2020 has seen many unprecedented things. Murder hornets, countless natural disasters, celebrity deaths that rocked the nation, and, of course, a global pandemic.
In something we’ve never seen before, the COVID-19 pandemic has touched every industry. From small businesses to restaurants, no industry has been left unaffected. When we all look back at the year 2020, people will all have stories of how their lives were changed.
Every industry has had to adjust, and that adjustment had to happen quickly. The petition circulation industry is no exception. For an industry that relies so heavily on face-to-face interaction, COVID-19 threatened to be devastating. Without a quick and effective adjustment, the industry faced serious issues.
While we, of course, can’t speak for everyone in the industry, Let The Voters Decide took certain measures to proceed. We took these measures to ensure the safety of our circulators and the general public. Getting important issues into voters’ hands and letting them decide on those issues has remained our top priority. Naturally, it was important to figure out how to do this safely during a pandemic.
When the pandemic initially hit, we suspended our work across America. Unsure of how things would play out with the virus, we felt it was best to pause. As things began to slowly open back up, we figured out ways to proceed safely.
In following with the protocol encouraged nationwide, we asked our circulators to take proper safety measures. This included wearing masks and social distancing when possible.
Petition circulation has taken on a new life amid a global pandemic. This industry relies heavily on social interaction. Obviously, this hasn’t been easy during the COVID-19 outbreak. It’s required much innovation and adaptation to be able to keep pushing forward.
Our circulators have done a fantastic job adapting. They have managed to push through some major initiatives, despite the odds being stacked against them.
Heading into an important election year, we couldn’t afford to just stop circulating petitions. Of course, our concern for our circulators’ safety and the safety of those they were interacting with was our top priority. However, we had to quickly readjust and come up with new alternatives to allow our industry to progress.
When circulating petitions, oftentimes large events are beneficial for gathering signatures. However, during the pandemic, large events like fairs and farmer’s markets weren’t open. This left circulators with the responsibility of getting creative with ways to gather signatures.
New Ways to Gather Signatures
This effort has looked different depending on the state and the circulators, but many circulators chose to do things like drive-up signature gathering. This allowed people to safely voice their opinion and give their signatures.
Still, other circulators chose to take their petition gathering online. This strategy can prove tricky because most states don’t exactly outline what the procedure is for online signatures. Most states don’t explicitly ban online signature gathering. However, the lack of clear language in state legislation can make this process tricky.
Ultimately, circulating petitions in a pandemic is uncharted territory. Because of this, there is naturally going to be an adjustment period, and that’s exactly what this year has been. Regardless of how long it takes for the COVID-19 pandemic to subside, we are prioritizing safely innovating in this area. Our goal is to still be able to get issues into the voters’ hands – just in a safe, responsible manner. When we can do this, we can let the voters decide.