Bulletin Insert: Trinity Sunday (A) - Building a Better Future: A Message About Voting - June 7, 2020
You can make a difference in your community for your neighbors, your family, your friends and yourself by accepting the responsibility to participate in local, state and federal elections. Voting is a sacred right, a right to lift our voices and determine how the United States’ policies and laws are formed. Voting is a commitment, a commitment to one another to not sit idly by and instead take action to build a better future.
The 2018 mid-term election saw the largest voter turnout for a mid-term election in 100 years, and voter turnout among 18-29 year-olds increased by a larger percentage than any other age group—going from 20% in 2014 to 36% in 2018. The power of your vote only exists if you take time to register to vote, research the candidates for all positions who will appear on your ballot, and cast your vote.
Voting procedures vary by state/territory, and may very well be modified on a regional basis for this election because of the Coronavirus pandemic, so make sure to pay attention to the processes where you live. Here’s how to do it:
- You must be 18 to vote, but some states allow people to register before they turn 18 if they will be 18 before election day. Find out when you can register at www.usa.gov/voter-registration-age-requirements.
- Register to vote! Visit www.vote.org/register-to-vote.
- Double-check registration: unfortunately, instances of voter purging—eliminating lists of people registered to vote—are becoming more common (learn more from the Brennan Center for Justice here: iam.ec/voterpurges). Even if you have registered to vote, it is best to check your voter registration status: www.vote.org/am-i-registered-to-vote.
- When it is time, research who will be on your ballot for local, state and federal elections. There are a number of ways to do this, but you can get started here: www.vote411.org/ballot.
- Vote! Election Day is November 3rd. The ways you can cast your vote will vary depending on where you are. Check for in-person polling places here: www.vote.org/polling-place-locator. Or you can vote by mail or early voting too! Learn more here: www.usa.gov/absentee-voting.
Special note: Even if you aren’t old enough or unable to register to vote, you are still able to engage in the election process. You can volunteer to help get out the vote, attend city council meetings, create or join neighborhood associations, and educate and mobilize others on voting. While the nature of these types of engagement will change due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, you might consider organizing rides to the polls on Election Day for those who otherwise could not get there, or organize child care in your church for those who need time without small children to go vote. You can even sign up to be a poll worker (www.eac.gov/voters/become-poll-worker).
Stay updated on election matters and much more, including opportunities to advocate to Congress, by following The Episcopal Public Policy Network on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @TheEPPN.