Who: You, Progressive Turnout Project, and 20 Democrats
What: The first 2020 Presidential debates
When: June 26 & 27, 9:00–11:00 pm Eastern
Where: NBC, MSNBC, and Telemundo
Why: To make democracy reform a top priority

The first Democratic presidential debate is about to take place, and we couldn’t be more excited. With so many great candidates proposing thoughtful plans, there’s going to be a lot to hear. So, we want to amplify the voices of candidates and voters who are talking about the issues near and dear to our hearts: democracy reform and voting rights.

And we need your help to do that.

Do you have:

  • a public Twitter account?
  • some free time to watch the debates?
  • an interest in repairing a broken government?

If so, you’re all set! Here’s how you can join in:

Decide what’s important to you

“Democracy reform” is a big umbrella with lots of parts. Which ones are important to you? We can point you toward two documents to get you started: the For the People Act (H.R. 1) and the Declaration For American Democracy 2020 Platform.

Some highlights:

  • reauthorizing the voting rights act
  • independent redistricting commissions
  • an amendment to overturn Citizens United
  • automatic voter registration
  • early voting
  • election security grants
  • voter-verified paper ballots
  • DC statehood
  • abolishing the Electoral College
  • re-enfranchising formerly incarcerated people

This isn’t even close to everything! There’s a lot of work to be done, so lift up what resonates with you.

Why are we starting with democracy reform? No matter your policy priority, political reform is the first step to get there.

That’s because our elected officials are basically insulated from the consequences of elections right now by voter suppression, big money, and gerrymandering. As long as that remains the case, they won’t act on even the most broadly supported reforms.

Submit your questions

As is tradition, moderators will be selecting a handful of questions from voters to ask during the debate. You can submit yours here! It’s like buying a lottery ticket, but for democracy.

Follow the moderators

There will be five moderators for this first debate: @LesterHoltNBC, @SavannahGuthrie@chucktodd, @maddow, and @jdbalart. Spamming them won’t help, but it’s worth following them so you can keep up with pre- and post-debate news and engage with their tweets.

Use the hashtag #DemDebate

You want people to see your tweets, so don’t forget to tag them! #DemDebate will be the main hashtag. Other hashtags might be relevant for specific issues: #FairMaps (anti-gerrymandering), #SecureOurElections, #ForThePeople, and #GiveUsTheBallot (voting rights).

As a general rule, don’t use more than three hashtags in a tweet.

Lift up your issues

Do: Speak up about the issues that matter to you whenever they’re relevant to the conversation. Amplify the pro-reform messages you hear from the stage. Be constructive.

Don’t: Bash the candidates or moderators.

Do: Reply to, retweet, and quote-tweet the candidates who speak up on these issues — and us @TurnoutPAC!

As a reminder, don’t feed the trolls. If someone responds to your tweets in a non-productive way, it’s almost always best to simply ignore them or block them. They don’t actually want to engage in debate, and life’s too short to waste your energy.

Keep it going

If the debate’s past your bedtime, or you’re busy, you can still participate! People will be talking about these debates before and after they happen, so you can keep engaging with the candidates, moderators, and other Democrats to keep these issues in the news.

Happy tweeting!