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Getting out the vote can be difficult and sometimes dangerous work, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Activists and voters must maintain their safety while ensuring people can peacefully vote, organize, and protest within their communities.
Our partner organization Black Women for Wellness, was joined by Dr. Jill Humphries, a legal observer trainer, and James Simmons, an attorney and community activist, to discuss safety measures and defense strategies during the November election and beyond. Here are a few tips:
- Know who your people are. Know the groups and fellow activists, as well as family and friends you are organizing or voting with, so you can keep them apprised of the work you’re doing, and of course, your whereabouts.
- Have a security plan for your home, work, and any other places you frequent. It’s vital to have a safety plan and know ahead of time what you and your loved ones may need to do if your security or location is compromised. Use this link to help make your security plan.
- Assemble your ‘go bag’. Prepare a bag filled with essentials that you can bring with you on the go if you need to leave your home quickly.
- Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to reach out to trusted friends, family, and fellow activists for assistance and guidance when necessary. You should also feel confident asking a friend or family member to accompany you to the polls or drop box if you feel unsafe going alone.
- Know your neighborhood. Get to know your neighbors and local businesses so you can create a dialogue that both protects and activates your community.
- Know your voter rights. As we head to the polls and drop boxes, ensure that you’ve reviewed your voter rights and have the emergency voter protection numbers on hand.
Along with these tips, use BlackWomen.Vote to equip yourself with the most up-to-date information when you’re voting or helping get out the vote in your community.