Progressive Turnout Project Joins Mayor Lightfoot, Michigan Lt. Gov Gilchrist, Biden Campaign, and EMILY’s List at “Protecting the Integrity of the Election” Virtual Policy Round Table at DNC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 17, 2020 

CONTACT: Will Mantell | [email protected]

Progressive Turnout Project Joins Mayor Lightfoot, Michigan Lt. Gov Gilchrist, Biden Campaign, and EMILY’s List at “Protecting the Integrity of the Election” Virtual Policy Round Table at DNC 

CHICAGO — This morning, Progressive Turnout Project (PTP)’s Executive Director Alex Morgan joined leaders from across the country for a virtual policy round table during the Democratic National Convention about protecting the integrity of the election. Morgan joined Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Biden for President National Voter Protection Director Rachana Desai Martin, and EMILY’s List Executive Director Emily Cain. Michigan Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II offered opening remarks, and Ed Meier moderated the conversation. 

Morgan made the case for how Democrats should make voting rights a “bread and butter” issue and turn up the heat on Republicans after President Trump admitted he is weakening the USPS to suppress mail-in ballots. Morgan also discussed why Joe Biden and Kamala Harris must prioritize passing a Voting Bill of Rights on Day 1 of their administration. 

“Voting rights must be a bread and butter issue for Democrats. One person, one vote is a cornerstone of our democracy,” said Alex Morgan, Executive Director of Progressive Turnout Project. “We have to act with urgency and cement that principle in our federal law with a new Voting Bill of Rights. We have to do this to ensure people who are often shut out of our democracy — people of color, young people, and poor and working people — are able to take part in our democracy on a level playing field.”

Morgan and Mayor Lightfoot both spoke about how to support the USPS amid illegal attempts by Donald Trump and his administration to dismantle it. 

“Donald Trump loves to distract, and now we’ve got to fight on two fronts,” said Alex Morgan. “This is coming in part because he knows we’ve been fighting for full election funding in the next stimulus package. He knows that we want to fully fund the USPS to handle the capacity and make sure that everyone who wants to vote by mail can vote by mail. We can’t lose sight of that battle as well.” 

“Don’t forget that we need to put our foot on the gas at the local level as well. We need people to reach out to their local postmaster,” said Lori Lightfoot, Mayor of Chicago. “We need to support our postal workers as well. They’re being asked to do way more than normal with less resources, less people on the ground, and working in conditions that just aren’t safe.” 

Participants also spoke about the importance of voter education, and combating voter suppression and President Trump’s distractions. 

“The right to vote protects all our other rights,” said Rachana Desai Martin, National Voter Protection Director at Biden for President. “We need to be everywhere, informing voters about their options and helping them exercise their right to vote. This year, democracy is on the ballot.”

“[Democrats] want people to participate in the political process, we want their voices, we want their energy, we want their votes, we want their power. We are the party that isn’t afraid of people voting,” said Garlin Gilchrist II, Lieutenant Governor of Michigan. “And any party that is afraid of people voting — you have to question their motives.” 

“Donald Trump thrives in chaos,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “He likes creating this atmosphere of uncertainty, of danger…. What we need to do is make sure we block out the noise and let people know that their vote is safe, that there’s many ways in which they can do it, and that they’re not going to be prevented from voting…. That is one of the most important things, is to break through the noise and the chaos that this administration and campaign are trying to create — that somehow their vote won’t matter, somehow they won’t be able to vote. Not true.” 

More On Progressive Turnout Project:

  • PTP is the nation’s largest grassroots-funded Democratic voter turnout organization.
  • PTP targets registered, inconsistent, likely Democratic voters and new voters. PTP’s staff is making millions of calls ahead of the general election to increase voter turnout in 17 critical presidential and Senate battleground states. 
  • We have multiple, in-depth conversations with voters between June and Election Day, including through phone-banking and letter-writing. Our conversations focus on helping voters make a plan to vote safely, including how to vote by mail.
    • About ½ of our voters nationwide are under 35, about ½ are voters of color, and about ½ stayed home in 2016.  
  • Since its inception in 2015, Progressive Turnout Project has raised over $65.7 million with a supporter base of over 3.9 million, and invested in voter-turnout programs in 130 House and Senate races. Progressive Turnout Project’s average donation is $14.51.

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Progressive Turnout Project is a grassroots-funded political action committee with a single mission: get Democrats to the polls. PTP designs, tests, and executes specialized voter-turnout programs targeting inconsistent Democratic voters in the most competitive elections across the country. 

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