Our Vote and Our Democracy

Background: Citizen access to the ballot box is increasingly under attack nationwide. Voter roll purges, restrictive voter ID laws, cutbacks on early voting, and elimination of polling locations, have been implemented in various states to successfully reduce voter participation. These policies, under the pretense of preventing voter fraud, specifically target minority, low income and younger voters—the constituencies often identified as supportive of the Democratic Party. In addition to this focused attack on our ballot access, there is the continuing threat of hacking of voting machines (many now over 10 years old and no longer being manufactured), and computerized voting without a paper ballot for post-election audits. Our #4 Call to Action below addresses this issue.

Just as destructive to our Democracy and our voting rights is voter apathy. We must challenge people who claim their vote doesn’t matter or that their perfect candidate isn’t on the ballot. Engage your friends, neighbors, co-workers and family and talk to them about what’s at stake in this election, and how important voting is to you. November’s Blue Wave can’t happen without a robust voter turnout. Getting people to the polls will be crucial if we are to take back Congress. When we vote, we win!

What we can do: Here are some steps you can take to make sure your own vote gets counted.  Share them with family, friends, neighbors and co-workers, and keep the conversation going on voter participation

  1. Make sure you re-register anytime you move.  Students, especially, move often, so add re-registering to your list of things to do after you’ve moved. If you’re not sure if your registration is up-to-date, check here. And if you need to re-register, you can do so here. But remember, do it now— the registration deadline is Oct. 22.
  2. Vote early in the day if you can. If you’re voting early and there are any problems at your polling place, you’ll have some time to resolve the issue. What happens if you can’t fix the problems? Don’t give up! Request a provisional ballot and fill it out. You’re legally entitled to a ballot and to have your voice heard.
  3. If you prefer to vote by mail, be on the lookout for your ballot a few weeks before the Nov. 6 midterm election. Fill it out (make sure to sign the back of the return envelope!) then mail it in right away. And some good news: starting this November, you’ll receive a postage paid envelope to mail back your ballot.  You can check here to confirm your vote has been received (your voting choice will not be revealed.).  Then, remind everyone you know who votes by mail to fill out their ballot and mail it in.
  4. Volunteer to become a poll worker. You’ll be on the front lines helping people exercise their right to vote, and doing your part to make sure elections are fair.

For the future health of our nation’s democracy, support legislation that strengthens cyber security and mandates a verifiable paper ballot with post-election audits to test the accuracy of computer votes.  See our Elections and Cybersecurity call to action below.

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