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Thread: Use Your Pens, Make A Difference!

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Use Your Pens, Make A Difference!

    This post primarily applies to the members who are US citizens, regarding our upcoming election...

    For many reasons, I've wanted to combine my urgent need to be involved in our upcoming election as well as get some use out of my fountain pens. I had already done some research but a friend found at least 3 projects using hand-written appeals to voters. I settled on Vote Forward.

    This is a non-partisan, non-agenda voter encouragement campaign. You sign up and when approved (weeding out bots), you decide how many voters to 'adopt', in groups of 5 and 20. You start by selecting one of a handful of states where the election is looking to be close. Once done (I'll use an example of 5), you get a 5 page pdf, one letter per page. Each has the recipients name and address. You are only adding one personal addition to the letter, a couple of sentences why you think voting is so important and encouraging their participation. Once written and signed, you address the envelope (return addresses are to a mail account in that state for them to track, you are always anonymous), put the letter in and add a stamp. All are held until Oct. 17 and mailed on that day.

    They have done quite a bit of research on lead time and when it is best to get to the addressee, and this time window seems to be the most effective (and taking into slower USPS delivery). Data points to not a giant surge from people who get these, but a statistically significant up-tick in participation. In the state I live, the main election is already decided, and I have felt very frustrated at seeing something so important get decided far away from me with no way to become involved in a positive way. Keep in mind that you will pick up the tab for supplies and postage, and will need a way to print out the letters. Full info at the site.

    So, give it a thought - there are 24 days left. Each letter only takes a couple minutes and you can do as few as 5 or as many as you want. All without pushing a party, candidate or issue, just encouraging people to exercise their right to vote. I'm using a late-30s Sheaffer OS Balance, and I feel I'm bringing it back into action at a critical time.

    Again, it's Vote Forward - https://votefwd.org/

    Thanks for your consideration! May the pen be mightier than the robocall!!
    Last edited by Jon Szanto; September 23rd, 2020 at 05:46 PM.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Use Your Pens, Make A Difference!

    Epilogue to this note:

    Today is the Big Mail Day. People from across the country are bundling up all the letters they have prepared, encouraging fellow citizens to make their voices heard at the ballot box, and dropping them off at the post office. I took mine in late yesterday as they have short hours today. As the campaign stands this morning, over 16.2 million letters have been written by individuals, reaching out to others. I enjoyed using an old pen to do this, and it was a perfect partner, always performing perfectly.

    Now, back to letter-writing to my friends!
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Senior Member azkid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Use Your Pens, Make A Difference!

    Sent a stack in, myself, today. Used some pens that had been languishing. Mostly addressed with a Jinhao 8802 and Noodler's Air Corps Blue-Black. Letters written with a few different blues, but PR DC Supershow in a Metropolitan did half of em.

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    Default Re: Use Your Pens, Make A Difference!

    So, they are sending you the names and address of people who have no say about whether you should have their address?

    This is the sort of reason why I've never in my adult life received mail at my residence.

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    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Use Your Pens, Make A Difference!

    Quote Originally Posted by Brilliant Bill View Post
    So, they are sending you the names and address of people who have no say about whether you should have their address? This is the sort of reason why I've never in my adult life received mail at my residence.
    Wow. On the days that I walk to my roadside mailbox and find no personal letters or postcards, I feel rather disappointed. (Routine business and junk mail don't count for much.)

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Use Your Pens, Make A Difference!

    Quote Originally Posted by Brilliant Bill View Post
    So, they are sending you the names and address of people who have no say about whether you should have their address?

    This is the sort of reason why I've never in my adult life received mail at my residence.
    Vote Forward is simply sharing publicly accessible information; I don't know if it is their residence, though I assume that is the case. The recipient is certainly free to take my effort and my $0.55 postage and throw it in the trash. I'm hoping that some people will notice a hand-addressed envelope and consider the contents, from one concerned citizen. Whether it gives rise to any particular action, I can't say, but I can hope.

    Don't worry, I have no interest in sending you anything.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Use Your Pens, Make A Difference!

    A final follow-up to this, from an email sent out today by the organizers of the Vote Forward project:

    While we won't know the full impact until some time after the election is over, we wanted to share some topline numbers now. Here they are, as of this writing:

    • Total letters written: 17,484,276
    • Total volunteers writing letters: 182,331
    • Value of stamps purchased, supporting USPS: $9.6 million
    • Percent of prepared letters confirmed sent so far: 93%

    I liked using a couple of favorite pens and ink to feel less unimportant in this critical moment. If nothing else, we personally renew our belief in the handwritten word and it's importance in communicating to other people. I hope that never ceases to be the case.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    FPG Donor ♕ KrazyIvan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Use Your Pens, Make A Difference!

    I think my daughter received one of these handwritten letters.
    Fountain Pen Sith Lord | Daakusaido | inktronics blog | Twitter | Instagram

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    Default Re: Use Your Pens, Make A Difference!

    I don't know how many will be able to access this, but The New York Times has done a story about this..

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/28/u...e=most-popular

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    azkid (October 28th, 2020), Jon Szanto (October 28th, 2020)

  19. #10
    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Use Your Pens, Make A Difference!

    Quote Originally Posted by Brilliant Bill View Post
    I don't know how many will be able to access this, but The New York Times has done a story about this.
    Thanks, Bill. I've been busy this morning so hadn't browsed the NYT yet. Great to catch the article, will share with friends on FB.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Senior Member azkid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Use Your Pens, Make A Difference!

    Here's the article on outline.com if you can't see it on nyt site:

    https://outline.com/cZT7fz

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  22. #12
    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Use Your Pens, Make A Difference!

    Quote Originally Posted by azkid View Post
    Here's the article on outline.com if you can't see it on nyt site:
    THAT is a very cool service, so thanks for posting (bookmarked Outline).
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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