It's Election Season: 7 Key Actions to Take Between Now and Nov. 3rd

October 5, 2020Sophie Raim

“A ruler is not be appointed unless the community is first consulted.” - Rabbi Yitzchak Ben Yehuda ibn Gayyat

Every Voice, Every Vote: The Reform Movement’s 2020 Civic Engagement Campaign launched in May, and since then, we’ve been busy mobilizing our communities, combatting voter suppression, and engaging student voters.

The end of election season is fast approaching, but our work is not done yet. There’s still time to make a difference and ensure every voice is heard and every vote is counted this election.

1. REGISTER TO VOTE.

Are you registered to vote? Check your voter registration status and make sure to register as soon as possible. It’s not too late to register to vote in many states – 21 states, plus D.C., allow same-day, in-person registration on Election Day.

Find out your state's voter registration deadline and make sure to register in time to cast your ballot in this critical election.

2. MAKE A VOTING PLAN... AND THEN VOTE!

This year, voting will look a little different for many of us. Make sure you know how you’ll be casting your ballot to ensure your vote is received on time to be counted. Some questions to consider:

  • How will you be voting? In person during early voting or on Election Day? Vote-by-mail?
  • If you’re voting in person, where is your polling location, and how will you get there?
  • If you’re voting by mail, by when does your ballot need to postmarked?

Fill out our digital voter pledge card and save the confirmation email to hold yourself accountable to your voting plan.

3. STAFF YOUR LOCAL POLLING PLACE.

America is facing a record shortage of poll workers this year due to the coronavirus. Our democracy depends on people like you who make sure elections run smoothly and everyone’s vote is counted. To help make sure we have a safe, fair, efficient election for all, sign up to staff your local polling place.

You can also take action from home or in person by serving as a nonpartisan Election Protection volunteer. Will you sign up to be one of them? If you have a legal background you could also serve as a captain for the Election Protection’s English language national voter hotline; email epcaptain@lawyerscommittee.org for more information.

In making your decision, remember that pikuach nefeshpikuach nefeshפִּקּוּחַ נֶפֶשׁThe concept that saving a life overrides all other biblical commandments.  is Judaism’s highest mitzvahmitzvahמִצְוָהLiterally, “commandment." A sacred obligation. Jewish tradition says the Torah contains 613 mitzvot Mitzvot refer to both religious and ethical obligations. . Especially in the midst of a pandemic, we encourage you to care for your health and safety by heeding the advice of experts and following CDC guidelines when making decisions about in-person activity.

4. MOVE INTO ACTION.

Even though we may not be able to participate in in-person civic engagement activities at the moment, that doesn’t mean that we can’t come together in this sacred work in other ways.

Join us Wednesday nights for Every Voice, Every Vote: Every Week, our Zoom-based action nights that include a brief introduction to our campaign and opportunities to celebrate our work before teaching you how to use that evening’s voter engagement tool (phone banking, text banking, etc.). We will spend the rest of the call engaging in that work together.

5. CHECK IN WITH YOUR NETWORK.

Reach out to five friends, loved ones, coworkers, or congregants to make sure they are registered to vote and have a voting plan in place. Use the power of relational organizing to mobilize your network to cast their ballots this November. Call, text, WhatsApp, or use whatever form of communication you are most comfortable with to engage your network in conversations around voting.

Download the Empower App, our relational organizing mobile app, to organize the people you know to register and to vote.

6. RESEARCH YOUR STATE’S BALLOT MEASURES.

This November, you may be voting for more than the next president, you may also be voting on ballot measures in your state. Research your state’s ballot measures in advance so you’re ready and informed when you vote.

7. CHANGE THE CONVERSATION: ALL BALLOTS COUNT, AND COUNT ALL BALLOTS. 

Counting ballots isn’t a sign of dysfunction – it’s a sign of democracy. To make sure every eligible voter has their voice heard and vote counted, officials in each state need to count all mail in ballots. We all need to expect that it’s going to take longer this year to get the results. Election results may not be fully known on November 3rd. Be patient! 

While the last day to cast your ballot is November 3rd, Americans in several states are already voting by mail or at early voting sites. Help change the conversation when you talk to friends and family and remind them: This year, it’s Election Season, not Election Day.

Want to do even more to help protect American democracy? You can use the Religious Action Center’s action alert to contact your senators and tell them that they should not vote on any nominee to fill the Supreme Court vacancy until after a new Senate is sworn in and the president inaugurated.

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