The midterm elections are almost here! And there’s no more important thing that you can do than to participate. That means getting registered (in most cases you have to do it by 30 days before Election Day); and it means showing up either on the big day, or during the early voting period (in some states, you can also vote absentee without needing a travel note).
Why bother? Because voting is, in my humble opinion, the most important and profound expression of citizenship. It’s also a power that’s important enough that people in power have exerted tremendous and sometimes violent efforts to prevent whole groups of Americans from exercising it – from women, to African-Americans to young Americans. And barriers to voting are still being erected today – although, as the turnout in 2012 demonstrated, no barrier is insurmountable for people who are determined to exercise their rights.
If you’re taking my #1Voter challenge, that means you’ve committed to finding just one person – a family member who’s turning 18 before November, or a relative who’s just never taken the time to register, or a friend who has said they don’t vote because they don’t have the time – and encouraging them to get registered. You can help them in any number of ways:
- By checking the web site https://www.usvotefoundation.org/: Here you can learn the deadline for registering to vote in your state, and other information to help you take the #1Voter challenge to get at least one person registered to vote. Check ASAP, as many registration deadlines are approaching!
- By sending them the link to vote in the 11 states with online registration and then following up! You can also post the link to your Facebook, Instagram or Twitter account to make sure people in your circle have it!
- By encouraging a friend or family member to download the National Voter Registration Application – by emailing the link or posting it to your social media accounts!
- Once the form is filled out, each voter must follow the instructions for their state for mailing it in. The instructions are on the form by state (just scroll down). Each voter must fill out their own form, but you can be helpful by offering to spring for the postage, or even dropping off the sealed application to the Post Office for a senior or working parent who can’t make it to the post office themselves.
- By bringing voter registration forms to your church, school or organization, and encouraging people to take one and fill it out, and mail it in, then following up with an email or phonecall to encourage them to follow through.
- Or by just “evangelizing” voter registration using your social media accounts. Just hearing from you can make the difference for a friend or family member!
And then, you can take it one step further by taking just one person with you to the polls.
Ready to take the challenge? Go for it, and keep us posted on this site, on Twitter at the hashtag #1Voter, or on our Facebook page.