Keeping Score: Vote Like Your Life Depends On It

In every issue of Ms., we track research on our progress in the fight for equality, catalogue can’t-miss quotes from feminist voices and keep tabs on the feminist movement’s many milestones. We’re Keeping Score online, too—in this biweekly roundup.

Lest We Forget

+ “Show up and vote. You will determine the outcome of this election. Vote, vote, vote. If you’re able to vote early in your state, vote early. If you’re able to vote in person, vote in person. Vote whatever way is the best way for you.”

—Vice President Joe Biden during the first presidential debate on Sept. 29

+ “They were sure that people will never vote for a woman, for [an] unknown person, for [a] housewife. We went around Belarus. I’ve never talked to such amount of people. I was afraid that I will forget all the words. I understood how dangerous, in our country, to run for presidency because you’re like a bug in front of tractor.”

—Belarusian revolutionary Svetlana Tikhanovskaya in a video op-ed for The New York Times

+ “This was a petite woman who was a giant and powerhouse when it came to brilliant, strategic thinking, legal knowledge. She did more for equality for women than anyone you could name. RBG just was synonymous with every good thing that comes our way as women.”

—Nancy Pelosi on Kara Swisher’s podcast, “Sway”

+ “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by … But I’ll tell you what, I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about antifa and the left because this is not a right-wing problem.”

—President Donald Trump during the first presidential debate, upon being asked to condemn white supremacists and militias. The statement incited celebration amongst the Proud Boys, a male-only neo-fascist extremist group.

+ “Racism has been essential to the foundation of this country and indeed essential to the creation of the modern world. Capitalism and racism co-evolved under colonialism, including in what would become the United States of America. … Now, once you move to this notion that racism is actually a part of the way that the country was founded, you then have to have a lot of very challenging conversations about how racism is part of our culture. It’s built into our institutions.”

—Ian Haney López, the Chief Justice Earl Warren professor of public law at the University of California, Berkeley

+ “We know we have a long road ahead to bend the arc towards justice for Breonna and so many others—some whose names we know, and others we never will… We reaffirm our commitment to anti-violence and to lifting up the activists, organizers, and culturally specific providers who have been leading this work, often unrecognized, for many years. All violence is interconnected and our fight towards justice must be as well.”

—Deborah J. Vagins, president and CEO of the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV)

+ “Daniel Cameron is no different than the sellout negroes that sold our people into slavery.” 

— first said by activist Tamika Mallory on Sept. 25, then used by Megan Thee Stallion in her SNL performance on Oct. 3.

+ Donald Trump, Melania Trump and several other members of the Republican Party have tested positive for COVID-19. Several figures, such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren, released statements on the matter:


+ On the first day of the Supreme Court’s new term, Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito criticized Obergefell v. Hodges—the 2015 case that legalized same-sex marriage across all 50 states. In a statement, the justices argued the 2015 decision “bypassed the democratic process” and left people with religious objections to same-sex marriage “in the lurch.”

Steve Vladeck, a CNN legal analyst and University of Texas law school professor, calls the opinion a “telling and ominous” message that “lays down a marker that at least some of the justices already view the court’s recognition of a constitutional right to same-sex marriage as an affront to religious liberty, and so may well use the latter to scale back the former in future cases.”

+ The House voted to condemn forced sterilization among immigrant women in ICE custody at the U.S.-Mexico border. The resolution was introduced by Representatives Jayapal, Kuster, Jackson Lee, Garcia and Frankel.

+ The pandemic has revealed the weaknesses of the Indian Health Service, the government program responsible for providing medical care to Native American communities. The Navajo Nation has a higher COVID death rate than Florida, New York and Texas. Generally, Indigenous communities are lacking in protective equipment, ventilators and other COVID-fighting resources.

+ The New York Times obtained almost two decades of Donald Trump’s federal incomes taxes. They reveal he paid only $750 during the election year and his first year in office. In 10 of the 15 preceding years, he paid no income taxes at all. The president is personally responsible for loans and debts totaling $421 million, most of which is coming due within four years; some experts consider this a major national security threat.

+ Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Congresswoman Rosa Delauro (D-CT) introduced the Worker Flexibility and Small Business Protection Act. This bill would grant further protections to independent and temporary workers, additionally reducing insurmountable competition for small businesses.

+ None of the officers involved in Breonna Taylor’s murder were convicted for crimes against her. One officer, Brett Hankison, lost his job and was found guilty by the grand jury of “wanton endangerment”—for aimlessly firing bullets that struck other apartment units. Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron released the grand jury transcripts upon the request of an anonymous who filed a motion to release the transcripts so that “the truth may prevail.” 

“The full story and absolute truth of how this matter was handled from beginning to end is now an issue of great public interest and has become a large part of the discussion of public trust throughout the country,” an attorney for the unnamed juror wrote in the court documents.

+ Mike Bloomberg, former mayor of New York and Democratic presidential candidate, raised $16 million to pay the court fines of 32,000 Black and Latinx Florida voters with felony convictions. Without having paid those debts, the Florida citizens would have been barred from voting.

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+ A Snapchat initiative has successfully registered 750,000 users (and counting) to vote in the November election—already double what the platform achieved in 2018.

+ California governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order calling for restrictions on gas-fueled cars by 2035. The regulations would ensure that only zero-emission vehicles are sold going forward.

+ Swiss voters favored a law granting 10 days of paternity leave to new fathers—makes Switzerland the final country in western Europe to allow new fathers time off.

+ Amazon reached nearly 20,000 positive COVD tests among U..S employees. The company is often scrutinized for its working conditions.

+ Former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has been charged with six additional allegations of sexual assault. He is currently serving prison time in New York for assaulting five women in Los Angeles.

+ Voting rights groups are suing Texas Governor Greg Abbott for infringing on vote-by-mail, after the governor restricted each county in the state to just one ballot drop-off location.

+ Gay men have taken over the #ProudBoys hashtag. The purpose is to pull attention away from the white supremacy group and to celebrate gay pride.

How We’re Doing

+ Black girls are over five times more likely to face suspension from school than their white counterparts, according to a New York Times analysis of the Education Department’s discipline data.

+ A study by the Violence Policy Center (VPC) shows that 2,000 murders in 2018 were committed by men against women; 92 percent of victims knew the perpetrators. The most common weapon is a gun.

+ The COVID-19 pandemic created food insecurity for one in five U.S. adults from March 25 through April 10.

+ Despite growing numbers of American women in corporate jobs, the pandemic has pushed nearly 2 million women to consider leaving their jobs.

+ An NBC news poll shows 66 percent of U.S. residents don’t support overturning the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. The Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, has endorsed overturning the landmark decision.

+ The death count of people in ICE’s custody is the highest that it has been in the past 15 years. In the 2020 fiscal year, 21 people died in the agency’s facilities.

About and

Sarah Montgomery is a senior at USC. She is passionate about using writing as a tool for social change. Her Starbucks beverage of choice is the iced skinny vanilla latte—personal cup and reusable straw, of course.
Sophie Dorf-Kamienny is a junior at Tufts University studying sociology and community health. She is a Ms. contributing writer, and was formerly an editorial fellow, research fellow and assistant editor of social media. You can find her on Twitter at @sophie_dk_.