What's Your Voting Plan? Everything You Need to Know, State by State & Step by Step
Join the 45,360 people who've taken action on Causes this week
by The 2020 Causes Voter Center | 9.13.20
Voting is one of the top responsibilities you have as an American citizen. It deserves you creating a plan of action to ensure your ballot reaches the box this Election Day.
Ready to develop your 2020 Voting Plan? Find everything you need at How To Vote, read on for additional details to make your voting plan, and make sure you talk to your manager about your plan and schedule.
Elements of a voting plan
Heading to the polls? Heading to the mailbox? Wherever you're voting this November, your plan should include:
1. Register To Vote & Check Your Voting Status
Are you a U.S. citizen? Over 18? A resident of one of the 50 states? Congrats, you can vote in this year’s election—if you’re registered.
- Need to register? Not a problem, just fill in the form below:
- Think you're registered? Not sure? Want to double-check? Good call. Verify your voter registration status here:
2. How To Vote – In Person or by Outgoing Mail
- During the COVID-19 pandemic, you may feel more comfortable casting a remote ballot. Completely understandable—participate in democracy any way you can.
- Click here or fill out the form below.
- But if you are voting by mail, make sure you're registered and you’ve requested your ballot with the time you need to receive it, complete it, and mail it back. Check out deadlines here or click your state below:
- Heading to the polls? In many states, voters need specific forms of ID to vote. Check your state's ID requirements ahead of Election Day to ensure you have no issues casting your ballot.
- Some states also require voters to register ahead of Election Day. Check your state's voter registration deadline today to prevent issues at the polling station in November.
3. When To Vote
- If you're voting by mail, know the deadline for requesting your mail-in ballot so you’ll receive it far ahead of the election. Check absentee ballot deadlines here.
- If you're voting in person, plan your trip to the polling place. Will you go on Election Day? Or will you head to the polls earlier if your state allows early voting?
- If you are voting in person, know day-of-logistics: Do you need to request time off from work to vote? Or can you vote before or after work? When do the polls close in your area?
4. Where To Vote
- Voting in person? You'll need info on where your polling place is and when it’s open and closed. Check your state's information here or simply type in your info below:
- If you're driving yourself to the polls, get directions to your polling place.
- Need assistance getting to the polls? These organizations can help you out.
- Unsure how to mail your ballot? Check whether there are ballot drop-off locations close to your home or work.
- In some states, such as Oregon, ballot drop boxes are commonly located at large workplaces, libraries, and government buildings.
5. Get Informed
It’s not just how you play the game, it’s why you play.
- If you're passionate about a particular issue, include that in your voting plan! Acknowledging why it's important for you to get to the polls is an important part of motivating yourself to vote—and reminding you why it's worth standing in line.
- If there's something on the ballot in your state that you strongly support or oppose, that may also be a reason to vote. Check your local and state ballot measures in advance.
- The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was enacted to guarantee the rights of racial minority groups – particularly Black Americans - to participate in elections. Learn more about the history of voting here.
6. Know Your Rights
Before heading to the polls or requesting a mail-in ballot for this fall's election, make sure you know your rights as a voter.
- You’re eligible to vote in the 2020 presidential election if you meet these three criteria: Over 18, registered to vote, a resident of your state.
- Note: residency does not mean “permanent address.” If you are experiencing homelessness or between homes, you may still be able to meet your state’s general residency requirements.
- If you can’t vote in-person on Election Day, you may be able to vote early or with a mail-in ballot. Check your state’s requirements here.
- If the polls close while you’re still in line, stay put—you have the right to vote.
- Not on the register? Request a provisional ballot. Voters are entitled to a provisional ballot - also known as "challenge ballots" or "affidavit ballots" - even if they aren’t in the poll book.
- Voter accessibility laws ensure that people with disabilities or language barriers are able to vote. Contact your state or local election office to find out what accommodations to expect at your polling place.
- Problems? Pushback? Something just doesn't feel right? Contact the ACLU's Election Protection Hotline for help and info. Don't give up until your vote is counted.
There it is! Your 2020 Election Day Plan is complete!
Alas, Democracy doesn’t take a congratulatory lap.
Now that you’ve polished your Voting Plan, it’s time to share that pledge – and its resources - with friends, family, and co-workers. Just click on over here.
(Ok, take a few congratulatory laps. You’ve earned them. On behalf of Democracy, America, and the Founding Fathers and Mothers—thanks for taking the time to vote on or before November 3rd!)
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