Be Prepared, But Don’t Be Scared, Ignore the Polls…and Vote!


I found this helpful guide on Twitter, posted by our valuable fellow blogger Tokyo Sand, who blogs at The FBI also offers assistance via its 56 local field offices: as well as



Though we should all be diligent in considering whether we’ve witnessed or experienced such vicious acts, it’s also important to keep in mind that the incidences of voter harassment and intimidation are rare. Robert Hubbell, who offered those FBI contacts in his Today’s Edition newsletter, also cautioned that “we must be careful not to dissuade people from voting by amplifying isolated acts of voter intimidation.”

He included this comment from one of his readers who is truly in a crosshairs locale–Arizona–where self-styled “patriots” are photographing voters at drop boxes. In 2020, 89% of Arizona voters used mailboxes to vote by mail, so the comment is significant:

As you know, I’m in Arizona. Let me assure you that these poll watchers are not intimidating anyone. The remarkable stupidity of their acts lies in the fact that (for most Arizonans) every U.S. Mail blue collection box is also a “ballot dropbox” because mail ballots come with envelopes that are prepaid with postage. So, you can drop off mail ballots at any post office or blue mailbox.  These poll watchers are at four ballot drop boxes in Maricopa County. But there are nearly 1,000 US mailboxes in Maricopa County. These “Live Action Role Play” characters are doing no actual surveillance. They are just looking for news coverage, and they are getting it.

In essence, we must not let fear cause us to fail to vote. It’s worth noting that figures show voting to date is at an all-time high for a mid-term election. Black Americans, who are especially being targeted for suppression and intimidation, are showing up in record numbers. They know what’s at stake in a democracy that has not yet fulfilled its promise to them–but they keep on keeping on. To my readers who are Black: You continually inspire me–now, more than ever; I am grateful for your constancy.

We know for sure that if we fail to vote in this election, in which Big Liars/election deniers are more than half of the Republican candidates, it will be even more difficult to vote next time. They must be resoundingly defeated.


I saw the following wise counsel first excerpted on Tengrain’s always interesting, informative, and entertaining blog: MockPaperScissors. I saw it again when Hubbell quoted from the same source in his newsletter. Both Tengrain and Hubbell linked to the original.

Dan Pfeiffer is a former Senior Advisor to President Obama, the co-host of the podcast Pod Save America, and the author of two books. I now know he also writes a newsletter, The Message Box, available on Substack. Here he advises, Ignore the Polls.

He urges us to get off that damn thing he calls the “Pollercoaster.”

“I am not telling you to dismiss the polls that you don’t like or engage in unskewing the bad ones. I am telling you to ignore them all. For everyone other than the ad-makers and decision-makers at the party committees and Super PACs, the polls serve no purpose. None. Zero. Zilch. They are mood-altering statistical drugs.

“No one knows what’s going to happen in this election. It’s one of the most unusual in history. This election is happening in the middle of a strange economy and less than two years after an attempt to violently overthrow the government. The public broadly supports the Biden agenda and is vehemently opposed to the Republican effort to overturn Roe v Wade.

Polls are not supposed to predict what will happen. They are supposed to be a snapshot in time with a relatively wide margin of error. Even the best polls have an MOE [margin of error] of +/- three points. That’s a spread of six points. Almost all of the major Senate and governor’s races are happening in states where Joe Biden won by less than a point. These races were always destined to fall within the margin of error. Whether a poll shows Mandela Barnes up one or down one, it means the same thing — the race is too close to call.

All of that presumes that the polls are working the way they should. And as we know painfully well, the polls are probably wrong.

“Put another way, we are all freaking out about an inherently imprecise (and possibly broken) measurement…

“Ask yourself this question — how will the latest poll affect what you are going to do over the next 13 days? Will you volunteer fewer hours, donate less, or encourage fewer friends to vote?

“We are in the final stretch. There is nothing left to do but persuade and mobilize.

“Go to Vote Save America and channel that poll-driven anxiety into action. We may have multiple ways that you can help up and down the ballot and across the country.

Always remember that there is a diverse, pro-democracy, pro-truth, anti-MAGA majority in the country. If we turn them out, we win. If we don’t, we lose. No polls (or Nates or needles) will change that fact.” (emphases mine)


It’s up to every one of us. Please vote as soon as you can, up and down the ballot for the only party that will work to ensure your vote will count–this year…and in every election going forward. Consider checking out Vote Save America for other solid action steps you can take between now and November 8th.

And make sure to confirm your vote has been counted. ( ballot tracker tools or Rock the Vote is another source.)


16 thoughts on “Be Prepared, But Don’t Be Scared, Ignore the Polls…and Vote!

  1. Black Americans, who are especially being targeted for suppression and intimidation, are showing up in record numbers

    This is certainly true. The high early voting in Georgia has been heavily black. Evidently the vote-suppression laws are backfiring yet again.

    It’s probably worth pointing out that the phone numbers on that voter protection hotlines graphic are Democratic party numbers, not government agencies. I was curious about it since it refers to “polling places”, but has numbers for states like Oregon where all voting is by mail and there are no polling places. I checked the phone number listed for Oregon and it’s the state Democratic party, and the “nationwide” number which is also listed for many of the states is a voter assistance number also run by the Democratic party. They could probably help with some types of voting problems, but it’s not a listing of law-enforcement numbers.

    The Hubbell commenter in Arizona makes a good point about mailboxes. The ballot drop-box I always use is in the parking lot of a police station, so it’s very unlikely any jackasses would try anything with people there, but if something looked fishy there are mailboxes everywhere.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Very useful information — thanks, Annie!!! Though my daughter, granddaughter and I usually use a drop box located near our home, this year Chris took our ballots directly to the Post Office and mailed them, as I felt more comfortable doing that. We mailed them on a Saturday and the following Wednesday I checked online and found they had been received on Tuesday. Much nicer than standing in a line for hours!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. He says “get off the Pollarcoaster” ending with the classic parent’s “do as I say not as I do”.
    “We never live; we are always in the expectation of living.”
    ― Voltaire
    Yesterday Ace found himself, as he so often does, on the other side of the meadow on our walk. As I watched him follow his nose with all intent until his realization that I am not there. Watching the glow as he rediscovers me, bounding through the grass, wanting to be with me again. Suddenly the still green grass burst alight, centering my boy in a cloud of swirling, dancing Sleepy Orange butterflies. Voltaire was wrong about the “never”. Some days expectations are met.
    Today is consumed with the klack-klack of the track as it disappears into the sky and anticipation/dread of the drop. I expect a hard left turn at the bottom so that we can go back to fighting amongst ourselves.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Great work, as always. Thank you, Annie! Especially appreciated the comment on the Arizona poll watchers. And of course, Pod Save America input. As for your so-called obsession? We all benefit. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Denise! Yes, I thought that AZ voter’s comment was really valuable. And Dan Pfeiffer et al, are great; you introduced me to Pod Save America, so I thank you for that.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s