September 21, 2020
Countdown to Election Day 2020

43 DAYS !!
In this issue:
  • RGB - A call to Action
  • 2020 Census
  • Voting -- Everything You Want to Know
  • Help NY Vote -- Become a poll worker
  • Columbia County for Biden - Join your friends
  • How You can Help in Swing States --Biden/Harris Phone Banking
Moving On

The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg brought shock and enormous sadness to us all. Her role in American history has been confirmed many times over, and women and men today are living far better, more equitable lives because of the life that she lived. Justice Ginsberg once said, “The greatest menace to freedom is an inert people. Fight for the things you care about but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”

This week, we salute three women who defied intimidation tactics and chose not to be inert:
  • Nurse Dawn Wooten became an ICE whistleblower, alleging that mass hysterectomies were being performed on detained immigrant women in a Georgia facility by a physician referred to by other nurses as “the uterus collector."
  • Esteemed and experienced federal prosecutor Nora Dannehy resigned from the Department of Justice, in part because of undue political pressure to deliver a report on the Russia investigation before the presidential election.  
  • Olivia Troye, Vice President Pence’s homeland security adviser and lead staffer on the White House coronavirus task force, resigned her position and assailed Trump’s response to the pandemic in a searing video
How will you honor Justice Ginsberg and make sure that we win the most important election of our lifetimes? Check out the opportunities to get involved below.
What Would RGB Do?

Like many of you, our mailboxes have been overwhelmed with news of the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsberg.  We hardly know where to turn.  But as we morn for her, our nation and ourselves, we must think how she would approach this moment.  And that is with determination, grit and action!

In this case the action is all at the national level, and we find no better resource than our own National Indivisible to help guide us.  We ask that you urgently click through to their site and take action.  It's simple really, we need to pressure the Senate, and that includes filling the voice mailboxes of our New York Senators, particularly Chuck Schumer.  We are in a unique location to pressure him to hold his coalition together, to resist any nomination, and to take nothing off the table.

ICNY has joined other progressive groups across the state of New York in signing onto this letter to Senator Schumer.

Census 2020
Everyone Counts, let's make sure they are counted!

Haven't responded to the Census questionnaire yet?  Need help with the form?  Know someone else who just needs a little "push" or help?  ICNY has cheerlead the effort to get this into Chatham.  Let's make sure everyone is counted!



Everything You Want to Know
                         …and Were Afraid to Ask


Absentee Ballots
Now in NY anyone can get an absentee ballot based on fear of Covid-19 by checking “temporary illness or physical disability” as their reason on the application. Click here to view or download an application with instructions

On September 1, the NYS absentee ballot application portal was opened so that requests can be made directly online, in seconds. You can access the portal here.

For this General Election, NYS decided not to mail every registered voter an absentee ballot application with their name and address and other pre-filled information – like it did for the 2020 Primary. However, the Columbia County Democratic Committee, as part of its Get Out The Vote effort, is about to mail pre-filled applications to every registered Democrat in the county. 

The Board of Elections will start mailing absentee ballots around October 1. When you get your absentee ballot, complete and return it to the BOE as early as possible. In addition to mailing, you, or someone on your behalf, can hand deliver your absentee ballot to the BOE. 

Watch this video (courtesy of the Dutchess County BOE) which demonstrates how to complete an absentee ballot and avoid mistakes that could cause it to be rejected.

In NYS, you can vote in person after you receive your absentee ballot and even after you return your completed absentee ballot. Absentee ballots will not be counted until after November 3. Before counting an absentee ballot, the BOE checks to see if the person already voted during Early Voting or on Election Day. The in-person vote supersedes the absentee ballot and the absentee ballot will not be counted. 

Therefore, in New York State, it is possible to submit your absentee ballot based on the risk of Covid 19, then later, if you consider it safe to vote in person (preferably during Early Voting), you can do so. The more in-person votes cast on the machine, the more likely there will be certain and undisputable results on Election Day.  

If you have questions about absentee voting procedure, call the BOE at 518-828-3115 and speak with Diane or Erin.

Early Voting

Although we applaud the new laws making it easier to vote by absentee ballot, we recommend that voters take advantage of in-person Early Voting if they can do so. 

Early voting is Saturday October 24 – Sunday November 1. 

As of now, there is one Early Voting site in the county: 401 State Street, Hudson; a second site is being considered. 

Every precaution is being taken to make voting at poll sites safe. All surfaces will be wiped down. Poll workers will be masked and will abide by social distancing rules.  When voting in person, bring your own PPE; PPE will also be available on site. 

If you have questions about Early Voting, about voting safety, or other matters, call the BOE at 518-828-3115 and speak with Diane or Erin. 

Election Day is November 3

On Election Day, all poll sites across the county will be open from 6 am – 9 pm. All safety precautions described above will apply. You can, of course, vote on Election Day, but with the uncertainties surrounding the future of COVID-19, we ask you to consider voting early or by absentee ballot. 
For complete and up-to-date information on voting, go to NYS Board of Elections or Columbia County Board of Elections 

Help New York Vote
Become A Poll Worker

And speaking of voting, New York is experiencing a critical shortage of poll workers. Historically, 55 percent of New York's poll workers are over the age of 60, making them especially vulnernable to the pandemic. With nine days of Early Voting and Election Day voting from 6 am – 9 pm at the many poll sites across the county, the need for more poll workers is clear. It is a paid gig; training is paid too. Training is going on right now. You can sign up here. If you have questions, call the BOE at 518-828-3115 and speak with Diane or Erin.  

Help Flip the Senate

So You Live In New York State?
You Can Still Help in Critical Elections Nationwide.

There are so many opportunities available to ICNY Members to volunteer and make a real difference in the upcoming elections.  In addition to volunteering to make telephone calls, texting, and writing postcards to voters in support of Joe Biden in the Presidential race, there are many opportunities to assist in flipping the US Senate from red to blue.  

Currently the Republicans hold a 53 to 47 majority in the Senate.  In order to establish a Democratic majority, the Democrats must secure a net increase of 4 seats.  If the Democrats fail to secure a net increase of 4 seats, but increase their number in the Senate by a net 3 seats, resulting in a 50-50 tie in the Senate, the Vice President would vote to break the tie on legislation and other matters.   Assuming Joe Biden is elected President, and Kamala Harris becomes the Vice President, a net increase of 3 seats would enable the Democrats to control the Senate.   Clearly, Democrats must must aim for a net increase of at least 4 seats.

The election map is favorable to Democrats this year.  Although, the Democrats have one seat that appears to be in jeopardy (Doug Jones in Alabama), there are many Senate seats currently held by Republicans that appear now to “lean Democratic” or are toss ups.  

Arizona.   Recent polling indicates that Democrat Mark Kelly leads the incumbent Republican opponent (Martha McSally) by between 5 and 7 points among likely voters.  Out of state volunteer opportunities can be found at The Kelly campaign has a well organized, active out of state volunteer program. 

Colorado.   Democrat John Hickenlooper is leading incumbent Republican Cory Gardner by between 5 and 10 percentage points in recent polling.  Volunteer opportunities can be found on the campaign website,  

Georgia. Democrat Jon Ossoff is  running neck and neck with his incumbent opponent Perdue.  Recent polling indicates that Ossoff may be up by 1% or down by 6%   Clearly volunteer help can make a huge difference in this race.   To volunteer contact  

Iowa.   Progressive Democrat Theresa Greenfield is running to unseat incumbent Joni Ernst.  You may have seen that Joni Ernst has repeated QAnon claims that the number of reported Covid deaths is inflated.   Most recent polling indicates that, after Mitch McConnell has pumped millions of dollars into the race, Theresa Greenfield may be trailing by as much as 5 points.  Previously she was ahead in the polls by 3 percent.  Volunteer opportunities can be found at   You can make a real difference in the toss up election.
Join Your Neighbors for Biden

Join your Columbia County neighbors and friends to phonebank for Joe.  Destiny Hallenbeck, President - College Democrats of New York has set up a special local Zoom site for all of us to use.  We'll get trained, if necessary, during the Zoom call, then use our phones to support Joe.  Email Destiny here for more information or the zoom link.  It's fun, it's social, and it's the election of our lives!

Upstate NY Weekly Phone Banking
Can't make our local Monday phone banking party?  How's Thursday?

Want a way to help in swing states without leaving your house?

Biden–Harris Phone Banking,
Lawn Signs and More


Upstate NY Weekly Phone Banking
Every Thursday, 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Weekly phone banks feature campaign updates, guest speakers and fun! A great opportunity to be inspired by a community of good people committed to electing Joe and Kamala.

New York for Biden-Harris is the official group dedicated to mobilizing volunteers, voters, and donors across New York State in support of the national campaign. They are building a massive virtual phone bank, text bank, and postcard writing capacity to reach Democratic voters in swing states.  Join Upstate New Yorkers as we help Joe and Kamala take back the soul of our nation.
Next Event: Thursday, September 24, 6:30 pm

To phone bank for Joe and Kamala sign up here.

There is plenty more you can do. Phone bank on other days and times more suited to your schedule, write postcards and texts. Join the social media army. Sign up for the newsletter. For all this, go here.

Lawn Signs for Biden/Harris and other Candidates


To request lawn signs for candidates:  
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