There has been no shortage of crises bearing down on America in 2020. But as we race toward Election Day, there are two words popping up more and more in our daily doomscrolls that we can’t ignore — voter suppression.
We are as concerned as you are (or certainly SHOULD be) about the threat of voter suppression disrupting or denying the democratic process for anyone this year. Every vote should be counted, whether it’s sent in the mail or in person. How is that controversial in the slightest, to anyone?
But while many of us cling on to an ideal we were taught as children — that voting is the right of each and every American, and that that right is respected — the hard truth is voter suppression has been a part of United States elections since the country’s founding. It continues to be a threat to this day. And Black, Indigenous and people of color are particularly impacted.
We know — this is really nasty stuff. But there are things we can do to help protect the integrity of voting — both for ourselves, and for others.
Help Protect YOUR Ballot
You have the right to vote. But it’s important you know what YOU can do to help ensure your vote is counted. Every state has different rules for how to register, how and whether you can vote early, vote by mail, etc. etc. etc. And the rules for ballot submissions change state-to-state also, which can and does result in ballots getting tossed for infuriatingly stupid reasons. (don’t forget your TWO official ballot envelopes, Pennsylvanians!)
Check out our very own Defend Our Future Civic Action Center, where you can register to vote and find out everything you need to know about voting, and casting your ballot, in your area. Does your state have options to cast your ballot early? Election workers on site will be more than happy to answer your questions in person, too.
Once you’re confident you’re up to speed, spread the word to your family and friends.
Help Protect ALL Ballots
The hard truth, though? Voter suppression is still a threat when you do everything exactly as you should.
The good news is there are a number of outstanding organizations doing great work to fight back. The Southern Poverty Law Center, Campaign Legal Center and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights under Law are three of the big ones, though there are many more. And there are almost certainly local groups working where you live, too. If you want to support them, they’ll be lucky to have you.
This is going to be an intense election season. A ton is at stake. But taking a few steps to protect your vote, and help others protect their votes too, is a great way to get involved and actually DO something about it.