Participating in the voting process is always essential, especially during a time when we have had to adapt to life virtually amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Even with all the changes that have had to be made to the in-person voting experience, there are countless ways to be informed and involved in gearing up for Election Day on November 3.
The first and most important agenda item is to confirm your voter registration. While the last day to register to vote in person is November 3, to get a ballot mailed to your home in Washington state the registration deadline is October 26. Next, come up with your voting plan. Ballots will be mailed out the week of October 16, giving Washingtonians enough time to have it filled out and mailed back in time to be counted.
A critical part of your vote is making sure you understand the ballot. This is a great time to start researching what measures will be on your ballot, so you can decide what candidates and policies represent what you care about and what causes you want to champion this year.
2020 is also the year of the U.S. Census, which is taken every ten years and is required by the Constitution. The Census is conducted by a nonpartisan agency to tabulate the United States population and its five territories. Census data is critical to determining where funding will be allocated for the next decade, so each family needs to have it completed as soon as possible.
Many people and organizations have come together this year to create opportunities to participate in your community for the upcoming election. A great way to start is to contact your local election office and ask about opportunities to volunteer within your county. Many local campaigns are looking for volunteers and holding virtual training sessions, so anyone can sign up and help out a candidate or cause they believe in. Additionally, organizations like Rock the Vote, Vote Save America, and many others are also running virtual campaigns to volunteer within your state and encouraging underrepresented voters in swing states. Reach out to the organizations you support and see if they have opportunities for you to get involved in the coming weeks. If you don’t have time to volunteer, you can also donate and support the campaigns that care about the issues that are important to you.
You don’t have to be involved with a big organization to make a difference; every action counts. Simply reaching out to your networks and making sure everyone is registered and has a voting plan this year is a great way to do your part in time for Nov. 3.