The Taormina Firm Volunteers at the Urban League Food Drive
The Taormina Firm distributed mail-in-ballot applications and explained the mail-in-ballot process to people at the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis food drive on June 27, 2020.
A few weeks ago, Missouri passed a law allowing for voters to vote from home in the August primary and November election during the COVID-19 pandemic. To vote from home, one must apply for a mail-in-ballot with their local election authority by July 22nd. Once the election authority receives the application, they will process it and send mail-in-ballots for those who seek to vote safely and securely at home. But, there is a catch. If you are under 65 and not at-risk for contracting the virus, that mail-in-ballot must be notarized or it will not be counted.
To help spread the word about the mail-in-ballot process, I have been working closely with other members of the Young Lawyers' Division of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, along with other community organizations, to organize notary drive-throughs before the August and November elections. Our priority is to focus on communities of color since studies show that those communities are the hardest hit by the pandemic.
So, on Saturday, June 27th, members of the BAMSL YLD task-force, including myself, went to the Urban League of St. Louis food drive to distribute mail-in-ballot applications to those interested in voting from home. The Urban League handed out some 5,000 boxes of food to those at the food drive. We thought it was a perfect opportunity to spread the word about the new mail-in-ballot law in Missouri.
Starting at 10:00 a.m., we went from car to car to discuss how best to vote from home. While many people told me that they wished to vote in person, we distributed mail-in-ballot applications, and discussed how to vote from home, to about 800 people. It was an amazing and rewarding experience. Everyone I talked with was so engaged, so pumped up for the upcoming elections, and so thankful for the work the BAMSL YLD task-force was undertaking. It is incredible what people can do when they organize and work together.
If you are interested in helping out, or want to learn how you can get involved, here are a few resources for you. First, the BAMSL YLD task-force will be back at the Urban League to distribute mail-in-ballot applications on July 11, 2020 starting at 10:00 a.m. We will then be at Cardinal Ritter College Prep on July 18th to notarize mail-in-ballots, and again on July 25th at Friendly Temple church. We are expecting to expand our reach in the coming weeks. If you would like to volunteer to help, here is a link to sign up: https://www.bamsl.org/index.cfm?pg=events&evAction=showDetail&eid=84211&evSubAction=listAll&fbclid=IwAR28EXkriTfnjBpiNPhmhZoC91fI86OkTrq_vO7f-BydGu4l2Pm0tdagSSw.
To learn more about the mail-in-ballot process, please see this helpful chart published by the Missouri Voter Protection Coalition: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1TEt8YDdD4w2JQfqK3vd5J-9eUffzCKke/view.