Chicago Call Script
Please call the Board of Elections to ask that in this pandemic all voters have their voices heard, and receive an application to vote by mail in the November 2020 general election! Please remember that this isn’t calling congress -- it’s calling a city office: they will not have the resources or call logs like congress does, please be courteous and respectful as we hope to inundate the office with calls.
We now know that the COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately harming the elderly and people of color. But, with the November 2020 election just around the corner, without action these voices could be lost. Voting by mail ensures equitable access for people, regardless of age, race, or socio-economics. Unfortunately, vote-by-mail applications can only be filled out online or at city offices. For vulnerable populations, with limited access to public transportation and internet services, this is an undue burden.
In light of these issues, the State of Illinois passed a law requiring election officials to send an application to vote by mail in the 2020 general elections to any person who voted in the 2018 midterm elections, the 2019 consolidated elections, or the 2020 primary elections. While this is a laudable attempt to expand voting access, it falls short of what’s really needed. The largest of these three elections was the 2018 midterms, during which there was less than 60% voter turnout city-wide. And amongst people of color, this number was far lower. Turnout at the primary hit an all-time low as voters were afraid to vote during the pandemic. Expanding access to mail-in voting is the best way to make sure everyone’s voice is heard.
Please call the city election board to ask them to send a vote-by-mail application to every eligible voter in the city.
Call Talking Points
Additional instructions are italicized
Hello, my name is ___________, and I am a registered voter in the City of Chicago
You can give details like your ward, you may be asked for your address, but that is unlikely
I am concerned about voter access during the pandemic. While I appreciate that a new state law guarantees that every person who voted in 2018, 2019, or 2020 will receive a vote-by-mail application, I’m concerned about those who could not or did not vote in the past few years.
Please select a few talking points:
While turnout in 2018 was high for a midterm 200,000 fewer votes were cast than in the 2016 general election. The 2020 primary was held during a pandemic: turnout was very low.
People of color and the elderly are at unparalleled risk of this pandemic, and deserve the same civic rights as the rest of us. Not sending a vote-by-mail application to every Chicagoan means that the most vulnerable among us must take undue risks to cast a ballot.
Costs are already being covered by federal COVID funds for expanding vote-by-mail.
The elderly and people of color are likelier to fall below the digital divide and have less access to public transportation -- making it that much harder to request a vote-by-mail ballot online or at a city office.
The answer is simple -- the city should expand upon the state law and send a vote-by-mail application to EVERY registered, eligible voter in their jurisdiction.
Contact InformationYou can call at any time, day or night, and leave a message
Chicago Board of Elections: 312.269.7900
Marisel A. Hernandez, Chair
Mayor’s Office: 312.744.5000 (or 311)
Lori Lightfoot, Mayor
Please also consider contacting your alderman!