I’ve never been one to be into politics, or even watch the news. CNN or Fox, didn’t even really know what channel they were on if we’re being honest here. I would typically watch only when there was a hurricane or some other major disaster. So of course when COVID hit our shores the 1st of March, I was glued. It also helped that I was in bed sick for almost 2 weeks so I had nothing else to do but watch and wonder if I had it. Now it’s September and I have favorite shows and hosts on both CNN and Fox. Yes you read that right.
this year feels different . . .
This election feels so different than any other before. I vaguely remember Obama running while I was in college. I voted for McCain, but honestly can’t even remember casting that vote because it just wasn’t monumental like this one is. My boyfriend at the time voted for Obama and I’ll never forget him telling me and his parents who also voted for McCain, that he wanted to be on the right side of history. A monumental moment electing the first Black person to the highest office.
Wildly enough, I feel that now too. I look back on that moment not necessarily wishing I voted differently, but wishing I knew more. Would I have cast my vote for Obama? Not sure. Did I really know what mattered to me at the age of 22? Not entirely, but I could’ve done more. And that’s why this year, I’m getting more involved. Not only for my own sake, but now that tens of thousands of you read this blog and follow me on social media, I feel obligated to. Because I truly think this country is at a breaking point and November may decide the fate of this country for years to come.
I’m not here to tell you who to vote for. Besides, I’m sure you likely know who I’ll be voting for on October 12th here in Atlanta thanks to early voting. But I wanted to just yell it from the god damn rooftop that YOU NEED TO VOTE.
How To Vote In The 2020 Election
Voting this November is going to look a hell of a lot different than it ever have or ever will again. We’ll be in masks at the polls standing 6 feet apart. I got a taste of this at our primaries this May. And I felt totally safe. Hand sanitizer, masks everywhere and lots of social distancing. So if you’ve been going to the grocery store, please please PLEASE go to the polls.
Many states also have early voting so you can head in at a time that’s more convenient to. Plus, hopefully, avoid long lines. It’ll also help to get more of the votes in as early as possible so we aren’t waiting weeks to find out who’s president. Remember Bush and Gore? Now that’s one election I remember!
I wish more states offered this. And I wish this country would make November 3rd a national holiday. But here we are, and it still isn’t.
Mail In Ballots
If you can’t go to the polls, you can also request a mail-in ballot. Each state also has its own process for this. Some mail them out regardless, some need a request, and some states mostly vote by mail in every election like Oregon and Colorado. You can find out more about mail-in ballots here.
When voting by mail, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure your ballot is COUNTED. Again, each state is different. Typically you need to sign it (and it should usually match what the government has a record of like your driver’s license signature), some require a witness. You can either drop these off at your local elections office or mail them back. The MOMENT you get your mail-in ballot in the mail is the MOMENT you should fill it out and send it right back. Do not dilly daddle!
There are two reasons for this. First, you can usually track your mail-in ballot through your state’s election online portal. Make sure it’s received, make sure it’s counted. This gives you time in case your signature is off, or you didn’t fill something out properly. It’s imperative you ensure your ballot is counted. Track that thing like you track an Amazon delivery.
Why You Need To Register To Vote
In order to vote, you need to register. Again, every state is different and has different deadlines. Here in Georgia, you need to be registered by October 5th. Every state is different, so be sure to check your status. Rock The Vote is a great non-partisan website that provides great resources to check when, how and where to vote.
How To Get Involved
If you want to get involved with either a campaign or at the polls, there are several ways you can help out. You can make calls or texts for your candidate, you can sign up to be a poll worker which is in DIRE need of people to help out. Plus, it pays! I urge you to get involved this year no matter who you support. It’s an important part of our democracy to vote and being more involved in the process is really an amazing thing!