MAKE A PLAN TO VOTE


by Becky Mendoza September 28, 2020

Video by Kindhumans

Words by Captain Liz Clark  

Has there ever been more riding on one election? Climate change and the fate of our planet, police reform and systemic racism, environmental protections for our air, water, and oceans, female reproductive rights, protecting public lands, the pandemic and the economic downturn that has come with it, the integrity of our democracy, and SO. MUCH. MORE. We know. It’s been an overwhelming period full of change and challenges and learning. But we must stay empowered, inspired, and hopeful. We must flex every bit of our power to protect our planet and those most vulnerable right now. And that means ensuring we cast our VOTE in the upcoming election this November 3rd

Vote the planet! Vote the people! Vote the ocean! Vote climate action! Vote social justice! 

 

With the pandemic bringing new obstacles to the voting process, Changing Tides Foundation wants to encourage you to make your voting plan as soon as possible! Studies show that making a plan to vote increases the likelihood of someone actually following through with their vote.

Here are some questions you should be answering to come up with a voting plan: Are you sure you are registered to vote? Does your state allow you to vote by mail? Do you prefer to receive an absentee ballot? How will you be actually voting? If you're voting by mail, will you fill out your ballot and mail it back? Or will you drop it off at your local polling place? If you prefer to vote in person? Do you know where your polling place is? Or when your polling place opens and closes? Many polling places are open before Nov 3rd, so you can drop by and vote or drop off your ballot before there’s a line! Lyft is even offering free & reduced rides to the polls on Election Day.

Speaking of polling places, the US is facing an unprecedented shortage of poll workers due to the pandemic. This could mean closed polling places, long delays, and extra challenges to voters. If you are at minimal risk for COVID19 and want to help ensure that we have a safe, fair, efficient election for all voters, you can sign up to be a poll worker in your community! Patagonia along with a coalition of businesses and nonprofits helped launch Power the Polls, to recruit a new wave of poll workers -- especially among younger, more diverse populations that have not historically filled these roles. Power the Polls will direct you to the application for your community. You'll need to fill out the application and then, once the city contacts you, attend a training, so act fast! Most states pay poll workers for their time too.

The presidential race is clearly a big one, but we need change on all levels, and that means learning more about the candidates in your local and state elections, along with Propositions and Measures on the ballot for your zip code. Ballot language for measures—propositions, initiatives, etc—can be very confusing, so do some research and make sure you understand whether a Yes or No aligns with your values. We recommend looking at a voter’s guide written by a person or organization that you feel represents your values. Here are a few voters guides from League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, and Planned Parenthood. For local candidates and ballot measures, google a guide local for your voting area prepared by a source you trust. A few internet searches can be really helpful!

Your vote matters!

 

Useful links:

  • FVAP.gov helps military and overseas voters make sure they know how to vote from wherever they are.
  • Make Time to Vote –encourage your employer to join the movement to give employees the time needed to ensure that they can vote.    
  • Track your ballot. In most states you can sign up to receive updates on your vote-by-mail ballot via text (SMS), California’s tracking tool can be found at: WheresMyBallot.sos.ca.gov
  • You can help encourage others to vote by sending handwritten letters. Vote Forward is a movement to help register voters from under-represented demographics and encourage them to vote by sending handwritten letters. This method has been shown to increase voter turnout and, in the midst of COVID-19, is an important tactic while door to door canvassing isn't possible. Sign up to write hand-written letters to voters, here.
  • Check out the awesome work that our friends at Blue Uprising are doing to fight for the healthy oceans!
  • Have you read the Green New Deal? Check out this most comprehensive climate action legislation ever proposed!

 




Becky Mendoza
Becky Mendoza

Author




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