Every Vote Must be Counted

Everyone counts. Every vote counts. And every vote must be counted. These are values we all hold, and they are not negotiable.

By now, we’re sure you’ve heard about President Trump refusing to say whether he’ll accept the results of the election. It’s clear from his incessant lies about the safety and effectiveness of voting by mail – and his threats, veiled and otherwise, of what might come after election day – that Trump is trying to bully and cheat his way through an election he knows he’s losing.

We’ll get to what we’re doing to oppose those efforts in a moment – and believe us, we will be opposing them – but first we wanted to say that it’s incredibly clear that a core strategy of the President and his allies is to try to convince us that “we the people” don’t matter, that what we do doesn’t matter – that democracy doesn’t matter.

If Trump succeeds in convincing enough Americans to throw up their hands, to throw in the towel on our democracy, then he wins.

Which is why our first message is this: VOTE. Vote now. Urge your friends and family around the country to vote. Remind them that democracy matters – that everyone matters. And if you’re volunteering for the candidate(s) of your choice in this election, thank you for investing your time in our democracy. If you’ve ever thought about getting more involved, there will never be a better time.

Here’s the bottom line: Donald Trump can only undermine our collective faith in democracy if we let him. We haven’t spent the last four years opposing much of this president’s agenda to let him bully us into cynicism and despair now – and we’re betting you haven’t either.

And after we cast our votes, and do our work to remind our fellow Vermonters and our fellow Americans of the importance of casting theirs, we and our allies around the country are going to make sure every single one of those votes is counted.

VPIRG and our friends at Rights & Democracy (RAD) have joined Protect the Results, a national coalition of over 100 organizations representing tens of millions of people around the country, to prepare for mass mobilization in all 50 states in the event Donald Trump follows through on his threat to deny a peaceful transfer of power.

We and our allies are organizing here in Vermont to make sure our state pulls its weight after election day, if that’s necessary.

VPIRG and RAD have already reserved space for an event in Montpelier on November 4th, the day after the election. RSVP for that event here.

Or, consider hosting your own event in your local community. Our organizers, and the Protect the Results team, will make that as simple as possible.

If President Trump attempts to declare victory before all the votes are counted, or he refuses to accept the results once they are, we’ll be ready. By RSVPing for a local event, you’ll make sure you know where – and when – Vermonters will be gathering if and when one of those red lines is crossed.

We hope you’ll sign up to safely join us in Montpelier – or host your own local event — to protect the results of this election.

We believe, and we know you believe, that everyone counts. Whatever our race, accent, income, or zip code, this is our country. We’re in this together. And this year has pushed us like no other — our health, our livelihoods, and our humanity. We’ve gotten through it together, even as we’ve been forced to be physically apart.

2020 isn’t over yet, and we’ve got to see this through together too. Now, we’re counting on everyone to vote, and if necessary, to come together as one to ensure that our democracy survives.

For all the people.

No one can take that away from us.

We’ve said it before, and we mean it from the bottom of our hearts. Thank you. For all that you do.

The VPIRG Team ~ Ben, Liz, Emma, Zach, Paul, Kate, Sebbi, Tom, Becca, Meg, Marcie, Liam, Maeve

P.S. The Protect the Results events map just went live last week, so only a relatively small group of people around the country have had the opportunity to sign up to host an event in their local community at this point. I hope you’ll consider signing up to host one near you – the national coalition will set you up with a host toolkit, and our organizers will do what they can to help you as well. Interested in hosting but have questions? Email swu@vpirg.org.