In the first part of our 2020 Election series, we give you all the info on what you can do right now to prepare for November.
Is it just us, or does it feel like election season began eons ago? Well, gird your loins...we’re in for a bumpy ride these next couple of months. The news cycles this year have been unsettling, to say the least. With the November elections looming, it’s about to get even more confusing and disconcerting.
Not to worry, we got your back! Between now and November 3, we’ll be publishing a series of blog posts with resources and information about voting, key issues, and the candidates.
Let’s get started, shall we?
First, it’s important to note that your voting options depend on the state in which you reside. This includes deadlines for voter registration and mail-in voting, as well as dates for early voting, and where to find polling places on Election Day.
Know Your Rights
The right to vote in America has a long and turbulent history with discrimination and racism. Politicians from both sides of the aisle have long sought to keep certain demographics from voting by proposing and passing legislation like voter ID laws. They have also sought to suppress voters simply by making polling places more difficult to access. Let’s not even get into gerrymandering right now.
The best way to combat voter suppression and intimidation is to know your rights. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has created a helpful guide on voting rights. It includes information on disability accommodations and language assistance, as well as numbers to the non-partisan Election Protection Hotline in several languages.
Voting is the foundation stone for political action. - MLK, Jr.
This is the first, and most important, step you can take to ensure your voice is heard on Election Day and beyond. Depending on your state, you may have the option to register online or in person. If you're not sure whether you're registered to vote, check out Vote.org - just enter a few details, and you will instantly know your registration status.
If you are not registered and need to review your state’s rules about voter registration, the How To Vote site has got you covered. Simply choose your state, and this portal will provide all the information you need, including requirements and important deadlines.
One of the hot button issues this year is mail-in voting. The pandemic has, rightfully, made the majority of voters nervous about showing up to vote in person. In order to alleviate some of this apprehension and encourage voter turnout, some states have expanded their vote-by-mail regulations.
States like California and Colorado are not only enabling citizens to vote by mail, they are proactively sending out ballots to registered voters. If you’re unsure of your voting options, visit the How to Vote site mentioned above and select “vote” and your state from the pull down menus.
Help Others Vote
According to information published by the Pew Research Center, more than half of the poll workers in the 2018 general election were over the age of 60. The COVID-19 pandemic has hit this demographic especially hard, and most are opting to stay home instead of working at the polls.
To help make up for the shortage in poll workers, organizations like Power the Polls are encouraging low-risk members of the population to sign up to staff in-person voting locations during early voting and on Election Day. Some states are even allowing younger people, who aren’t yet eligible to vote, to serve as poll workers. Depending on your state, these positions will either be paid or voluntary.
Interested in becoming a poll worker? Visit the Power the Polls website to learn more!
Stay Informed with Visva
We created the Community Action Squad so we could work together and use our voices to create real change around important public policy decisions. It’s a place to connect and encourage each other to take action, and hopefully, build a better world together.
Stay tuned! Throughout the election season, we will continue to share news, resources and other important information with our community.
Join the Squad on the Visva app!
ICYMI: Playlist for the times
Here's a playlist inspired by the ghosts of election years past. Enjoy!