Protect voting rights with Bridget!

A fundraiser for ACLU of Delaware

$660 raised from 12 donors

$500 goal

I’m Bridget Everman.

I’m fundraising for ACLU of Delaware.

I believe everyone deserves access to the ballot and to have their vote count!

Those who know me know how passionate I've gotten about voting in recent years. It began when I lived in South Philly and was invited to a candidate forum for my district's state representative.  If I'm being honest, I agreed to go mainly because it was at a bar on taco night. If I'm being brutally honest, I had never thought much about elected officials beyond mayors, senators, and presidents up to that point. That night at the forum, one candidate's words resonated with me so much that I signed up to volunteer for her on the spot. I loved being a part of the campaign team and doing the outreach to get my community involved.

Then, eight days before the primary election, my husband landed in the ICU due to a brain hemorrhage. It rocked my world. I barely knew where I was, let alone what day it was. Four days before the election, it occurred to me that he and I would not be able to go to the polls to vote for this candidate I so firmly believed in and worked hard for. My amazing friend (who would later go on to run her own campaign focusing on voting rights) offered to help. She did the research on how to get an emergency ballot in the City of Philadelphia and, to make a long story short (too late), this exercise in frustration involved multiple trips to City Hall by both of us to pick up and return forms, tracking down the attending doctor for his signature, and in the end, I still had to return to City Hall to sit in front of a judge and plead my case for her to grant an emergency ballot for my husband. Camping out in my husband’s hospital room was not a good enough excuse to get an emergency ballot for me, so I had to run home on election day to vote in person. Thankfully, City Hall, home, and the hospital were all accessible to me by fast, reliable public transportation, and I have wonderful friends and family who supported us through that time. If we had lived hours from City Hall or did not have access to transportation, our voices would not have been heard in that election.  

I'm happy to say that my husband made a full recovery. Our candidate won that election and is currently serving her third consecutive term in the PA General Assembly. I suspect that her petition for candidacy for a fourth term was submitted this week (I'm writing this on Feb. 14, and yesterday was the deadline to submit petitions). She's doing great work, and I'm proud to have been on the team that won her first two elections.

Volunteering for that campaign and going through the ordeal of obtaining the emergency ballot taught me so much. I had always taken voting for granted because it was always easy for me. Not only did I have easy access to my polling locations, but I had a job that allowed me to take the time to go. I’ve learned that isn’t the case for everyone. Systems are intentionally put in place to make it difficult for certain groups of people to even get to the polls. People wait in line for hours, miss work, and get turned away for various reasons. Since then, I’ve been working with the ACLU and other non-partisan organizations writing letters and postcards to eligible voters all over the US and text-banking for every election.  I've also volunteered with the ACLU to be a poll watcher to make sure everyone who came into a polling place had their voice heard.

Our democratic process doesn’t work unless people are able to participate. The ACLU works tirelessly to expand access to the ballot through vote by mail options, expanded registration opportunities, and methods of voting for eligible incarcerated voters. The right to vote, and to have one’s vote counted accurately and fairly is a fundamental right of all American citizens — and one that underpins the rest of our civil liberties.

If you want to help remove barriers that prevent people from exercising their right to vote, donate to the ACLU of Delaware now!

The photo above was taken on election night in November 2018. In the center, wearing a black suit and blue top, is Elizabeth Fiedler, Representative for the 184th District in PA. I'm the short blond peeking out just over her left shoulder!

About ACLU of Delaware

Mission: This year, the ACLU of Delaware is prioritizing voting rights, education equity, justice reform, reproductive freedom, and systemic equality.

The mission of the ACLU of Delaware is to preserve and advance civil liberties and civil rights in the State of Delaware as enshrined in the United States and Delaware Constitutions through education and advocacy without consideration of political association.

For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has worked in courts, legislatures and communities to protect the constitutional rights of all people. With a nationwide network of offices and millions of members and supporters, we take up the toughest civil liberties fights. Beyond one person, party or side - we the people dare to create a more perfect union.