Postcards to Voters

October 19, 2020

As part of my evolution into baby activist, I have been writing with Postcards to Voters for over two years now. (I signed up in October 2018, which is another reason I’m happy I keep a blog.) And while we are creeping up to the point where it might be too late to send a postcard now for the November 3 election, postcard campaigns are sent year-round for Democratic* candidates. No matter who wins the presidency, the fight for everyone in the US to be safe, loved, and warm never stops. If Trump wins, we push on Congress and downballot Democrats to take action. If Biden wins, we push him leftward.

It’s said that people become more conservative as they age. This Bush ’00 and McCain ’08 voter is turning into a glorious, mouthy hippie in her dotage and I’m loving it!

Here’s a little overview of what goes into writing the postcards.

If you’re a complete beginner, sign up on the website and follow the directions to be approved. I had to write a sample postcard and email a photo in. It took less an a day for them to get back to me and approve me to write. There are various ways to request a list of addresses. I use PtV’s Slack environment and print out the text file that I receive. You can request as few as 5 addresses. I write 15 at a time.

Here’s my protest folio. It’s a bridesmaid gift that I received from Kristen and John’s wedding. The pins were bought by me or by WM over the years.

a fabric folio with sassy political pins on it

In the before times, I use to bring it with me to work on Fridays and write during breakfast and lunch. It holds everything I need: blank postcards, postcard stamps, pens, and the address list. Postcard stamps are 35 cents each, and you can even order them online if you’re tired of your post office looking at you weird when you order multiple books.

opened folio, showing postcards, stamps, pen
Yes, I bought a roll of postcard stamps so I can divide them into strips of 15.

For each campaign you’ll be given three sentences that MUST go on each postcard word-for-word, as well as background information about the candidate(s) and sentiments that you can choose to personalize your card. You are NOT given the voter’s name and are not to use your own full name. We’re spreading positive messages, not opening ourselves up to stalking.

I draw out the approximate size of the postcard’s message area on a piece of paper and do a test run to make sure all of the info I want to send along fits.

rough draft of a postcard message
If you’re worried about your handwriting being bad, this is what mine looks like and I was approved.

And then I get to writing. If I am not distracting myself with devices or television it takes me a little more than an hour to write and address 15 postcards. When I’m finished, I highlight the most important bits, apply the stamps and drop them into the nearest mailbox.

final written postcards
Finally the postcard is addressed, stamped, and the relevant parts highlighted.

These postcards are from CCLemonStudio. You can make your own if you’re artsy, but Etsy has many different designs to choose from.

It’s easy and it makes a difference. Because the fight for safe, loved, and warm will not end on January 20, 2021, no matter who wins.

* If you don’t know that I’m voting Democratic I’m not sure where you’ve been for the last eight years.
** Kerry in ’04. Win some, lose some.

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