What is a CUA Circle?
CUA Circles mobilize our already-existing social networks to encourage people to vote for Democrats. Developing these overlapping circles of political connection is essential for this midterm cycle, serves as advance planning for next year’s races, and helps prepare for the presidential fight in 2024.
YOU are already the center of a CUA Circle consisting of everyone who comes in contact with you: family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, and folks who follow you on social media. As you present a consistent message about why people should vote for Democrats, you spread facts and good vibes that others will share in turn, reaching people who might not be reached by conventional political advertising. In time, they become the center of their own CUA Circles.
This action plan is designed to end frustration about a perceived lack of strong messaging by party leaders and officials. We are taking matters into our own hands, crafting messages, and getting the word out on our own. It’s easy; anyone can do it. You can begin TODAY. All you need is 1) a desire to find and share accurate information, and 2) awareness that the way you act and speak may be someone’s only opportunity to learn facts about who Democrats are and what we stand for.
Starting with the people you know right now, you can be the source of simple, powerful, Democratic messaging. We may not have the nationwide communications advantage right now, but as individuals, the Blue Team has a huge advantage, because we outnumber them. Everything is on the line and we have to start with what we have. Let it be here and now.
Each CUA Circle has three weekly action goals:
- get the facts
- spread the news
- encourage one another
Let’s dive into this week’s action: raising awareness about early voting.
Get the Facts
Focusing on “Election Day” is no longer the best campaign practice. For lack of a better term, we now have Election SEASON, and it is already well underway. Early voting has begun in 18 states, and 15 more states will begin early voting before the end of this month. Active-duty military members have been sending in their ballots for weeks. Relying on the late October surprise, closing the gap after Halloween, or hoping the polls move in the final 72 hours is not the way things work any more. Lots of people are voting NOW.
Many states changed their election procedures in 2020 to make voting easier because of COVID, and some still have those new procedures in place for 2022. My state had in-person early voting for the very first time in 2020, but I find that some people around me don’t know the early voting schedule is back for 2022. Is the same thing true in your state?
If you are an activist (or want to be), early voting is one of the very best ways you can be helpful to the campaigns that mean the most to you. Once your vote is in the bank, you can spend the part of Election Day that you would have spent voting doing something else to GOTV: calling or texting voters to remind them that Nov. 8 is the last day to vote, posting signs and handing out voter information around the area, giving people rides to the polls, and offering other kinds of assistance at polling places and in voting lines.
Spread the News
Now that you have the facts, think of creative ways you can share this information. If a discussion about “Election Day” comes up, can you respond with “lots of people nationwide/in our state are voting already,” or “I see early voting starts in Georgia on Monday” (use the details for your state) or “I’m definitely planning to get my vote in well before November 8,” or something similar. If someone is not sure how to early vote, can you tell them about your experience with early voting, and/or point them toward the place where they can find the early voting information that applies to them?
Can you post your state’s early voting dates on your social media accounts, make it your pinned tweet, or send messages to friends and family out of state with their early voting information?
Perhaps you would rather create an eye-catching announcement and put a postcard on a bulletin board in a grocery store, laundromat, coffee shop, or other gathering place where signs are allowed. Or you might design a poster and share it on Next Door or another neighborhood circulation list where anyone can post announcements: “Election Season is happening NOW! Go to [appropriate local website here] for more information about EARLY VOTING!”
Voting reminder information is legal to display in churches, since it is considered nonpartisan activity. Can you put the early voting dates in your church newsletter or on the church website?
There is still time to register voters in thirty-two (32) states! If you are in one of these late registration states, you can get a few friends to help you set up voter registration at a high traffic location in your neighborhood. CUA Circle assignments are usually simpler tasks anyone can complete without organization, helpers, or funds, but if you have the time and resources to host a voter registration table, go for it!
Encourage one another
This assignment is simple and the same every week. Find someone who is working on an issue that is important to you, and give them a word of encouragement. Tell a volunteer you are grateful for their long hours, thank a politician for voting the right way, or show appreciation to someone who gave you helpful information.
Be as creative as you want! Write a protest song that inspires people to be activists, or draw a cartoon that helps us laugh at our adversaries. Design a piece of art that fires people up, or one that is restful and relaxing to behold—but make sure you share it somehow, even if with just one other person. You can also find something uplifting created by someone else and pass it along. This is hard work. We all need support for the journey.
Recap of this week’s action:
- Look up the dates for early voting in your state and make a plan to vote early if you are able. Share the information on your social media feeds; or create an informational postcard/poster and leave it in a public place.
- Start a conversation about early voting with someone: “The election is happening right now.” “I read that one-third of the country is already voting.” “I voted early so I can spend election day giving rides to the polls/calling and texting people to remind them to vote/going to Georgia and getting arrested for giving people water and snacks as they wait in line to vote.” (Just kidding about that last one, but I wish it were true.)
- Remember to offer an encouraging word to someone this week.
MORE early voting support ACTIVITIES ANYONE CAN DO
Turnout is always essential, and this year it is even more important than usual. We must vote in numbers too big to manipulate, and win by the largest margins possible. We have 24 days left to pull out all the stops in Getting Out The Vote (GOTV) for the 2022 midterms. When Democrats vote, Democrats win.
Do you know any Democrats Abroad? Many Democrats Abroad think they can only vote in presidential elections. Help get the word out that they can vote this year, too. Some are not allowed to vote in local elections from abroad, but ALL can vote in federal elections (House and Senate), and presidential-level turnout from Democrats Abroad could swing enough close states to maintain our congressional majorities. If you know any American citizens living overseas, contact them and make sure they are voting. There is still time to request an overseas ballot in ALL 50 STATES. Click here for more Democrats Abroad information and deadlines.
Remind your friends and family serving overseas in the military that they can vote in midterms and there is still time for most of them to vote as well. If they have a ballot, the deadline for sending it in is Oct. 24 for folks overseas and Oct. 31 for people serving stateside. If they do not have a ballot, they can still vote using the official FEDERAL WRITE IN ABSENTEE BALLOT (FWAB): information and instructions are available at this link.
Last but definitely not least, our Daily Kos community has prepared a comprehensive list of GOTV activities at www.dailykos.com/gotv. If you have time to get more involved as Nov. 8 approaches, this link has DOZENS of in-person and virtual projects anyone can do. Share this resource everywhere you are able!
Do it NOW!
if you leave it too late / it could all disappear / do it now / while your vision is clear