wing intimidation tactics and signaling to a network of groups and lawyers if and where trouble breaks out. These trainings will cover different areas each week: pol monitoring, bystander training, de-escalation, direct action and combatting disinformation. For the trainings, click here.

  2. The first training occurred this week. It was an introduction to their plans of how to protect voters. To receive a recording, email them or contact them through their facebook page.