1. Update
  2. Voting & Elections

Fierce Love for a Vote that Our Lives Depend On

By Diane Randall, October 29, 2020

It is thrilling that by the time of Election Day—Tuesday, November 3—nearly 100 million people are expected to have voted already, including an unprecedented number of voters who are young and voters who have skipped other elections. This is not entirely unexpected given what is at stake at this time in our country.

It’s thrilling to see full participation of people exercising their right to vote. Even as we see images and hear reports of long lines at polling places; even as we read about states and localities that have made it more difficult to cast a ballot by suppressing the vote, we recognize the fierce determination of people who are willing to wait and willing to endure difficulty in order to vote and have their votes count.

A new banner hangs from the FCNL building.

A new banner hangs from the FCNL building. Matthew Paul D'Agostino / FCNL

On FCNL’s building on Capitol Hill, the banner reads: Vote. Our democracy depends on it. But it could have also said: Vote. Our lives, our livelihoods, and our planet depend on it. People know this.

They know this because of the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The signs are everywhere in its impact on families and communities—early deaths, lingering health problems, continued risk of infection, and economic fallout. Millions of people face an uncertain future—people who have lost jobs, health care, and confidence.

Americans are looking for a future that requires political leaders to boldly respond to the devastating consequences of climate change; that asks political leaders to reckon with the injustices of our history that are manifest in systemic racism; and that moves our country’s foreign policy away from endless wars.

As we enter this final weekend of voting, we also come into a time of expectant waiting to learn the results after November 3. The patient waiting is essential as every vote is counted and fully reported. It could take days for all votes to be counted, and resolutions to the challenges of the results could take weeks longer. This is a time of watching and speaking out for the election system that is fundamental to our democracy. It is a time to listen to trusted sources of information, not rumors or misinformation spread on social media.

While this election has huge consequences, regardless of the outcome, we relish the opportunity for continuous civic engagement by lobbying for federal policies to create a more just and peaceful world. FCNL’s persistent and hopeful advocacy for specific legislation that bends the arc of history toward justice needs every person to stay engaged.

We are living in a time of epic change. I believe that the will of people for a society with equity and justice will prevail.

Our lobbyists are already developing strategies for what we will work for as this session of Congress ends. Moreover, we’re planning for how we’ll press forward on our legislative priorities with a newly elected 117th Congress starts in January.

We are living in a time of epic change. I believe that the will of people for a society with equity and justice will prevail; that the organizing, agitating, voting, and lobbying by millions of people—to reverse climate change; to end the racially unjust policies of policing, incarceration, detention, deportation; to dismantle the militarist and racist structures that hold up our foreign and domestic policies—will bring us closer to the world we seek. I believe this and all we are working for will happen.

We are all part of that change. May we live into it with hope and love.

Diane Randall

  • General Secretary

Diane Randall is the General Secretary of the Friends Committee on National Legislation. Diane leads FCNL’s staff to effectively educate and lobby for the policies and legislative priorities established by FCNL’s General Committee. A lifelong advocate for peace and social justice, Diane is a fierce proponent for citizen engagement that advances policies and practices to create a better society for all.