The coronavirus pandemic has got us all scared. We’re worried about our health. We’re worried about our jobs. We’re worried about our kids’ education. We’re worried about whether things will ever get back to normal. Of all the things we have to worry about, there’s one thing you don’t have to worry about in this pandemic: VOTING.
You can cast your ballot in the CRUCIAL Nov. 3 election by sending it in the mail. Yes! You don’t have to be anxious about risking your health by going to the polls. Here in Virginia, thanks to legislation passed earlier this year, we are now able to vote from home without an excuse any time in the 45 days before an election. You can apply to vote by mail online. In fact, since you’re reading this, it means you’re online, so you should just go ahead and do it. It will literally take one minute.
Once you apply, that sweet little ballot will show up in your mailbox in September, which you will fill out and return to your local registrar’s office. You can mail it back during the 45 days before the election. You have until Oct. 27, 2020 to request an absentee ballot if you’re doing it online. Your ballot has to be postmarked by Election Day and received by noon on the Friday after the election in order to count. What are you waiting for?
And guess what?! Since we’re in the 21st century, you can now track your ballot online to ensure it gets delivered!
Voting By Mail Is Legit AF
Trump and his allies are trying to cast doubt on our electoral process. Well, in case you haven’t already figured it out––Trump is a liar, liar, pants on fire. People have voted by mail since the Civil War. It is so common that in 2016, nearly 25% of all ballots cast nationwide were a mail-in ballot. In five states––Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah, and Washington––voting by mail is their main source of voting. Also, might I add that members of the U.S. military that are stationed away from their voting precincts routinely vote by mail.
Trump Is Afraid Of Your Vote
So, why is Trump saying that? Because he’s afraid of losing power. Voting by mail is proven to increase voter participation. Trump knows that the GOP is hurt when it’s easier for people to vote. Since the Racist-In-Chief has done such a god-awful job as President and his ratings are so low, he knows he could be fired.
Remember that whole Civil Rights movement that happened in the 1950s and 60s (and is still very much alive today TBH)? A lot of it involved the fight for the right to vote. Black people were barred from voting by literacy tests and poll taxes because their votes would challenge the white supremacist structures that held them down.
Even though the Voting Rights Act of 1965 got rid of a lot of barriers to voting, the Supreme Court gutted the historic law in 2013 by allowing states to change their voting rules without federal approval. Since then, many states have passed laws to make voting more difficult like requiring photo I.D. and restricting voting absentee or by mail.
Fight For Your Right to Vote
Luckily, people have caught on to conservatives’ scheme. That’s why people have been working hard to protect our constitutionally-protected right to exercise our voice in our democracy by expanding access to voting. In Virginia, efforts spearheaded by our friends, New Virginia Majority, have helped returning citizens regain their right to vote. During this year’s General Assembly, progressives successfully passed bills that repealed the photo I.D. requirement for voting, allowed for no-excuse absentee voting, and made Election Day a state holiday in the Commonwealth.
Trump and his allies don’t want us to vote because they know that when everyone participates in our democracy, we are stronger together. Instead, he wants to sow chaos and confusion to keep us divided. We’ve got to come together to defeat him. So, as Rep. John Lewis said in his last words, “The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society. You must use it because it is not guaranteed. You can lose it.” Stay healthy and vote by mail for this November’s election.