Maybe you voted for Trump–or abstained in 2016–hoping he’d shake things up, and now you think the country can’t take anymore shaking. Maybe Biden wasn’t your first pick, and you hate the thought of parking yet another old white guy in the White House. Perhaps, like me, you’ve procrastinated your plans to emigrate to a healthy democracy. Or maybe, like most of us, you’re just queasy after years being force-fed for-profit, click-bait media that lionizes blowhards, puts scare quotes around “facts,” and sows doubt in our elections. Sometimes it seems as if the only good news is you can tune out by binge-watching Schitt’s Creek.
Yet as the election approaches, you have this uneasy feeling this might be a chance to stop our free-fall into fascist dictatorship. In Barack Obama’s words, “This president and those in power who benefit from keeping things the way they are, they are counting on your cynicism.” But, other than double up on Prozac, buy another gun, and bury gold bars under your kitchen floor, what can you do?
I. Become a poll worker.
Becoming a poll worker is a non-partisan way to contribute to a healthy democracy, a duty usually performed by retirees. In a pandemic, however, people of retirement age must be more cautious. That said, it’s time for newbies to step up. And guess what? Poll workers get paid–it’s not much, but they get paid to save democracy. Many of us now work from home with flexible schedules or, sadly, are out of work, making this option a win-win. Grab your mask and go!
Help America Vote thanks to the US Election Assistance Commission by clicking here.
II. Make your voting plan today!
Then help your friends and loved ones do likewise. “I wanted to make things easier for anyone who should be voting, which is everyone,” said comedian Stephen Colbert. Mashable says the Late Show host will also “be posting an individual video for every state explaining how to vote early, easily, and safely,” on his website, betterknowaballot.com.
You can also learn the voter registration rules and resources for your state and even check your voter registration status by clicking here.
Find your voter registration deadline by clicking here.
Find your polling place by clicking here.
III. Get out the vote.
Even in a pandemic? Yes. Passionate patriots have been figuring it out for you. They’ve made it easy to jump in, start small, and make a big difference, even from the safety and comfort of your couch.
Join the League of Women Voters.
Get three friends to vote and Rock the Vote.
Plug in your zip code and go with Swing Left
IV. Light a fire under your backside.
If you’re still feeling apathetic, instead of going binge-bunta for Wentworth, search for and watch videos of recent speeches about the election by your favorite candidates and luminaries–go to the candidates themselves. Visit their websites, their social media, and one-on-one interviews. Find out who’s running in local elections and do likewise for them.
Then go back to the above suggestions and DO SOMETHING. Even if it’s just one small step.
V. Make a vow in the comments below what your one small step will be.
In Barack Obama’s words, this president and those in power “know they can’t win you over with their policies, so they’re hoping to make it as hard as possible for you to vote and to convince you that your vote does not matter. That is how they win. That is how they get to keep making decisions that affect your life and the lives of the people you love. That’s how the economy will keep getting skewed to the wealthy and well-connected. That’s how our health systems will let more people fall through the cracks. That’s how a democracy withers until it’s no democracy at all. And we cannot let that happen. Do not let that happen.” Listen to the full speech here.