By Jade Bernad, Director of Talent + Culture, When We All Vote
With less than 35 days until the General Election, and the continuing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, now is the time to get ready to vote.
Many states are expanding the option to vote by mail so that no one has to sacrifice their health and safety while exercising their right to vote. Voting by mail allows you to vote safely and securely from home instead of going to a polling place. No matter how you choose to vote, you must make your plan to vote early NOW.
There are three steps to voting by mail.
- First, make sure you’re registered to vote. You can register or check your registration using When We All Vote’s Voter Resources Hub >>
- Once you are registered to vote, depending on your state, you may be able to request your absentee ballot by filling out an application form. You can do that using When We All Vote’s Voter Resources Hub, too!
- Once your application is approved, your ballot will be mailed to you. You can fill it out from home! Once your ballot is completed, send it back as soon as possible. At the very latest, send it back before your state’s deadline. [Editor’s note: the United States Post Office suggests giving your ballot extra time in the mail, mailing it at least one week before the deadline.]
Is it secure?
Yes. Did you know that the military has been using vote by mail since the Civil War? Voting by mail is a secure system that provides you with more time and flexibility to cast your ballot. Many states allow you to track your ballot so you can make sure it arrives on time.
Is it safe?
Understandably, many voters feel unsafe going to crowded polling places during a global pandemic. Voting by mail allows you to take your time filling out your ballot and make your voice heard without putting yourself, your family, your community, or poll workers at unnecessary risk.
SO….Here is what you can do right now: MAKE YOUR PLAN TO VOTE EARLY. Whether you will vote by mail or early in person, making a plan to vote well before Election Day is one of the best things you can do to fight voter suppression, stay safe, and avoid potential issues at polling places on Election Day.
When We All Vote is here to help you, your friends, and your family make a plan to cast your ballot this fall. These are your options:
✔️ VOTE BY MAIL
If voting by mail is right for you, see above.
✔️ VOTE EARLY IN PERSON
41 states have some form of in-person early voting and may start as early as 46 days before Election Day (that’s as soon as September 18th).
Many states also have weekend early voting options. Early voting allows you to vote in person without waiting in crowded or long lines. Check your local election office for more information about early voting in your area.
✔️ VOTE IN PERSON ON ELECTION DAY
Many people may still prefer to vote at the polls on November 3rd. While we hope you will consider early voting options, if you decide to vote in person on Election Day, we urge you to plan to allow as much time as possible at the polls, double check your polling place location, and remember to bring a mask and hand sanitizer.
Here’s the bottom line: Your vote matters, so make your plan to VOTE EARLY to ensure that your voice is heard. Learn about the options for voting in your state, and make a plan to vote now at weall.vote/hub
This cannot wait.
P.S. Looking for a way to help ensure all voters in your community have access to a safe, secure, and efficient way to vote? We’re facing a record shortage of poll workers across the country, which could lead to closed polling places and long lines on Election Day. Help protect democracy in your community -- sign up to be a poll worker >>
Make sure you are aware of your state’s rules and regulations in response to Covid-19 by visiting our new Voter Resources Hub and following us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for important updates.
Written by Jade Bernad of When We All Vote for Youth To The People