I signed up with Vote Forward this election cycle.
It’s my first time volunteering for a get out the vote project ever, and my second stint of political activism this year after a long period of not doing much.
It’s been a really meaningful experience so far. Writing letters is one tangible action that I can do effectively at this point in my life (while running a business + raising two small children). Here’s the organization’s mission –
Vote Forward is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization. Our mission is to empower grassroots volunteers to help register voters from under-represented demographics and encourage them to vote. We build tools to enable Americans, wherever they may be, to encourage fellow citizens to participate in our democracy.Vote Forward
The organization also been proven effective at encouraging people to exercise their right to vote. Here’s how they describe the project –
Sending a Vote Forward letter is one of the easiest things you can do to increase turnout. It takes two minutes and one stamp, and meaningfully increases the odds that the recipient will vote. A concrete action you can take, no matter where you live, to get unlikely-to-vote fellow citizens to the polls.Vote Forward
I’ve been voting in every municipal, local, state & national election since I turned 18 – so, since the 2004 Georgia State Primaries (I requested an independent ballot and got to vote for like 2 judges I think).
But I also know how daunting and annoying voting can be in this country. I started requesting absentee ballots back in 2008 because the lines and driving and waiting were annoying and frustrating. Plus, the ballots were so long that sometimes I couldn’t remember how I wanted to vote on certain races or amendments.
For all the talk of polling, news, money, social media, etc – votes are the one and only thing elected officials actually pay attention to. Everything else is noise. It matters that every adult tell elected officials what they want. Votes + laws keep everything in check and moving towards a bit more justice for all.
John Lewis was my Representative in Congress. He dedicated his entire life to the right to vote. I never got to hear him speak in person, but I did get to listen to his speeches on YouTube and read about his thoughts on voting.
Like John Lewis said, the right to vote seems simple and easy. But like most of our rights, it’s actually pretty daunting to deploy without encouragement or practice. And that’s before other people deliberately make it complicated and difficult. It takes everyone to contribute to make sure voting happens. It’s a fundamental right that we all have to protect.
Most get out the vote operations are door to door. They usually help people in person. That’s difficult for many people to help with, but doubly so in a pandemic. Vote Forward is great because it’s all at home with organized templates and simple instructions.
They have addresses available right up until Oct 27th 2020. And after that, they’ll likely move right into stocking up for the 2022 election. Be sure to check it out.