With the November 3 election about a month away, you may be looking for ways to get involved in the process. Here are 7 things you can do now to support everyone's voice and shape the future of your communities.
1. Volunteer Virtually
Last week we launched the virtual volunteering micro-site designed to make election-related volunteering more accessible. Nonprofits like Turnout Nation, Open Progress, and Civic Works are featured, each of which offers volunteer actions that make for a more fair and equitable electoral process. These virtual opportunities can be performed online via computer, phone, or mail. Check them out!
Donate to the campaigns of politicians you believe in or bipartisan organizations that promote actions like voter registration or stopping the spread of misinformation. Even a small gift can be a symbol of that extra step you made towards civic participation. Here are some tips when it comes to donating to political campaigns.
3. Get Your Kids Involved
During political tumult, it may feel natural to remove your children from unpleasant public discourse; however, you can still conscientiously raise a civically engaged citizen. This article from Good Housekeeping, How to Raise a Good Citizen, suggests ways to positively introduce your children to political matters. Ideas include bringing them to the polls when you vote, discussing current events around the dinner table, and finding volunteer causes they can connect with. Find even more resources in this toolkit: Navigating Election Season with Your Family.
4. Volunteer at the Polls
Due to complications posed by COVID-19, higher risk populations may feel less comfortable volunteering at the polls. According to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, 58% of poll workers in the 2018 general election were over 60, an age group that has an increased risk of complications from COVID-19. In fact, there was a large shortage of election workers during the primaries causing long lines and consolidation of polling locations. Volunteer at the polls to make up for this gap and give people in your communities the opportunity to let their voices be heard.
5. Share Your Voice Around Nonprofit Funding
COVID-19 has devastated communities across the country and intensified the racial and economic inequalities that undermine our democracy. CORPS Act introduced by Senator Coons is a $16.6B Bill moving in the Senate to support the recovery effort by expanding national service. We care deeply about the value of service, but the current Bill does not support the extraordinary work of hundreds of thousands of local nonprofits or their capacity to effectively engage volunteers. That is why we at VolunteerMatch, and other nonprofit leaders, have authored a friendly amendment to the CORPS Act that provides access to funding to all nonprofits. If this interests you, sign and share the Change.org petition. Here’s more background information about the friendly amendment from VolunteerMatch’s CEO, Greg Baldwin.
6. Do Research
Who you elect and how you vote on issues will shape the future and how we support each other. By taking the time to research candidates, ballot propositions, and other items on the ballot such as government funding, you will gain a deeper understanding of how they impact you and your communities.
7. Vote, Early if You Can
More people are voting by mail in this election for the first time, and it may be an unfamiliar process. Here’s a breakdown of mail-in voting rules by state. Check out the TurboVote app that helps you with registering to vote, requesting absentee ballots and voting via reminders about what you need to do. By voting in the election, you will play a larger role in what our world will look like in the future.
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