Often, we hear, do you have your medical power of attorney completed? What about your do not resuscitate directive? Is your will in order? Who is your power of attorney if you become incapacitated? Rarely are we asked if we have our voting plan in order.
In a normal state of affairs, where we haven’t had four years of chaos and conspiracy theories, where we don’t have hyper voter suppression, where the post office is running at its full capacity, and when we don’t have a rampant pandemic, we don’t really need a voting plan.
As I’m sure you are extremely aware, this my friends, is anything but a normal voting year. This is a vote between democracy or dictatorship. This is a vote about being a world leader, or a world bully. This is a vote for common human decency or divisiveness. This is a vote for a man of 20,000+ lies, or one who will lead us back to the light.
Voting is one of the most sacred rights we have as citizens of this great country. Sadly, most don’t participate, even as they wish our country was on a better track. This is your year to help us get back on track, if you are 18 and eligible to vote, make sure you are registered AND that you also show up to vote!
And voting starts in just a few short days. Early voting begins on September 14 in Pennsylvania. September 18 in Minnesota, Virginia and Wyoming. September 19 in Michigan, New Jersey, South Dakota, and Vermont. September 24 in Illinois.
If you don’t have a voting plan, it is time to get it in order.
Some things to keep in mind.
- If you haven’t requested one yet, you need to do so basically yesterday. With the mail slow-down in many places, you want to make sure you have the ballot in time to return it.
- When your ballot arrives, open it that very same day, read the directions, then read the directions a second time. Fill it out that evening. Reread the directions again, then put a check by each step as you double-check you have followed the rules to the letter.
- After you have it completed, DO NOT PUT IT IN A MAILBOX unless you have no other choice, no transportation, no other means in which to get the ballot back to your local election office. Request confirmation it has been turned in.
- If you must return the ballot in the mail, make sure, if it is not postage pre-paid, you attach the correct postage, maybe even adding a little extra as a precaution.
- Return the ballot directly to your local election office if at all possible. This will ensure your ballot arrives well before the deadline to return the ballot to be counted. You want to do everything you can to ensure your vote is counted.
Early In-Person Voting
- Make sure you take your government issued ID with you.
- Make sure your government issued ID has your correct and current address on it.
- Take your completed sample ballot with you to make sure the sample and your ballot match.
- Take your mask, a sanitizing wipe, your own black, and a blue, ballpoint pen (@elle68401613 says it is harder to fake or alter the rolling of the ball, creating a unique pattern that can’t be matched), and hand sanitizer. Social distance.
- Make sure you go to the correct voting place for you. Sometimes for early voting there are still specific places you must go for your particular precinct. Don’t get caught in the loop of having to go to more than one precinct.
- Follow all directions and be polite.
- If there is an issue with your voting machine, call a poll worker over for assistance. Do not leave until the issue has been resolved and your vote is cast in the manner in which you have chosen. @u2fellowcitizen reminds us it’s not the poll workers fault, meaning please don’t get upset with the poll worker. They are there to help you.
- @jennycohn1 suggests, if possible, to request a paper ballot if touchscreens are in use to help ensure your vote is not manipulated in the final tally.
- @jennycohn1 recommends if you have to use a touchscreen, to compare your completed ballot with the printout to confirm your vote is being tallied to the people for whom you have voted.
- Go within the first few days of early voting so time does not get away from you and you don’t miss the deadline for early voting.
- Let all of your friends know you voted by posting a selfie with your “I voted” sticker. It actually helps remind friends to vote and increases their likelihood of voting themselves.
Election Day Voting
- See everything above for Early In-Person Voting.
- Be prepared to wait in line a long time, especially if you live in a non-white area of town. Take some water, a snack, an umbrella, a book, and something to sit on.
- Make sure your phone is fully charged before you leave the house. You may need to contact Our Vote at 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) if you have an issue with your ballot or right to vote at your precinct, which is not resolved by precinct personnel.
- Be prepared to walk through taunts, jeers, police, militia, white nationalists, white supremacists, and people with all kinds of guns trying to intimidate and scare you away from voting.
- If an older person, a pregnant person, someone with a disability, or any other thing that can hinder their waiting in line for long periods of times without going to the bathroom, please, if legal in your area, hold that persons place in line while they go take care of nature calls.
- Be polite, be civil, be nice.
Although I do firmly believe everyone should exercise their constitutional right to vote. My plea is for you to vote for Democrats up and down the ballot, from the local dog catcher, school board member, senator, all the way to the president.
We must be the wall fascism and totalitarianism hits to stop it in it tracks. The only way to do this is to get out the vote, and get the vote out in overwhelming numbers so there is no doubt of a Biden/Harris win.