If you find yourself with the election on the mind, you’re definitely not alone – this feels like (and is) a historic moment. It’s up to us to determine the future of our country, and right now that means VOTING!
With a global pandemic putting a bit of a damper on lining up at the polls, you might be questioning how to vote. According to Ivy Bryan from Motivote, who we spoke with during our Election Education HOME/WORK webinar, the key is coming up with your Election Day plan (ahead of time). Some states are already casting ballots, so don’t let a deadline be the difference between casting your vote or casting it aside.
So what does making an Election Day plan mean? We’re here to break it down, BUT before you read any further, if you’re not already registered to vote or are unsure of your registration status, use the appropriate playbook before reading on!
1. Do you feel comfortable voting in-person? Though the polls should require masks and social distancing, you will be inside a room with others. If so, find your polling place and make sure you have a reliable way to get there. If you’re uncomfortable on public transportation, that means finding parking, checking traffic, or walking (your polling place should be local to your place of residence). More on finding your polling place here.
One other consideration – can you vote early? Depending on your state, you may be able to head to your polling place sooner to skip the lines, traffic, and general crowding that comes with November 3rd.
2. Not down for an IRL poll? No problem! This year, many states are creating provisions for absentee and mail-in voting because of COVID-19. Some states that previously required you to provide an excuse when requesting an absentee ballot, are now allowing coronavirus to qualify as a valid reason for skipping the polls. Other states are allowing voters to simply request a mail-in ballot, no excuse needed. More on voting by mail and absentee ballots here.
Nervous about your ballot getting lost in the mail? Your voting municipality might have a ballot return box, where you can hand deliver your vote. And if not, you can usually bring your completed ballot to a local election office to ensure safe delivery (and that you filled it out correctly!).
Most importantly, as Ivy emphasized, “every vote counts, regardless of how it was cast.” So tell your friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, and strangers – get registered, and get out there and vote!