Two years have come and gone, and it’s time for another election. Regardless of your political stance, voting gives you a chance to stand up for issues that matter to you and make a positive impact on your community.
Voting polls will open across the country on Nov. 3 to elect the President of the U.S., 35 senators, 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, 11 state governors and more than 5,300 members of state legislatures.
That’s a lot of positions to fill, so here are some tips to help you plan your ballot.
Before you cast your vote
It’s hard to vote without the proper registration, and you want to make an educated decision. Use these resources to get started.
- Register to vote. Some states require advanced registration while others allow same-day registration. Click here to check your state’s protocols and deadlines.
- Update your voter registration if you have moved or changed your name.
- Make informed choices. Review the candidates and ballot measures in your state. Learn more about candidates on their individual websites, news channels, or digital and social media. Make sure to check the source for accurate information.
After choosing your candidates, it’s time to vote. Things may look a little different this year, but there are measures you can take to stay safe and healthy while making a difference. The key is to plan ahead.
Vote by mail
Request your mail-in, or “absentee,” ballot as soon as possible to ensure you receive it in plenty of time, even if there are shipping delays.
Mail in your completed ballot at least 7 days before Election Day to allow for processing time by the postal service. You can also drop it off at your community’s designated location or drop box by the deadline.
Each state has unique rules and ballot return timelines. Check your state’s information to make sure you meet the deadline.
Certain states allow voters to cast their ballots in-person before Election Day during a designated early voting period.
This is a great option if you want to skip the crowds or don’t have time before or after your normal work hours on Election Day to make it to the polls. While the crowd may be smaller, requirements for face coverings and social distancing remain in place.
Availability, rules, dates and hours may vary based on where you live. Check your state’s election office to learn more.
Plan to vote either before or after your workday.
If your work schedule doesn’t allow sufficient time to vote during your poll’s open hours, reach out to your manager as soon as possible to discuss how to accommodate finding time to vote. Your company may even have a policy that gives you time off to vote.
Be sure to wear a face covering, stay 6 feet from others and follow all posted signs and directions at your polling location. And don’t forget to thank your poll workers.
Speaking of poll workers. Did you know you could be part of the Election Day team? Election workers are an important part of making sure our elections are a success. Check the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to find out if you are eligible.