Lilith Votes: How to Make a Voting Plan, Today!

  • First, make sure you’re registered. Even if you have registered in the past, it is crucial to confirm that you are still on the voter rolls. Voter purging happens frequently, often in error, and if you’ve been removed you will not be allowed to vote. To avoid complications on election day, check your registration status and re-register if necessary—and do so as soon as possible, as some states have registration deadlines several weeks before election day.
  • Next, decide if you will be voting by mail or in person. If you are not sure which option to choose, consider the following questions: Am I immunocompromised, over the age of 60, or currently living with someone who is? Other factors to consider are whether you will be able to get to your polling place during voting hours, find childcare, and access transportation to your polling place.
  • If you plan to vote in person, be sure to confirm the location of your polling place and voting hours—some locations may have changed due to Covid-19 safety restrictions. While you’re at it, find out if you’ll have to provide ID. Then make sure you have adequate personal protective equipment (face covering, hand sanitizer, etc.) and any other supplies you may need. Since general elections draw a crowd, plan to wait outside—even if it’s raining! It is also advisable to leave non-eligible voters (such as children or unregistered folks) at home if you can, and of course maintain six feet of distance from other voters and poll workers.
  • To avoid crowds, it can be helpful to vote at an “off hour” (such as late morning). Another option is to vote early, which can help reduce crowds on election day—find out if your state offers early voting!
  • If you are planning to vote by mail due to Covid-19 concerns (or for any other reason) and have not yet verified whether this is possible in your state, now is a great time to check! So you’re eligible? Great. Before you request your absentee ballot, you may also want to consider whether you will be able to mail your ballot in time to ensure it will be counted—the Federal Voting Assistance program advises aiming to receive your ballot by early October. Be advised that in many states you will receive an application to vote by mail, which you will need to complete and return before receiving your ballot. Thus it is important not to wait until the last minute to request your ballot. Find more information here, regarding deadlines in your state. Keep in mind that recent budget cuts and the Covid-19 pandemic have caused the USPS to function more slowly than normal, so when in doubt, act early!
  • Once you’ve made your logistical arrangements, you are almost ready! The final step (before actually voting) is to do your research. Sure, most of us already know which candidate we support for president, but that’s not all you’ll find on your ballot. Take some time to learn about the candidates who are running for other positions, such as Congress, Senate, and Assembly. Also find out if you will have the opportunity to vote on any referendums. This will all vary by state, and for some local offices, by district—find your sample ballot here.
  • Spread the word. Talk to your friends and family to help them make their voting plans. And don’t forget to stay up to date on any changes that may occur based on Covid-19 surges. Happy voting!