Voting has never felt more important. The problem is, for all the encouragement to get out and vote, there has been equal discouragement and misinformation floating around. Former Georgia House Rep Stacey Abrams’s Fair Fight organization is on the front lines educating voters about the elections and their rights. And she has the unwavering support of Portland-connected indie rock band Death Cab for Cutie behind her.
Abrams started her organization to promote fair elections in Georgia after narrowly losing the 2018 gubernatorial race to Brian Kemp in an election with rampant voter suppression. She has since taken it nationally, dedicating her career to enlighten the public on the many misconceptions Americans have on their voting rights and eligibility. The Pacific Northwest band, eager to fundraise for a voting-related cause, recently turned their online merchandise store into a virtual charity with proceeds helping Fair Fight directly.
The experience, which ended days ago, raised much more than anticipated. Portlander Dave Depper, guitarist and keyboardist for Death Cab (and solo artist whose new album Europa comes out in January), says he was proud of how well things went. “People could buy things like [lead singer] Ben [Gibbard] calling them up on Zoom to play ‘I Will Follow You Into The Dark,’ or Jason, our amazing drummer, giving private lessons,” Depper says. Everyone who spent money during the fundraiser was entered into raffle to receive a private concert from the band.
The band were huge fans of Abrams. When they all sat down for a video call together, they found out she was a long-time fan of theirs as well. “She asked us all to introduce ourselves just so she could say she’s now friends with us,” Depper says. “During our chat with Stacey, she said the most important thing anyone can do is have a plan to vote. It almost seems too simple, but she emphasized it’s easily the most vital action to take.”
Abrams also told them that Fair Fight is constantly recruiting volunteers to be on the ground come election day to help others navigate the system and to combat any self-appointed poll-watchers trying to intimidate the public. As for Oregon, whose vote by mail system doesn’t draw out illegal poll-watchers, you still need to make a plan to vote—make sure you're registered at your current address.
If you want to play a direct part in combatting voter suppression, visit Fair Fight to get involved.