Joy to the Polls wants to support voters in line at the polls
People are out in record numbers to cast their ballots early this year, and as news of long lines and hours-long waiting makes the headlines, people are finding unique ways to stay entertained and a video of a group dancing in line to vote in Philadelphia is going viral on Twitter.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Election Defenders are a group that, among other things, wants to support voters waiting in line at the polls. How do they do this you may be asking? By launching a nationwide “Joy to the Polls” effort that kicked off on Saturday in Philadelphia — and it involves some serious singing and dancing while waiting in line to vote.
The group partnered local artists and traveled around to early-voting locations to provide musical entertainment and much-needed distractions for those standing in long lines. The results were nothing short of glorious.
“A whole mood! The joyful defiance of dancing in line at the polls in a “f*** 2020” Tshirt is what voting in 2020 looks like! Nothing and no one is getting in the way of our joy and our vote!” Resistance Revival Chorus wrote alongside a dancin’ video at the polls that went viral and was reposted all over Twitter.
Election Defenders is more than just entertainment. According to their website, the group “will be working to provide safe supports for voting (such as PPE and water), and election and voter defense, de-escalating white supremacist intimidation tactics and signaling to a network of groups and lawyers if and where trouble breaks out.”
It’s not just the early voters who get the joy of spending time with the group, this joyful group will be back on Election Day.
“There has been so much coverage and social media that has been focused on white supremacists, militias, intimidation tactics, aggressive electioneering…We’re figuring we can do something for the voters,” said Nelini Stamp, campaign director for Election Defenders, also told the Inquirer. “We are here for the voters to motivate them, to stop the demobilization efforts, and bring some joy and love and happiness to people while they wait for a really long time on line.”
Stamp said not only is the goal to bring joy to those voting in this upcoming election but to change the narrative and focus away from the negative dialogue happening around voting in 2020. And yes, voter suppression is real and waiting for hours to vote should not even be a reality, but sadly, that’s our reality, so if the lines are deterring voters but the dancing is enticing people to stay and vote, then that’s a positive thing and with only nine days until the election, our country needs to do whatever it can to incentivize voters.
Voting is a right, and one that should be celebrated — now more than ever. This is the kind of movement we should all be celebrating. Here’s hoping this catches on throughout the country because we need this kind of energy to carry us until November 3.
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