There’s just one thing that Star Trek fans are talking about this fall, the debut of the new season of Discovery on October 15. Actually, that’s a bit of an oversimplification. U.S.-based Trek fans are looking forward to many things, including this November’s election.
The problem is that only a fraction of the 200 million eligible voters actually turn out to the polls for elections. With the COVID-19 pandemic still in full effect, citizens have even more questions about the right thing to do.
Thankfully, many organizations are stepping up to help clear the air and give people the guidance that is so needed. One of those groups is “Trek the Vote,” a non-partisan, grassroots movement designed to organize fans to ensure that the 2020 vote goes smoothly.
“Trek the Vote is a non-partisan election integrity volunteer drive,” says Tae Phoenix, the founder of Trek the Vote.
Phoenix says that volunteers from Trek the Vote will serve as “election integrity volunteers,” staffing various election points including Fair Count, Election Protection, Power the Polls, and Poll Hero Projects, respectively.
“Our goal is to ensure that every eligible American can cast a ballot easily and safely, and that those ballots are rigorously validated and scrupulously counted before any results are certified or announced,” says Phoenix.
“We are working to recruit 16,000 new election integrity volunteers and to keep our volunteers informed about how their continued civic engagement will be essential to getting every ballot counted after November 3,” she says.
Phoenix says that the group has had an incredible outpouring of support from both fans and those who create Star Trek. This impressive list includes:
- Rhonda Aldrich
- John Billingsley
- André Bormanis
- Josh Clark
- Robin Curtis
- Mike Okuda
- David Gerold
- Hana Hatae
- J.G. Hertzler
- Chase Masterson
- Gates McFadden
- Andy Robinson
- Raphael Sbarge
- Howie Seago
- Armin Shimerman
- Kurtwood Smith
- Melinda Snodgrass
- Kitty Swink
- Wil Wheaton
One of those famous supporters, Armin Shimerman, is excited about Trek the Vote and sharing the group’s positive, non-partisan message. Shimerman is well known to Trek fans for playing Quark over seven seasons on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
“Trek the Vote is about getting people to vote and to get those votes counted,” says Shimerman.
“I am not pleading to vote with you to vote Democratic or Republican,” says Shimerman. “In many countries, you’ll have 80% of the population vote in a national election. For years, America has been lucky to have 27% of the populous vote in a national election — and that’s not right.”
“What’s most important is that all Americans who have the power to vote, must vote,” says Shimerman. “It is their responsibility as an American citizen to vote.”
Phoenix says that she’s excited to have heard from so many voices from the Star Trek family, and would like those interested to visit the Trek the Vote site for complete volunteering details and other important news.
“We’re here for Trekkies of all political parties and none at all,” says Phoenix. “We want everyone to know that, due to the large amount of mail-in voting, we will likely not know the result of the election on 11/3 and that we must all be patient and advocate that elections professionals be allowed to do their jobs unimpeded before we declare any winners.”
“We all pledge to adhere to the Prime Directive and place a free, fair, equitable election ahead of any of our own personal preferences about candidates or issues — because we are here to serve democracy above all else.”
NOTE: Phoenix also wants to share that her group is not affiliated with the fundraiser of the same name.