Vote curing is the lowest hanging and tastiest fruit if you want to do something to help end Republican control of the Senate. Winning the Jan 5 runoffs in Georgia is the only way we will be able to start to undo Trump’s savaging of our democracy, and the voter suppression which will continue to distort our government until there is a new Voting Rights Act.
In the November general election, vote curing in Georgia saved an estimated 20,000 votes that would otherwise have been discarded Thousands of paper provisional ballots were cured, along with thousands of absentee and mail in ballots.
Biden won Georgia by just 12,000 votes.
Curing literally delivered Georgia in that very tight race. You could be vote curing today from anywhere over the telephone.
What is vote curing? Already in Georgia, hundreds of thousands of absentee and mail in ballots have arrived at the supervisor of elections offices. Many thousands of these will have technical problems which prevent them from being counted- usually due to a signature issue, incorrectly dating the ballot, or other fairly boring but easy mistakes to make. The state produces a list of voters who need to cure their vote, but often (for both good and bad reasons) is unable to reach the voter.
Your job is to call up the voter, explain what is wrong with the ballot, and tell them how they can fix it. Generally speaking people are very happy to get this call.
On or after election day, vote curing also involves provisional ballots. Provisional ballots are paper ballots issued on election day when there’s a lack of clarity regarding the person’s ability to legally vote in Georgia, when the electronic ballot machines are down, or the polls stay open later than expected. Some provisional paper ballots, are cured automatically by the state.
But other provisional ballots must be cured by the voter. Voters have until 5pm on the Friday following the election – Jan 8 – to cure their ballots. Some people who voted on a paper provisional ballot, especially younger voters or people who are less fluent in English, may not realize this. Vote curing involves contacting these voters and helping them get their ballot counted.
Why is vote curing so much more fun than phone banking? I phone bank a fair bit, it keeps you engaged with the electorate and it keeps you humble because you fail repeatedly. But your feedback is only occasionally positive – and many people are annoyed to get your call by virtue of apathy or oppressive campaign pestering.
Vote curing is different. You are contacting people who want to vote including many who made a real effort to jump through all the hoops do so in advance. You are calling someone and basically saying “Your ballot is a little messed up and has been set aside, but I can help you with the simple things you can do so it can be fixed and counted.” This is a message people very much want to hear.
I had a long conversation with Joe yesterday who thinks the race is crazy important, had gone to some trouble to vote, and very definitely did not know he had put the date he signed the absentee ballot in the date field instead of the date for the election. Joe’s a smart guy, but this is an easy mistake to make. Without that call Joe’s vote would have been discarded, and he might never have known. We spoke a little about our work on the election in Georgia, and after the election he wants to meet and take me to a socially distanced coffee at this place he knows in Atlanta.
You should not do vote curing because you think you are going to get a free coffee out of it. You should do vote curing because the margins on this election are razor thin. Curing 1 or 10 or 100 ballots can be the difference between a democrat controlled Senate for the next two years and a Senate controlled by Moscow Mitch.
To be clear, especially if you have done conventional phone banking, vote curing is more complex. The training is longer and the decision tree is “bushier”. This means the training is longer than conventional phone banking, typically 40 minutes. And you will not get thru to many of the people you call, but when you do get through your chances of a much more positive response is much higher.
Find this exciting? Want to do more to save democracy and the Senate – but only have a couple hours a day far from Georgia? You are in luck. The Flip Georgia Air Team is looking for more help. You can do curing, you can do research or clerical work, tik tok sleuthing, if you know (language list – Korean, Japanese, Spanish, xx) or meeting facilitation. If you have skills it is easy to work with and available right now.
Or maybe you’re short on time but can donate cash? If so, you can contribute to the Flip Georgia project to help us with our ballot curing efforts, keep the Vote Truck gassed up, and more. Thank you to everyone who has supported this project so far, now let’s make the last week count!