Seed the Vote has been active in supporting in-person canvassing as a key electoral strategy for the 2020 elections, even though we are in the midst of a pandemic. This work – to remove Trump from office, and now to attempt to remove McConnell from his seal – is essential to preserving public health and human life in this pandemic, protecting workers, and ultimately enabling us to move towards progressive change in this country. It is essential work. And, we would not be supporting this work if we didn’t feel like it could be done with minimal risk to you and the communities where we are canvassing.
With the rising number of cases and hospitalizations related to COVID-19 across the country and the holidays coming up, public health officials have rightfully been urging more vigilance and issuing more restrictive orders to protect public health and human life. The policies and practices vary from state to state, even from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, so it is incumbent upon each volunteer to understand the specific restrictions and requirements for their situation. It is also important to take into account your risk profile as well as those who you may regularly be in contact with when making the decision to travel to Georgia to support voter mobilization efforts.
Here is some general guidance and practices we are asking everyone to adhere to at this time:
- ESSENTIAL TRAVEL: Even in the most restricted areas, like the San Francisco Bay Area, travel for work and political activities is not prohibited at this time. The recent Travel Advisory against “non-essential travel” by CA DPH defines that travel as “travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature.” Electoral work is essential. That said, we urge every volunteer to consider whether traveling makes sense for them at this time.
- QUARANTINE BEFORE THE TRIP: If you decide to go, please consider quarantining as long as possible before the trip. This will help reduce your risk of exposure before your trip.
- SAFETY DURING THE TRIP: We have developed a set of guidelines and protocols meant to reduce the risk for volunteers and those they come in contact with during your canvass trip. Please follow them with vigilance to protect everyone involved in this project.
- QUARANTINE AFTER THE TRIP: After returning home from the trip, please self-quarantine for 14 days or follow the guidelines provided by your local public health officials. Some states (like New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and others) allow you “test out” of their quarantine requirement early, by taking a Covid test before you return and again after you get back. Check your state health department website.
COVID-19 TESTING: Availability of COVID-19 testing varies across the country. The time it takes to get results also varies. Depending on the type of access to testing you may have, you may consider getting tested before your trip, upon arrival in Georgia, before departing Georgia and upon your return home. One of our partners, Mijente PAC, has specifically requested that volunteers get tested shortly before canvassing with them.
CANCELLING YOUR TRIP: If you decide to cancel your trip, we totally understand. Even if you cannot travel to Georgia, there are meaningful ways for you to contribute. That includes phone banking and raising money for our partners. Please inform us as early as possible through firstname.lastname@example.org if you decide to change your plans.
MAKING PLANS: If you are ready to make plans to join our in-person effort in Georgia, please continue to do so here.