VOTE, join E-Day GOTV efforts, then watch the results in key races in Washington state
By CHERIKA CARTER
(Nov. 3, 2020) — It’s finally here, Election Day 2020!
I’ve been waiting 1,455 days for this. I was so excited to cast my vote for Joe Biden and all of the candidates endorsed by the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, up and down the ballot. I’m an essential voter and I made my voice heard! We face crises on three critical fronts: a public health pandemic, an economic free fall and long-standing structural racism. Too many of Washington’s working families are suffering needlessly. Working people need safe jobs, economic security and freedom from systemic racism. I voted for candidates who share our working families values.
More than 3.5 million Washingtonians have already voted, and across the country more than 93 million Americans have already voted in this election. We are set to break voting turnout records across the country. Fun fact, in Hawaii and Texas they’ve already surpassed their 2016 votes totals. When all votes are counted, we could potentially see well over 150 million votes cast. Voters will decide who are leaders are, and as a labor movement it is our work to make sure everyone eligible to vote can vote, and to make sure all votes are counted in this election. To those who would seek to prevent eligible Americans from voting, make false claims designed to undermine the legitimacy of the democratic process, stop election officials from counting our votes, or otherwise deny the will of the people, we have a simple message: we will fight you every step of the way.
If you haven’t had a chance to vote yet for candidates who share our values, don’t worry there is still time. Here’s a list of hundreds of voting centers and secure drop boxes where you can drop off your ballot today until 8 p.m. (Additionally, ballots can also be returned by mail, but they’ll need to be postmarked today.) If you misplaced your mail-in ballot or even if you aren’t yet registered to vote, you can still make your voice heard and VOTE right up until 8 p.m. on Election Day by going to your county’s elections office. Click here to find your county’s elections department. And if you already have voted, returned your ballot, and checked to see that it was counted — then text three friends right now and make sure they make their voices heard, too!
For many union activists, Election Day looks different this year. While we won’t be out door-belling today, you can still sign up for a FUNBank shift to text or call union voters across the state to Get Out The Vote!
Once you finish your FUNBank shift tonight, and you’re looking to watch results as they come in you can go here to check results. Outside of the presidential race, and some national Senate races, here’s a list of the races I’m watching in Washington:
Governor — Governor Jay Inslee is polling well, and based on his performance in that 36-way primary, he should come out as tonight’s winner. But I know many of us still remember 2004’s governor’s race that triggered a recount and came down to 100 votes, and because of that, this is still a race to watch.
Lieutenant Governor — It’s the first time in recent history that both candidates are from the same party. The WSLC endorsed both Denny Heck and Marko Liias, and I’m on the edge of my seat as I wait to see which champion for working people will become our next Lieutenant Governor.
Secretary of State — As we witness voter suppression across the country, with long lines to vote, few options to vote early, and limited voting centers we are reminded how important it is to have a champion of working people as the Secretary of State. Washington needs a leader like Gael Tarleton in office as our next SOS who will work with us to instill faith in our voting process in Washington state and to ensure that voting in Washington is never suppressed and that it’s easy, safe, simple, and secure.
Superintendent of Public Instruction — The race for OSPI generally flies under the radar because it’s non-partisan, but Washington needs a Superintendent of Public Instruction who will put students and families first. Chris Reykdal shares our values, he listens to students, teachers, classified school employees, and families. Those we wish to privatize our public schools and make billions in budget cuts to public education funding, have spent lots of money to try to defeat Chris in his re-election bid. This is a race to watch.
U.S. Representatives — In terms of our 10 congressional seats there are three races and candidates I’m watching. I’m hoping for a re-election of Congresswoman Dr. Kim Schrier in the 8th District, and victories for Carolyn Long in the 3rd, and Beth Doglio in the 10th.
State Legislature — These are the Legislative Districts I’m watching in numerical order: 5th, 6th, 10th, 17th, 19th, 25th, 26th, 28th, 35th, and 42nd. These races will be close and could come down to victories by just double digits in some of the races. If you have friends in these districts remind them to vote for our union endorsed candidates now!
Path to Power candidates — Special shoutout to this year’s Path to Power candidates who participated in the WSLC’s candidate training program: Ingrid Anderson running for State Senate in the 5th LD, Carrie Hesch running for House Position 1 in the 26th LD, and Liz Berry running for House Position 2 in the 36th LD. Best of luck today and thank you all for running!
As a Black Woman, I am especially thrilled to see Sen. Kamala Harris on the ticket for Vice President of the Unites States, but I am equally excited about the Black women running for office throughout Washington state. April Berg, Rep. Debra Entenman, Kirsten Harris-Talley, Tanisha Harris, Rep. Melanie Morgan, T’wina Nobles, Joy Stanford, Jamila Taylor and Judge Helen Whitener, I see y’all. Keep shining.
We can win this. But we MUST turn out to vote, we must get our friends, families, co-workers, neighbors and communities to turn out to vote as well, and we must count every vote. Happy Election Day Labor Family! I believe that we will win!
Cherika Carter is Political and Strategic Campaigns Director for the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO. Cherika can be reached at email@example.com.