Voting allows people to use their voice. It allows people to use their voice for those who don’t have the access and / or ability to. It allows us to use our voice for ourselves, for our communities, and for the movements we believe in.
In today’s blog post, I want to help you create a voting plan. I will provide resources to help you better understand your candidates and the voting process. The election is in 40 days, and we want to help everyone feel prepared, inspired, and ready to vote. Voting is a big step and is so important as it truly can make an impact in who runs our country. However, I want to help relieve any pressure or stress in this process. Voting is important, but should also make you feel empowered, not burnt out.
Voting Plan – this should include registering, checking your registration, how you are submitting your ballot, and knowing who you are voting for.
Before any voting is allowed, you need to make sure you are registered to vote.
- Voting registration deadlines are different depending on your state. For California, it is October 19th. Click here to find your registration deadline / voting information: https://www.vote411.org/select-state
- If you click the previous link, there is also a section that will allow you to find polling locations.
- Click here to register to vote: https://vote.gov/
It is important to know whether you are voting in person at the polls, voting via an absentee mail-in ballot, or if you are able and wanting to vote early. This will determine your deadlines and preparation.
To see if your state allows early voting / mail-in ballots, you can check here, you can check the NASS (National Association of Secretaries of State) website – https://www.nass.org/can-i-vote/absentee-early-voting
When putting in my state, CA, I not only received information regarding whether I can mail-in ballots or not, but they also provided information about if you hadn’t provided proper identification yet, overseas / Military voting by mail, and applying for voting by mail.
One of the most important things to voting, besides registering, is knowing what you are voting for and who you are voting for. Elections do not just apply to presidential elections, they also apply for local elections and state elections.
Vote 411 is an organization focused on providing non-partisan information about elections / election process (providing polling locations, information on absentee ballots, voting qualifications and much more). Clicking this link to one of their pages- https://www.vote411.org/ballot – will help you know what’s on your ballot and find different elections based on your location.
Screen shots of Vote411.org website
After submitting my address, it shows me the races available, and gives me information (in english & spanish) about the position I am voting for (president, representative, etc) and who the candidates I can vote for are.
The last thing I want to remind everyone is that knowledge is power. So much information circles through social media everyday. However, I encourage you to pursue your own research outside of social media. Know who, what, and why you are filling out the ballot the way you are. It also might be important to curate mental notes of the qualities you look for in candidates / what changes you’d like to see.