BEFORE THE PRIMARY: GET OUT THE VOTE
By Chris Hotchkin
The 2020 Primary Election in Illinois will be March 17. Before you drink your green beer or whatever you do to be Irish on March 17, there are a few things you should accomplish if you are a Democratic Precinct Committeeperson (PC) or on the ballot to be elected as a PC or if you just want to help. It is important to get as many Democratic voters to vote in the Primary as we can. A great Democratic turnout shows our party’s strength. It shows the viability of our candidates. If you are a PC, when you vote for officers of the Democratic Party of DuPage County, it is a weighted vote—the more Democrats who vote in your precinct in the primary, the bigger your weighted vote will be.
1. Encourage and facilitate voter registration. You should check with Democratic households in your precinct to see if anyone needs to be registered. If any young people will turn 18 by November 3, 2020 they can register and vote in the Primary Election! You can go to the doors of Democrats and talk to them about this information, or you can leave a letter at their door. In your letter you should encourage all voters to check their registration status.You can encourage and facilitate voters to register online. To register online go to https://ova.elections.il.gov/. There voters can check their registration status or register to vote by filling out a simple form. If they include their Illinois drivers license information, they will be all set to vote on March 17. You do not need to be a PC to encourage people to register online. Talk to your neighbors, family members, and co-workers. Make sure everyone checks their voter registration status and registers to vote if they are not yet registered. (Unless they wear an ugly MAGA hat to work—then you should leave them alone in their ignorance.) You can register to vote at this website up to 16 days prior to the election. You can also register to vote on Election Day in your polling place, but you must have two forms of identification.
2. Spread the word about our great Democratic candidates. A list of our many Democratic candidates is on our website www.dgdemocrats.org. Many candidates have walk cards or flyers available in our office. You can canvass or distribute a letter to the Democratic voters in your precinct to make sure they know who our candidates are. You can also offer to canvass with one of your favorite candidates. Our local candidates for county or state offices will be delighted to walk your precinct with you. You might also have a coffee in your home and invite Democrats in your precinct to come and meet Democratic candidates. Just contact one or two Democratic candidates to set a date.
3. Get Democratic voters out to vote! Distribute a letter in your precinct informing voters of the Primary Election date (do not assume they will know, many will not). Provide information about the ways your voters can vote: Vote by mail, Early Voting, or Voting on Election Day. Go to dupageco.org/election to find information about voting. You can encourage your voters to visit this website to check on their voter registration status, to register, or to apply for a Vote by Mail ballot. Canvass the Democratic voters in your precinct and ask them how they plan to vote. Experience shows that if they think about how they will vote and make a plan for voting, they are more likely to vote in the Primary. Get a list of who in your precinct requested a Vote by Mail ballot and contact them to make sure they filled out their ballot and sent it in.
4. Make your plans for March 17. Do you plan to serve as a poll watcher? If so, let our township chair know this. Do you plan to encourage your Democratic voters who have not yet voted to get to the polls? We can provide you with a list of those in your precinct who requested a Vote by Mail ballot or who Voted Early. You can visit or call the Democrats who have not voted early or by mail and urge them to vote on March 17.