Tuesday, November 3, 2020, is Election Day and we need everyone registered and ready to vote! A lot is at stake this in election, including birth control and abortion access, LGBTQ rights, climate change, immigration policy, and racial equity. Voting is one of the best ways to use your voice to stand up for what you believe in!
If it’s your first time voting, don’t worry! It’s National Voter Education Week, and we’re here to answer all your questions and get you ready to vote!
P.S. Even if you can’t vote yet, brush up on your voter education and help your friends and family prepare to cast their votes.
1. Get #VoteReady
- The first step in getting ready to vote is getting REGISTERED. Californians have up until October 19th to register online. After that, you can still vote – but you’ll have to register in person on the day of the election (also known as Same-Day Registration or Conditional Registration).
- Even if you think you’ve already registered, it’s a good idea to double check just in case. If you’ve recently moved, turned 18, changed your name, or become a US citizen, you’ll need to register.
- This year, all registered Californians will receive a ballot by mail. Ballots started arriving in counties across California this week – so make sure you check your mail!
- The deadline to send in your ballot by mail is October 19th – don’t miss it!
- Vote by mail has always been an option in California – this is just the first year that everyone has the option to do so without having to sign up. Voting by mail is safe and easy – especially for those with concerns of voting in person during a pandemic. Get more vote-by-mail FAQs answered here.
- California also has the option to track your ballot to see when it’s been mailed, received, and counted— track yours here!
- You can also drop your ballot off at an approved polling place during California’s early voting period, from October 5th-November 2nd. Find an approved location near you here!
3. Be #VotePlanReady
If time feels like it’s slipping by lately, you’re not alone! But DON’T let the election slip you by. It helps to have a plan! Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Are you voting by mail? When do you have time in your schedule to sit down, research your candidates, and fill out your ballot? After school? On a weekend? Over FaceTime with friends?
- If you’re voting early or in-person on November 3rd, do you know where your polling place is? Do you have a ride? Do your friends have rides? Do you have time off of work or school? Plan to research your candidates and make a list of who you want to vote for ahead of time.
In short: make a plan!
4. Get #BallotReady
Don’t let what’s on the ballot come as a surprise! In addition to the fight for President, there are other important races and issues for you to weigh in on - like voting for local and state candidates and measures.
- If you’re registered in California, you’ll be sent a sample ballot before you receive the real deal. It should give you a good sense of what you’ll be voting on.
- If you don’t have a sample ballot, you can also use a tool called What’s On My Ballot?
- Check out the ballot initiatives that will appear on all California ballots -- including initiatives that could impact California teens like Proposition 16 on affirmative action and Proposition 18 that seeks to allow 17 year olds to vote in primary elections!
5. Voting is a group effort!
Once you’ve voted (or have your voting plan), take it a step further and make sure those around you are ready to vote, too!
- Talk to your friends and family! If there is a topic you feel very passionately about, talk to your friends and family – and share on social media! You may not be able to vote but they can. Let them know how you feel.
- Volunteer at a polling site! This is a great way to get involved in the voting process--- and high school students are eligible! As long as you feel safe given the conditions of the pandemic, you can contact your local county office, or even go online, and sign up to be a volunteer.
- Volunteer for a campaign or candidate! If there is a candidate or campaign you feel strongly about – support them! Whether its phone banking, letter writing, or sharing on social media, there’s lots of ways to get the word out. Check the websites of candidates and campaigns that align with your values for opportunities to help. There are also more general “Get Out the Vote” organizations that host letter writing, text banking, and phone banking events to help reach voters in other states!
LET'S GO VOTE!!