November 3, 2020 will be a defining moment for America and its citizens. But with the reality of COVID-19 and social distancing measures in place, how do you exercise your American duty and vote? The short answer is “soon and safely.” There are many new considerations to keep in mind as you vote up and down the ballot this November. Ultimately, it is MBIB’s goal to empower you to learn all you can about the unique situation of Election Day 2020.
Be proactive about your vote
This is not a “I’ll just see what happens in November” situation. Are you prepared to vote? That means answering the following questions: Are you registered to vote? Do you know your county’s deadlines for registration, early voting and absentee voting? Know your status as a voter and the procedures for your state. Many states will close their online voter’s registration within the first two weeks of October. Some states are mailing absentee ballots to residents automatically due to the pandemic, but some aren’t. Because of the anticipated high demand for mail-in ballots, we recommend that you don’t wait—request an absentee ballot yourself and mail it in right away. Some “postmarked by” and “received by” dates for a valid vote will vary, so confirm with your state. There are many online resources to help you figure out your personal voting plan in your state, including this one by HeadCount.
Heading to the polls
If you’re not able to cast an absentee vote, voting early in-person is an option. All districts will have different schedules that are subject to change, so verify and confirm your polling place specifics. And finally, if you’ve waited until THEE day, November 3, to vote, please do so with safety and caution. Arrive with face masks and sanitizer. Wear comfortable clothing/shoes for the season and bring snacks—we’ve seen from local elections nationwide, voting in person can take awhile. Your usual neighborhood polling place could be shut down due to the pandemic; be sure to have your transportation planned. Most states don’t require ID, but be prepared with your government-issued photo ID anyway.
An informed populace
If you don’t like what’s going on, you can change it. If you want things to continue, you can maintain it. That’s the power of voting. Our leaders are elected by us. The PEOPLE. That’s all of us. Participating in our democracy is an important part of maintaining our democracy. We urge you to do your research on all elections taking place on the ballot so that you know what and who your choices will usher into your community, city and country. If you want to see a personalized ballot for your area, check out Vote 411 and get informed. Our constitutional right to vote was hard won, sisters. Let’s make our ancestors proud. VOTE.
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