Five Things You Should Do Before Election Day
Election Day 2020 is officially less than one month away. Our country’s future is on the ballot, and we must ensure that we and our fellow Americans all have a say in what that future will look like.
Here are five things you can do between now and November 3 to help build a better democracy that works for all of us:
1. Make a plan to vote. First, have you registered to vote or updated your registration after a recent move? Check your registration status. The deadline to register to vote at your current address is October 24. If you have an ID issued by the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, you can register for the first time or update your registration entirely online. If you do not have an ID from the RMV, you will need to print, sign, and deliver a mail-in registration form to your city or town hall.
Second, will you vote by mail or in-person? If voting by mail, it’s best to request a mail ballot by October 20 (but no later than October 28). After receiving your mail ballot, follow the instructions for completing the ballot including signing where appropriate and inserting the ballot in the privacy envelope. Return your ballot–either by mail or in-person to your local election office or ballot drop box–as soon as you can to ensure it is counted but no later than November 3. Track your ballot online to ensure it will be counted, and plan to vote in person if it was rejected or not received.
If voting in-person, early voting will be held October 17-30. Early voting schedules and locations for each city and town will be posted at www.MassEarlyVote.com by October 9. On November 3, polls will be open 7 am to 8 pm. Find your polling location for November 3 here.
2. Volunteer for and vote Yes on 2 for Ranked Choice Voting in Massachusetts. Common Cause has been a longtime advocate for ranked choice voting and we are proud to endorse (along with Sen. Warren and Attorney General Healey among many others) this election’s Yes on 2 campaign. Passing Question 2 will give Massachusetts voters a stronger voice and ensure that our elected leaders have majority support. Show your support for Ranked Choice Voting with a free Yes on 2 yard sign and by volunteering to educate others across the state on the importance of passing Question 2 on Election Day.
3. Be a Poll Monitor. After you’ve made your own plan for voting, you can help make ensure other eligible voters also have their voices heard by signing up to be an Election Protection volunteer. Nonpartisan Election Protection volunteers like you will be voters’ first line of defense against restrictive election laws, coronavirus-related voting disruptions, or anything else that could silence their voices.
4. Help combat election misinformation online. In addition to monitoring polling places (from your vehicle, or with proper personal safety equipment), Election Protection volunteers can also watchdog social media for disinformation. Join an upcoming training on monitoring social media for election disinformation–once you’re trained you can work independently at any time of the day for as little or as much as you want. This is also a great option if you are interested in having an impact beyond Massachusetts.
4. Phone bank or text bank to educate voters and get out of the vote. Democracy works best when all of us participate and vote. Sign up to educate potential voters and help build political power in our underrepresented communities. You can also spread the word on social media.
Democracy isn’t a spectator sport. It’s critical that we all do our part to ensure that America’s democratic tradition continues and prospers.