For the full text of this press release in PDF format, please click here: ATNJ Members Take Action to Send Historic Number of Vote By Mail Applications to NJ Voters
For Immediate Release:
ATNJ Members Take Action to Send Historic Number of Vote By Mail Applications to NJ Voters
MADISON, NJ, November 5, 2018 – Grassroots volunteers of Action Together New Jersey from across New Jersey, the US, and the world donated their time and supplies resulting in an historic number of Vote By Mail Applications sent to New Jerseyans and an extraordinary number of Vote By Mail ballots processed by county clerks as mentioned in a recent joint release.
Action Together New Jersey ran the Post it Posse initiative which was joined by grassroots activists in New Jersey and beyond to educate voters on the convenience of voting by mail, to increase voting through perennial vote by mail, and to inform voters of the midterm elections. The record number of VBM ballots issued is a result of thousands of volunteers from all over donating their time and supplies working around kitchen tables and in public spaces to hand write Post it notes, print voter information sheets and VBM applications and mailing them to voters, and building their community in the process.
“Each volunteer got an average of 169 registered voters on their list to write to. That we reached 294,245 New Jersey voters tells you the vast network of engaged and committed citizens who wanted to do something tangible and effective to get out the vote. What is astounding is that this was completely a 100% volunteer effort with folks donating all their time and supplies. When we see the large voter turnout this year, we will know that it was largely because of grassroots activists,” said Uyen “Winn” Khuong, Executive Director for Action Together New Jersey (ATNJ).
The initiative was the brainchild of Uyen Khuong, leader of ATNJ, a group formed during the 2016 presidential election. Another volunteer, Dan Janowski, wanted to apply his experience and skill set to help and single-handedly built the voter database necessary to execute the GOTV efforts. The complexity to build a voter database meant that Dan quit his job in order to volunteer full time in this effort.
“Back in March when I started talking to Uyen and hearing about her vision and database needs in order to reach voters, I knew that there was nothing that I could be doing that would have more of an impact on this election than working on this. Seeing how communities have been built as a result of this work has been extremely humbling and fulfilling,” said Dan Janowski, Director of Electoral Intelligence, ATNJ.
With first-hand experience of the entire New Jersey Vote By Mail system from the application to the paper ballot, Action Together volunteers saw the value in changing the voting habit of New Jerseyans as a way to increase participation in our democracy. Volunteers also know improvements are needed in voter laws so that barriers to vote can be minimized or eliminated. ATNJ will work with the Department of State, the Board of Elections, and the County Clerks Organization to make system-wide improvements so that all voters can have access to voting. ATNJ hopes to put forth changes quickly for the coming 2019 State Assembly races and then the 2020 Presidential Election so that voters will have an easier time applying to vote by mail with less confusion and problems. Vote By Mail voters can check the status of their ballot by going to this website: https://www.civicsprout.com/vbm
Living up to its name, this effort was truly a combined effort of people partaking in action together. This GOTV initiative was spread purely through word-of-mouth and many groups joined in this effort. Volunteers from CA, NY, CT, MA, MD, IL, OK, FL, GA, PA, DE, and Americans living abroad in Zurich and Paris joined volunteers from many groups in New Jersey including all county chapters of ATNJ. Some of those groups include:
Bernards Twp Democratic Committee BlueWave
Chatham Twp and Boro Democrats Down Jersey Coalition
Florham Park Democrats
Glen Rock After The March
Indivisible Cape May County
Indivisible Monroe Twp
Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs Kendall Woods Indivisible
Lawrence Citizen Activists Leonia Action Alliance MACTA
Mahwah After the March Mahwah Huddle
Millburn Short Hills Action Network
Mini Sister Resisters
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense
Moms Demand Action, Leonia Action Alliance Montgomery Democratic Organization Morris Twp. Dems
NJ 11th for Change
Red Bank Rabble Rousers Ridgewood JOLT
Summit Area Indivisible
Summit Marches On
Swing Left (Tribeca Chapter)
Teaneck Women Together
Tinton Falls Democrats
Unite for Rights
We the People NJ07
Women for Progress
Women Get Shit Done
Women of Action New Jersey
Women of Action New Jersey (Fair Lawn)
About Action Together New Jersey
ATNJ, a non-profit progressive group, is the largest grassroots organization in New Jersey. ATNJ has chapters in every county, because change is local. Functioning as a central command for statewide initiatives and legislative actions, ATNJ’s teams work with coalitions of like-minded groups to serve the public by educating the electorate, providing a platform for progressive candidates, advancing legislative proposals with elected officials, and working in concert with advocacy groups for human rights. ATNJ seeks to promote equality and progressive ideals and to secure a more inclusive, fair and equitable future for New Jersey and the nation. For more information, visit www.ATNJ.org.