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5 Free Or Cheap Ways To Actually Make An Impact On This Year’s Election

By Tuesday, October 13, 2020

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November 3 is less than a month away, and every state has different voter registration deadlines (which you can check here).

Unfortunately, a lot of people:

  1. may not know the deadline
  2. might think they’re registered to vote — but they’re not
  3. or they’re just plain unwilling to vote this year.

Which, considering the leading choices for candidacy, being discouraged to vote is somewhat understandable to me.

However, to throw your hands up in the air and say “No thanks,” is doing millions of people in this country a disservice — yourself included. I’m not going to tell you who to vote for, but I know I’m voting for a candidate with actual experience in helping run a country effectively, and one who has plans in place that I believe will do more help rather than harm,to those who need resources the most. I even have more faith in his VP.

But enough about where I stand. If you’re feeling anxious about the direction this election is headed, you still have time to make a difference. And while you can totally make a donation (simply click here — it can be as little as $20), there are other ways to get involved.

1. Write letters to – or – text voters

Swing Left makes it super easy to get in touch with voters and urge them to make sure they register and vote. You can also call voters in Super States, and Swing Left offers a tutorial and step-by-step instructions that make this a pretty simple task. On the downside, if you’re an introvert like me and get freaked out by the act of actually talking to people on the phone, I totally get it. You can still reach out and make an impact by sending an email or a text. The point is to reach as many people as possible and urge them that their vote really does make a difference.

2. Help voters with registration

Often we forget that advocating for voting doesn’t only consist of hitting the pavement, holding up signs, and reminding people to hit the polls (or send in their mail-in ballots). Your advocacy can start with your circle, and have more impact than you know. For starters, ask friends and family if they need help figuring out registration. It’s as easy as sending this link, which shows how to register in your state, and it doesn’t take up very much time at all. For anyone who’s unsure if they’re registered to begin with, just go to Vote.org, fill out your basic information (name, address, date of birth), and you’ll get an answer immediately.

3. Reach out to friends and family and remind them to vote

If you think those who are close to you are already registered to vote, simply text them a reminder to do so.  Sometimes the incentive for someone to get up and actually do something lies in how much they care for their loved ones, or their willingness to appease you out of love or respect. Let them know why it is important that they vote, including what it means to you, what it means for them — and overall, what it means for us all.

4. Work the polls

Of course, due to the pandemic, it’s much less safe this year to volunteer to work the polls, so it’s completely understandable for many to choose not to do so, in an attempt to minimize exposure to COVID-19. However, many states (like Wisconsin for instance) are finding a shortage of volunteers overall, which can drastically impact poll results this year. Simply put — if we don’t have enough people working at the polls, it could make wait time longer, and the voting process more chaotic. Not to mention, chaos increases the chances of those waiting in line, being more liable to walk away. If you feel passionate about this, check out how to become an election worker.

The site outlines what you need to do in order to become a poll worker where you live. Also, do understand that the more volunteers we have, the safer in-person will be (and yup, sanitizing the stations may be part of your duties, but it’s what we need!)

5. Social (media) activism

You spend a lot of time on social media anyway, so why not pause and post for a cause?

Posting voter information and resources on your Instagram page or stories, Facebook account, Twitter, etc., can go a long way. Make your posts shareable, and include graphics for shareability (a little tip: to make nice with most social media platforms’ algorithms, they prefer images posted along with text.)

Sure, your feed might already feel oversaturated with messages around voting, but that’s the point! It’s our number one priority until November 4.

In the end — keep sharing graphics and call-to-actions on your social media pages. Keep being vocal, and keep reminding those who are ambivalent towards voting, to do so anyway. Continue to make small but meaningful steps toward a successful election day. Not trying to be dramatic, but our fate really does lie in our hands.

Gina Vaynshteyn is an editor and writer who lives in LA. You can find more of her words on Refinery29, Apartment Therapy, HelloGiggles, Distractify, and others. If you wanna, you can follow her on Instagram or Twitter.

Image via Pexels

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