In this historic election year, so much is at stake. The country is battling a global pandemic while trying to ensure the health and financial security of millions of Americans. Voting—and ensuring the voters in each state know how to vote safely from home or in-person—has never been more important. The candidates we elect will shape the policies that matter to us. As the 2020 election looms, you can help more Americans to exercise their most fundamental right.
Remind people in your everyday life about the upcoming election and how to get their questions answered. Nonprofit Vote reports that voters are more likely to cast their ballots if they can visualize their plan, including how and when they will go to the polls. Make sure that you know where your polling place is or the dates by which you need to request your mail-in ballot by checking with your state or local election office.
It’s a good idea to double-check your voter registration status, too. While many states have registration deadlines in early or mid-October, more than 20 states allow same-day voter registration on Election Day. You can also help friends and family members do the same.
We all have causes that matter to us. Whether you’re passionate about health care access, protecting Social Security and Medicare, or lowering prescription drug costs, it’s important to know where candidates stand on the issues. You can find out—and also learn how to cast your votes safely from home or in-person by visiting aarp.org/Election2020.
Get familiar with ballot issues, too. Check websites like the National Conference of State Legislatures, which has an option to let you find out the issues that will be on your ballot, or AARP’s voting tool, which allows you to sign up for election reminders. The more you know, the more you can share information with other people. Use your social media channels to encourage others to vote.
Make your voice heard on the issues that matter to you. Advocacy groups are usually looking for volunteers to encourage people to vote. Nonpartisan organization Headcount partners with artists in grassroots efforts designed to get out the vote. Reach out to fans of famous artists through at-home texting events. Sign up to fight for the issues AARP supports. Or volunteer behind the scenes. Rock the Vote has remote volunteer opportunities that include graphic design, policy research, and even simply sharing information on social media.
Review the options that your state allows for voting, including voting from home by mail, voting early, and voting in-person. Choose the safest option for you. If you do decide to vote in-person, whether you are able to do so early or on Election Day, be sure you know the polling location and hours. When you go, remember to wear a mask and abide by social distancing measures, standing at least 6 feet away from others. If you’re voting by absentee ballot, be sure to sign and date your ballot, if required. It’s important to stay safe as you make your voice heard.
Once the election is over, search for even more volunteer opportunities here.