How to prevent Election Day regret

Carpe democracy.

Asha Dornfest
Sep 8, 2018 · 4 min read

I just returned from dropping my son off at college out of state. This last year I consciously set aside a large part of my time and energy for supporting him as he prepared to leave. Well, he’s done it! And so have I. The space which was occupied by his launch is now open.

For the next 58 days, I’m filling that space working to ELECT DEMOCRATS IN 2018 and inspiring my fellow citizens to do the same.

Here’s what I’ve been up to:

That does NOT mean I’ll eat, breathe and sleep politics. Balance is essential to my health and relationships. But within those boundaries, I am committed to doing everything I can to turn the House and Senate blue, and keep a Democrat in the Oregon Governor’s seat.

On November 9, 2016, and in the weeks that followed, many of us were heartbroken, scared, angry, and drowned by chaos. We wanted to DO something for our country, for our communities, but we weren’t sure what to do.

What to do is now crystal clear.

Every day until November 6, 2018, we must work to get Democrats elected. In the House. In the Senate. In state and local governments across the country.

In case that’s not specific enough, I am challenging every single one of you reading this to commit to doing one or more of the activities listed at the end of this piece.

It’s not hyperbole to say our country and democracy are threatened. We are at a dangerous juncture, and this election will be a turning point either way.

Truth: If we fail to secure a Democratic majority in the House on November 6, you will feel crushed with regret for sitting this out.

There can be no bystanders or passive readers now. Each of us must dig deeper and DO SOMETHING. No excuses. Till November 6, 2018.

If you’ve already been doing something: Thank you. Do a little more. (See links at the end of this piece.)

If you’ve been unsure about what to do: Sign up NOW to phone bank and/or knock on doors for a Democratic candidate. (See links at the end of this piece.)

No excuses. Saying “but I don’t feel comfortable doing that” is no longer an option. None of us feels comfortable doing it until we’ve tried it once. Find a date and make it work.

Truth: We’re not going to flip the House and Senate by prioritizing our own comfort.

Of course, there are no guarantees. But our chance of turning our country around increases with every single person who takes action. We need YOU.

This is it, friends. This is our moment. Let’s seize it.

Carpe Democracy.

What to do now (commit to one or more)

Links below lead to respected organizations that will give you the support you need to get involved. Thanks to Ali King, President and co-founder of NWGSD, for pulling together the original version of this list.

Make phone calls.

This is how elections are won, and you can do it from home. Sign up for a virtual phone bank, or find your local Indivisible group for info about phone banking opportunities in your town.

Knock on doors (also known as canvassing).

One-on-one conversations change hearts and minds. NO EXCUSES. Search for an event on Swing Left, or find your local Indivisible group for info about canvassing opportunities.

Register voters.

Note: Check your state’s voter registration deadline first.
Register voters outside the grocery store, at a local high school or college campus…anywhere. Anyone can do this. Check out the voter registration toolkit at


Instead of going out to dinner or to a movie, donate the money you would have spent to a candidate’s campaign. (Swing Left’s District Fund divides donations equally among Democratic House candidates who need it most.)

Write letters to the editor of your local paper.

The voices of regular citizens carry real weight, especially in local channels. Letters to the editor can be brief but powerful…and influential.

Volunteer on the weekend before Election Day.

Elections can turn the final hours before Election Day. Sign up to volunteer on the Last Weekend.

Help your friends and family vote.

You have the biggest influence over those who already know and trust you. Talk to your friends, neighbors, and family about voting. Remind them their votes matter, and that elections are sometimes won by a single vote. Drive someone to the polls or offer to drop their ballot off (if you are in a vote-by-mail state).

Share this post with your friends.

If what I’ve said resonates with you, please pass it on. Thank you.

This call to action is dedicated to my friend, Angela Ingermann. I carry you with me. Rest in peace.

Asha Dornfest

Written by

Author of PARENT HACKS, co-author of MINIMALIST PARENTING and co-host of the Edit Your Life podcast.