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VOTER REGISTRATION, VOTING, and GETTING OUT THE VOTE  Resources & Links

Voting is fundamental to democracy and a privilege in America. Many prior generations fought hard for suffrage, and to ensure our fundamental, democratic right remains in place today. Still, many people are disenfranchised, both explicitly by law and implicitly by discrimination, intimidation, or placing unreasonable requirements on voter registration or voting. Accounting for new complications with COVID-19, protests, damaging storms, and economic contraction, the prospects for voting become even more challenged. 

There are also many among us who can easily vote, but don’t. This is mainly due to apathy, inattention, or lack of planning. According to the Environmental Voter Project, for instance, an estimated 10 to 15 million Americans who self-identify as environmentalists do not vote regularly or have never voted despite their claims or intentions otherwise. 

Now is the time for Americans to exercise our right to vote, and help others do the same. Whether you are a concerned citizen or an organizational leader, you can help others exercise their right to vote. Every vote counts, including and most importantly your own. Please vote

This guide is meant to serve as a resource for voting in U.S. federal, state, and local elections. Please follow these steps, and use and share these resources including ecoAmerica’s How to VOTE CLIMATE one-pager to ensure your vote is counted and so are the votes of others around you.

1. Verify your registration. Even if you already registered to vote, make sure that you are registered in the jurisdiction where you are planning to vote. Many states have recently purged their voter rolls! Take 2 minutes TODAY to check your voter registration status.

    • Go to Vote.org to check the status of your registration.

2. Know your deadlines and eligibility. This includes knowing the last day to register to vote, the last day to request an absentee ballot, when and where early voting opens, identification requirements, poll opening/closing times, and more. 2020 is a presidential election year, but many states hold elections for governor and other local offices in different years. Know your state’s schedule and make sure you vote this year AND in “off-year” elections in your state. You can find this information by state or by topic. Start NOW, and make your plans to vote.

3. Register to vote, and consider voting by mail where possible. Most states offer the ability to register to vote by filling out forms online. And, whether you are already registered or just registering today, consider the vote by mail option as a safe and healthy way to exercise your right, which may also help reduce the impact of voter suppression efforts. State rules vary regarding vote-by-mail or absentee ballot options (the difference between the two is articulated here). Either way, exercising your right to vote by mail involves a few extra steps and takes careful planning. So, start TODAY.

4. Get Out The Vote (GOTV) and help protect people’s right to vote. There are several resources to help you GOTV. These include helping others register to vote, providing information on voting rights and how to vote, and increasing voter turnout. Just as these resources are shared with you, YOU, too, can share them with others.**

5. VOTE

Make a plan for when and how you are going to cast your ballot in your federal, state, and local elections. Making a plan (from politicalcharge.org) includes:

    • PREPARE: Know what is on your ballot, and consider candidates’ platforms, statements, records, and plans. See what’s on your ballot, Vote411.org. Children’s Environmental Health Network has developed voter guidance on 5 key children’s environmental health issues, including clean air and climate change.
    • WHEN: When will you vote? You may be able to vote early or by absentee ballot. Perhaps you’re in a state with all-mail ballots. If you’re going to vote in person on Election Day, look at your schedule for the day. Decide what time you will go to the polls. Set a reminder on your phone.
    • WHERE: Where is your polling location or ballot dropbox? It may have changed since the last time you voted. Check here to find your polling place.
    • HOW: How will you get there? Are you driving or do you need a ride? Are there any friends or neighbors that you can go with? Taking a friend with you increases the chances you’ll both definitely vote.

Share these #GOTV Resources and Links on Social Media!
Click HERE for the Social Toolkit

* ecoAmerica would like to thank RL Miller for her work to source a significant amount of these resources, and Vote.org for their work to simplify political engagement, increase voter turnout, and strengthen American democracy.

** Anyone is free to share any of the information provided in this post, including 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations.

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