Islanders push to boost voter turnout

Group plans to mail 17,500 postcards to voters

One of the designs for the signs Keep Democracy Alive is putting up. —Courtesy Keep Democracy Alive

Eight Vineyard organizations have joined forces to form Keep Democracy Alive, a nonpartisan effort to increase voter turnout on both the Island and the mainland in the November elections. 

Bob Reardon, a member of Martha’s Vineyard Black Lives Matter and a trustee of the Martha’s Vineyard Diversity Coalition, said the alliance will focus on boosting turnout for the presidential election and will dissolve soon after, “maybe to be resurrected two or three years later.”

Rita Brown, the president of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Martha’s Vineyard and a former president of the NAACP of Martha’s Vineyard, said the alliance was working with a group called Reclaim Our Vote to gather information on voters’ top concerns to persuade them to cast ballots.

In addition to erecting signs on the Island, the alliance will mail postcards to encourage voter turnout in what Brown called “underserved communities.” Many of these areas are in Georgia, Arizona, and other swing states. 

Weekly postcard-writing parties will start on June 3. Brown said the goal is to mail out 17,500 postcards by November.

The alliance formed for the first time because members believe the 2024 elections will be critical to preserving the country’s democracy. 

Reardon said many people don’t plan to vote because they don’t approve of either President Joseph Biden or former President Donald Trump. 

But Brown argued that reproductive rights and education are on the line, and said voters need to make their voices heard through the polls. “That is what’s driving us to work together, to multiply our effects and … get out the vote,” Brown said. 

Keep Democracy Alive supports traditional Democratic issues, including protecting reproductive rights, ending gun violence, and making healthcare access a right. But Reardon said the alliance is not backing any party or candidate. 

“We feel strongly that none of those issues belong exclusively to one party,” he said. 

More information can be found at


  1. Are we really supposed to believe that this is a non partisan get out the vote? They are mailing post cards to swing states that Biden is jeopardy of losing pushing traditional democratic issues saying that if you don’t vote for these issues Democracy will end. Why the gaslighting? So disingenuous. I would be interested if either person mentioned in this article would help Trump voters get their vote counted.

    But I do agree that the fascist left is a threat to democracy. I would like the freedom to drive the car of my choice, cook my food the way I see fit, heat my home with safe reliable fuel, protect myself and family with a peacekeeper, not having school children indoctrinated into inappropriate behaviors, run my AC as long as I want to keep comfortable and the freedom to do with my body as I see fit. Yes, a closed border, smaller government and lower taxes.

    Our country was better 4 years ago, lower gas prices, inflation below 2%, less violent crime, better border security, food prices 20% lower, mortgage rates 3% and less wars. Facts.

    The best way to make housing affordable is to reduce your expenses. Add up all the taxes you spend on income taxes, property taxes, sales tax, taxes on cable, gas, electricity, real estate rental, resort tax, healthcare, (Supreme Court ruled Obama care a tax), capital gains, dinner out and the list goes on. Reduce these and you will keep enough of your hard earned money to buy a house.

    • Carl, the oil barons and oligarchs are using every trick in the book 📕 to convince conservatives to support Trump, even though he has several (nearly 100) criminal charges against him. The oil companies can see the writing on the wall: when people install their own solar panels on their own homes, and drive an electric car, the oil companies are going to lose about $10,000 to $20,000 per family in oil sales! No other industry is so pervasive in our lives (if you know of a different industry that is more pervasive, please enlighten me). Think of what it will mean when electricity is essentially FREE!
      Please vote against the oil barons.

    • That would be $10,000 to $20,000 PER YEAR!
      Get your solar panels now and exit the grid. The sooner you invest, the sooner your own electricity is free.

  2. BLM and DEI are passé. Both of these social justice groups have been accused of corruption and bigotry. Every individual should be treated based on meritocracy. You are what you earn by hard work. There is no free lunch. Work hard, save and invest to be a success.

    • MAGAs have been accused of corruption, and White Nationalism.
      Not to mention the Oath keepers, the 3 Percenters and Q-anon.
      Did RFK get what he has by hard work?

  3. The island is filled with one-person or few-people organizations. This article makes it seem like a movement because “8” organizations have combined efforts, but this work has been going on for years from many of the same characters. Here’s a question to ask yourself: have the electoral results gotten any better in recent history, or are one party’s scare tactics that we better vote for them or else just getting old and tired? Rather than these island groups focusing on populations far from the island, why not focus on local issues? The island can’t even keep good teachers due to lack of affordable housing. Why must these “allies” obsess over how other communities operate while our own local quality of life continues to deteriorate? Many working class folks need to commute from off the island so these “allies” with their overpriced homes can hold on to their wealth, all while telling “underserved communities” who to vote for. I’m sorry, but I don’t need “do-gooder” allies sending me postcards reminding me to vote for a president who has supported genocide. Their priorities seem misplaced, and their tactics feel patronizing and out-of-touch with the real, pressing needs of our community.

    • Arthur– Which president and what “genocide” are you talking about ?
      I can only assume you mean that you don’t need postcards reminding you to
      vote for trump, who clearly supports the ongoing genocide in Ukraine,
      and Biden doesn’t.
      But, some here could take your comment the wrong way.
      The postcard, after all, does not endorse either a former or current president.

  4. I wouldn’t call the left the “Fascist” Left.
    I equate fascism with the extreme right. Such as Hitler and Mussolini.

    • That’s incorrect. You’ve been gaslit. Fascism is a far-left philosophy, and along with Nazism and Communism, are a failed attempt to turn the philosophy of socialism into a functioning government.

      In fact, the only thing Hitler had in common with today’s right, was his disdain for alternative sexualities, which isn’t even the entire right.

    • Those who use the phrase “Fascist left” usually have no clue what Fascism is. They sure as hell didn’t major in political science. 😉
      When the Fascists came to power in Italy and Germany one of their first moves was to imprison or kill leftists.

  5. Re “But Brown argued that reproductive rights and education are on the line, and said voters need to make their voices heard through the polls. ”

    Nonpartisan? An organization that” supports Democratic issues” is not nonpartisan.

    I would say that the influx of migrants at the southern border and elsewhere is on people’s minds, and voters need to make their voices heard through the polls.

    Actually, freedom of speech and calling a halt to sending billions of dollars out of the country to fight wars in foreign adventures and support an absurd number of foreign military bases while our own infrastructure crumbles are also on the line and voters need to make their voices heard at the polls.

    As for education, I think reading-between-the-lines Times readers can recognize that this refers, among other things, to the struggle over and politicization of control over books that end up in SCHOOL libraries (note: AFAIK this controversy is about SCHOOL libraries, not public libraries).

    I had noticed that a few of these “Save our democracy” signs had popped up in some yards about town. I immediately inferred the “dogwhistle” message here: a vote for Donald Trump or other Republicans is anti-democracy.

    This organization’s temporary nature suggests that it actually is a campaign organization.

    Actually, the main genuinely nonpartisan reason for everyone to vote for some candidate—don’t forget that Dr. Jill Stein is a candidate for president—is that the more votes are cast (assuming, of course, just one vote per registered voter), the clearer and less vulnerable to any sorts of massaging the results will be.

    • Katherine– The only time I think about the influx of migrants at
      the southern border is when I see all the “help wanted” signs in
      front of stores and restaurants. Too bad that the paranoia whipped up
      by the guy who has stated he will be a dictator on day one and lock
      up his opponents can actually infest the minds of xenophobic people.
      But i do have to agree with you about one thing. A vote for the guy who
      wants us to have a “unified reich”, want’s complete immunity from any crime
      that he might commit while in or out of office, has vowed to lock up his
      political opponents, defund the DOE, the EPA, the FBI, the DOJ and various
      other agencies is a vote against democracy.
      And some of his lemmings actually believe the dog whistle that there are more than
      a handful of dead people who vote, or live people who TRIED to vote more
      than once.
      note that this article mentions one case where a trump supporter
      voted for trump after she died.

      • Help wanted signs? That’s the only time? Really. Wow that’s wild you need to get out more. Like a trip to America

        • jerome– I live in America–On MV— I occasionally travel to see my brothers in N.J or my daughter and her children in Maine. So let me ask you, when do you think about migrants ? Perhaps when you hear some story about some immigrant committing a crime ? Well, welcome to the real world– immigrants are less likely to commit a serious crime than U.S born citizens:
          How about if you take a trip to America ???
          I have been running a construction company on this island for decades.
          With few exceptions the “immigrants” I have employed have been my best employees.
          I understand— the right wing xenophobic trump cultist have a different
          point of view— But just because they are drinking the Kool-Aid
          does not make their xenophobic and racist opinions right.
          Unemployment is currently at historically low rates –
          look at the help wanted ads on this publication — come on– some businesses need employees– some people need work. maybe you need to get out more..
          And excuse me for using the right wing trope– but might i suggest that you get out of your mom’s basement and take a look at the real world…

          • Keller believes that when the unemployment rate drops we need more workers so open the flood gates and let them in. Illegal is a technicality. Open the prisons Keller and let them work when demand is lower than supply. Great formula. Bring 1000 Houthis to the island and solve the work problem.

          • What does your employing immigrants have anything to do with the illegal migrant influx?

          • You’re lucky this newspaper does not allow personal attacks in these comments. Or object to antisemitic lies. Your comments would be less than one sentence long if the rules were acctually applied to hypocrites and fascist liberals who dehumanize and attempt to humiliate those who call out lies and hypocrisy. But it’s still fun to read when you write you’re “all about love”.

    • Katherine, our military operations around the world are not “adventure.” All of the people I know who deploy outside the United States see it as a sacrifice to protect Freedom for you and me. They cry and long to spend time with their family. I know one single mom who deployed who had to find long-term childcare for her baby. It wasn’t fun for her. Every day was heartache. Please be more sympathetic to the real-life sacrifices that our military people make for us.
      To all of you reading this who are in the military, THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!!

    • Speaking of massaging results who won the 2020 Electoral College vote?
      Popular vote?
      By massaging the election results are you accusing people of actual criminal behavior (do you have names)?
      Were the Island results ‘massaged’?
      The State?
      Just three very close swing states?

      • Thank you Mary.
        Those who want to be led by a dictator have absolutely no idea what they are wishing for, and their children and grandchildren are going to not breathe the air and find fresh water or speak freely under a tyrant. I don’t understand why they don’t just move their families to Russia or China and enjoy the dictatorship.

        • Brenda, there is a conservative family that did move to Russia: they found out pretty quickly that if you criticize the government, someone in the government will knock on your door.
          In Russia’s last election, some neighborhoods had assisted voting with armed guards. Not voting isn’t allowed.
          In the US we have safe and accurate voting—and if you choose not to vote, no one knocks down your door forcing you to vote.

    • Actually
      The amount of immigrants that are showing up at the border is at an all-time low level of 45%
      Unless you watch faux newz (aka entertainment tv)
      I again want to remind everyone that you are a child of immigrants even if distant so watch what race you despise 🤔 as it may be your own grandmother and grandfather.

  6. Are these tax payer dollars paying for this nonsense in a state that always votes the same way. If so it is another waste of tax money if not go and mail all you want. I love to see liberals waste their own money for a change instead of in my pocket.

    • Bob, yet another disappointing comment. There was absolutely nothing in the article about the effort being taxpayer funded.
      Comment section etiquette: Read article before commenting, it is very becoming.
      I love to see the Islands little band of ‘Conservatives’ being so foolish.

  7. Let’s face it, IF male genitalia and functions or necessary assistance were being held hostage or taken away by a female majority
    Not taking you or your family and friends rights are being taken away by your Republican Party and you just treat this like one big practical joke.
    The question in front of us IS
    WHAT RIGHTS ARE YOU WILLING TO TAKE AWAY FROM YOUR children and grandchildren (females mostly) ?

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