Hundreds of brave men and women marched for their freedom to vote in Selma -- and were brutally attacked for doing it. We're asking for just a few minutes to take some simple yet powerful actions that can help in the fight for voting rights, both around the country and right here in New Hampshire.
Action #1 - Urgent - Oppose Voter Suppression Bills
By tomorrow, Monday, March 8, 8:30 AM - Register your Opposition to these anti-voting rights bills being heard in NH House Election Law TOMORROW. These include efforts to end same-day registration, which disproportionately affects lower-income voters, students, and communities of color. It takes about 90 seconds per bill once you get the hang of it.
9:30 a.m. HB 429 requires students to prove they have registered to vote in NH to obtain in-state tuition rates. But then it removes college IDs as a form of identification to qualify under the Secretary of State’s guidance on student voting. Open Democracy Action opposes this bill
9:45 a.m. HB 362 repeals current “domicile” definitions for students voting in New Hampshire, in a direct assault on student access to the polls in New Hampshire. Open Democracy Action opposes this bill
10:15 a.m. HB 554 also attempts to define domicile as it pertains to temporary residents, specifying students, particularly those who have domicile in the state, but are away for the pandemic. “A student of any institution of learning may lawfully claim domicile for voting purposes in the New Hampshire town or city in which he or she [lives] maintains a physical presence while attending such institution of learning if such student's claim of domicile otherwise meets the requirements of RSA 654:1, I. “ Open Democracy Action opposes this bill
10:30 a.m. HB 531-FN-L ends the current same-day registration practice of allowing a voter to sign an sworn affidavit, subject to providing documents such as a ID, citizenship or proof of domicile within 30 days of voting and being subject to investigation by the NH Attorney General. In those cases, the voter is allowed to vote. HB 531 instead allows the voter only to cast a “provisional” ballot, where the voter must return on election day with adequate documentation, or the vote will not be counted. The number of voters who use the current affidavit is very low statewide, and does not justify disenfranchising someone whose birth certificate is at mom & dad’s in California. Open Democracy Action opposes this bill
11:00 a.m. HB 535 repeals the qualified voter affidavit, which would prohibit voters without the necessary domicile, citizenship or identification documents from voting. Currently voters without documentation that election officials consider to be qualified voters can fill out an affidavit, then vote as normal, but with the understanding that they will have to produce the necessary documents within 30 days. Open Democracy Action opposes this bill
Action #2 - Write a postal mail Thank You note to your members of Congress
Both Reps. Kuster and Pappas were co-sponsors of House Resolution 1, the For the People Act, as were all but one Democrat, and voted last Wednesday when the bill passed in the U.S. House. Please thank them for their support of H.R. 1, and express your support for H.R. 4, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act which will come before them later this year. H.R. 1 cracks down on voter suppression tactics being perpetrated around the United States. (See details below in Action #3) H.R. 1 has dozens and dozens of other important democracy reforms as well, including voting as a national holiday, efforts to get money out of politics, and online voter registration. H.R. 4 restores the Voting Rights Act, repealed in 2013. This will help protect the voting rights being attacked by over 250 bills trying to deliberately put up barriers to our voting freedoms, particularly for voters of color.
U.S. Representative Annie Kuster
18 North Main Street
Concord, NH 03301
U.S. Representative Chris Pappas
Action #3 - Write to your U.S. Senators to support S. 1 & H.R. 4
Senate Bill 1, or S. 1, is the Senate's version of H.R. 1. Write a postal letter to Sens. Hassan and Shaheen asking for their support on S.1 when it comes before the Senate in April, and tell your story about why S. 1 would help NH's voter.
Manchester, NH 03101
Senator Jeanne Shaheen
2 Wall Street, Suite 220
Manchester, NH 03101
S. 1 & H.R. 1:
Improve Access – H.R. 1 expands access to the ballot box by taking aim at institutional barriers to voting, including cumbersome voter registration systems, disenfranchisement and limited voting hours. H.R. 1 will create automatic voter registration across the country, ensure that individuals who have completed felony sentences have their full voting rights restored, expand early voting and enhance absentee voting, simplify voting by mail, reduce long lines and wait times for voters and modernize America’s voting system.
Promote Integrity – H.R. 1 commits Congress to build the record necessary to restore the Voting Rights Act, as embodied by the House-passed H.R. 4. It also commits Congress to deliver full congressional voting rights and self-government for the residents of the District of Columbia, which only statehood can provide, prohibits voter roll purges like those seen in Ohio, Georgia and elsewhere and ends partisan gerrymandering to prevent politicians from picking their voters.
Ensure Security – H.R. 1 ensures that American elections are decided by American voters, without interference, by enhancing federal support for voting system security, particularly with paper ballots and also by increasing oversight of election system vendors and by requiring the development of a national strategy to protect U.S. democratic institutions.
END THE DOMINANCE OF BIG MONEY IN OUR POLITICS
Guarantee Disclosure – H.R. 1 shines a light on dark money in politics by upgrading online political ad disclosure and requiring all organizations involved in political activity to disclose their large donors. H.R. 1 also breaks the so-called ‘nesting-doll’ sham that allows big-money contributors and special interests to hide the true funding source of their political spending.
Empower Citizens – H.R. 1 strengthens the political power of hardworking Americans by creating a multiple matching system for small donations. This innovative, 21st-century system of citizen-owned elections will break the stranglehold of special interests on Congress and lay the groundwork for an agenda that meets the needs of the American people. The voluntary multiple matching system will be completely paid for by a new surcharge on corporate law breakers and wealthy tax cheats. That way, the individuals and corporations who break the public trust – like Wells Fargo, which created fake bank accounts for unwitting customers, or Volkswagen, which lied about harmful carbon emissions from its vehicles, or Facebook, which violates Americans’ privacy, or Purdue Pharma, which fueled the opioid crisis – bear the cost of building a more just and equitable democracy. H.R. 1 also reaffirms Congress’ authority to regulate money in politics, pushing back on the Supreme Court’s wrong-headed Citizens United decision.
Strengthen Oversight – H.R. 1 ensures that there are cops on the campaign finance beat that will enforce the laws on the books. H.R. 1 tightens rules on super PACs and restructures the Federal Election Commission to break the gridlock and enhance its enforcement mechanisms. It also repeals Mitch McConnell’s riders that prevent government agencies from requiring commonsense disclosure of political spending.
ENSURE PUBLIC SERVANTS WORK FOR THE PUBLIC INTEREST
Fortify Ethics Law – H.R. 1 breaks the influence economy in Washington and increases accountability by expanding conflict of interest law and divestment requirements, slowing the revolving door, preventing Members of Congress from serving on corporate boards and requiring presidents to disclose their tax returns.
- Impose Greater Ethics Enforcement – H.R. 1 gives teeth to federal ethics oversight by overhauling the Office of Government Ethics, closing loopholes for lobbyists and foreign agents, ensuring watchdogs have sufficient resources to enforce the law and creating a code of ethics for the Supreme Court.
If you would like to view the full Bloody Sunday in Selma event, you may do so on our YouTube page.
An internship with Open Democracy means you'll do meaningful work and be part of a team who will be depending on you, not grunge work and getting coffee. Democracy reform work is no picnic. You'll work hard, but know how that hard work fits into the larger work we do in New Hampshire and the United States to fix our broken Democracy. Because our elected representatives are influenced by the Big Money donors on whom they depend to get elected, no matter what your issue is Climate Change, clean air & water, voting rights, pipelines, peace, Big Money is blocking the change. You can be part of ending that influence.
Open Democracy Organizing Fellows
Student Internships - Summer or Fall 2021
Who We Are
Open Democracy is a New Hampshire-based nonpartisan organization working for campaign finance reform and ending Big Money politics, and increase civic engagement and in the Granite State. Founded by America’s campaign finance reformer, Doris “Granny D” Haddock (1910-2010), Open Democracy engages thousands of NH citizens in nonpartisan grassroots campaigns, legislative advocacy, public education events, and through our Regional Democracy Teams.
Open Democracy is seeking creative and passionate Organizing Fellows to help build the Open Democracy movement in New Hampshire. Fellows will receive training in grassroots and online organizing, and communications, and will work directly on one or more of the following campaigns, depending on the individual’s interest and expertise:
- Organizing Our Walks - Organizing and participating in local/statewide our NH Rebellion project walks to educate and engage the public on democratic reform. Responsibilities include scouting routes, outreaching to media, recruiting walkers/volunteers, and planning walk events.
- Pressing Candidates on our Issues - Challenging state candidates to address money in politics reform throughout New Hampshire’s state representative, senate, and gubernatorial races. Responsibilities include attending campaign events, recruiting volunteers, questioning candidates, and documenting/broadcasting responses online.
- Movement-Building & Advocacy: Leading the charge in building our recently-launched Regional Democracy Teams across the state. These teams will reach out and educate voters in their own region, while pressing their own local legislators to pass statewide Democracy reforms.
Fellows must bring a passion for democracy, written/verbal communication skills, and an ability to work collaboratively and master online tools. Candidates with grassroots organizing experience, policy research/writing skills, or design/multimedia skills are strongly encouraged to apply.
Positions are 20 hours per week, with placements in Open Democracy’s Concord office or remote. There is no stipend for these positions, but all travel and project expenses are reimbursed by Open Democracy, and Concord-area low or no cost housing can be arranged for successful candidates.
Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to [email protected] Thank you for your interest and please contact us anytime to learn more.
Open Democracy is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to recruiting, hiring, training, promoting and administering any and all personnel actions without regard to sex, race, age, national origin, religion, economic status, sexual orientation, or physical disability, or any other legally protected basis. We will not tolerate any unlawful discrimination.
Coalition for Open Democracy | 4 Park Street, Suite 301 | Concord, NH 03301 | 603.715.8197 www.OpenDemocracyNH.org| [email protected]
Democracy Research Internship
Summer or Fall 2020
Open Democracy, a nonpartisan 501c3 which works on campaign finance reform and voting rights issues in New Hampshire and nationally seeks two highly motivated researcher/writers to help research and prepare an updated version of its Open Democracy Index (www.opendemocracynh.org/odi) which will be released on January 1, 2021. This document has been used by state legislators and policy leaders to inform the direction of future legislation and initiatives in New Hampshire.
For the Open Democracy Index project, you will design a research study on the current state of civic engagement in New Hampshire, including data collection, data analysis, brief literature reviews, and preparation of draft documents. This data will be presented in both long and short form for use by Open Democracy, policy leaders, and the media. You will be publicly acknowledged and may have the opportunity to write a publishable article.
With Whom Will I Work?
You will operate in a collaborative environment with the Open Democracy staff and board members, as well as both activists and academics. You will work on your own schedule and partly from home. The time commitment can range from 20 to 40 hours per week, depending on the candidate’s situation. Travel and project expenses are reimbursed by Open Democracy, and Concord area low or no cost housing can be arranged for successful candidates.
What Background Do I Need?
You should be able to work independently, establishing a schedule and organizing work to meet negotiated milestone deadlines, be detail-oriented, and communicate effectively orally and in writing. Integrity is essential in dealing with both people and information. Studies in political science or the social sciences are preferred.
- A passion for data analysis and research experience is preferred. A willingness to abide by basic research ethics and follow standard protocols, including honesty, truthfulness and thorough documentation, is essential.
- Working knowledge of the US and NH political systems. A vocabulary in Democracy reform issues is helpful, but not an impediment to the position.
- Spreadsheet skills are essential. We work in a Google Suite cloud environment, but often used with Microsoft Excel and other tools interchangeably. Online search skills are essential.
- Because you’ll be summarizing your findings for policy makers, writing skills and the ability to communicate complex information are important for this position
How Do I Apply?
If you are interested, and would like to discuss possible projects, please email Olivia Zink [email protected] expressing your interest and with a resume and cover letter.
The Coalition for Open Democracy is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to recruiting, hiring, training, promoting and administering any and all personnel actions without regard to sex, race, age, national origin, religion, economic status, sexual orientation, or physical disability, or any other legally protected basis. We will not tolerate any unlawful discrimination.
Open Democracy works hard to educate and engage New Hampshire citizens, policymakers, and the press in the cause of democratic reform. Click the links above to check out our latest press releases and news reports! If you're looking for our most recent events, click here.