Post submitted by Lucas Acosta (he/him), former Deputy Director of Communications, Politics
The Town Hall will be hosted by activist and Pod Save the People host DeRay McKesson and feature interviews with Secretary Julián Castro, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, and HRC President Alphonso David
HRC announced a Town Hall hosted by activist and Pod Save the People host DeRay McKesson to help reach and engage young people, primarily of color, and educate them about mail-in voting and inspire them to make their voices heard this November.
Along with host DeRay McKesson, the Vote Equal, Vote Safe Town Hall will feature appearances by Secretary Julián Castro, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, HRC President Alphonso David, and young LGBTQ people of color in Texas and Arizona. The event will be livestreamed July 14th at 8pm ET and available on HRC’s digital platforms.
“I am thrilled to announce the Human Rights Campaign’s Vote Equal, Vote Safe Town Hall and honored to have such tremendous partners in this program. Together, we will help demystify the vote-by-mail process and give young people -- many voting for the first time -- the tools and resources they need to make sure their voices are heard this November,” said Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “With extremists like Donald Trump continuing to spread disinformation about the vote by mail process, it has become more important than ever to ensure that Equality Voters have accurate information to know how to cast their ballot. Together, united, we will defeat Trump’s attempts to divide us and keep us from voting.”
Housed within HRC’s Unite for Equality campaign, the Vote Equal, Vote Safe Initiative focuses on three major points:
Engaging LGBTQ Voters and Equality Voters -- voters who prioritize LGBTQ equality at the ballot box -- to ensure they know their voting options and are able to navigate the process.
Advocating at the federal, state, and local levels for funding and expanded safe voting options.
Research to ensure LGBTQ Voters and Equality Voters are comfortable using all available options for safe voting, including but not limited to: vote by mail, more early voting options, and Election Day polling locations.
Prior to the pandemic, poll after poll showed record levels of enthusiasm and anticipation for the 2020 election, and turnout was projected to be historic. It is clear voters want to be heard this November, and HRC has been working to ensure that Equality Voters are able to cast their ballots without fear for their personal health or the safety of their family. Three of HRC’s seven priority states have changed election laws since the 2018 election to allow for expanded access to the ballot box: Michigan, Nevada, and Pennsylvania. Election officials and the courts are instituting additional changes in these states and elsewhere.
While some states and cities have recently taken steps to ensure voters have increased opportunity to vote by mail, millions of voters across the country live in areas where severe restrictions still exist. HRC has activated its longstanding relationships with elected leaders at every level of the ballot to help pass legislation or issue orders that meet HRC’s principles for Safe Voting. Those principles are:
Expanded Voter Registration Options including:
Online voter registration
Same-day voter registration
Expanded Vote by Mail Options including:
Count all ballots postmarked on or before Election Day
Allow no excuse Absentee Voting for everyone
No witness requirement for Absentee Voting
Postage must be free or prepaid by the government
Reform signature matching laws to protect voters
Allow community organizations to help collect and deliver voted, sealed ballots
Expanded In-Person Voting Options:
Extend early voting times and dates
Increase number of in-person early vote and Election Day polling locations
Follow CDC safety guidance at all in-person voting locations