What's at stake?
Tuesday, November 3, 2020, is Election Day and we need everyone registered and ready to vote. A lot is at stake when it comes to birth control and reproductive health care access this election at both the federal and state level. Know where your candidates stand on these issues. For example:
- Do they support public funding for contraception so that women who have lower-incomes have access to the full range of birth control methods?
- Do they support rolling back the "domestic gag rule" so that the Title X Program continues to provide quality, affordable family planning services to low-income women?
- Do they support the requirement that insurance companies cover the full range of birth control methods without co-pays as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) currently requires?
- And speaking of the ACA, do they oppose efforts to repeal or gut the law, such as any rollback of the requirement to cover people—regardless of preexisting conditions?
Where do my candidates stand?
Above are just a few questions that you might want to ask candidates to learn how supportive they are of policies to ensure that everyone has the power to decide if, when, and under what circumstances to get pregnant and have a child. Don't wait until the last minute to read up on the candidates on your ballot to see where they stand on key issues.
- Get smart about the contraception policy and access landscape in your state.
- Remind candidates that birth control is not controversial; au contraire, it is widely popular.
- Ask candidates questions at town halls, through social media, and if they show up at your door or in your community.
- For more questions to ask, along with supporting information, read this blog.
Who are the candidates?
Find out what US House district you live in. From there you can look up the candidates running for that seat and check out their campaign websites. See if there’s a Senate race in your state and who is running. Learn about the candidates running for governor, and don't forget that state legislatures are super important too.
Get registered today!
The most important thing you can do right now is confirm that you're registered to vote! Even if you're pretty sure you're registered to vote, it doesn't hurt to triple check. Here are a few tips:
- Find out if you are already registered to vote at your current address today. Each state has a different registration period, the sooner you register the better!
- If you aren’t registered, you can do it now in less than two minutes!
When, where, and how to vote
- If you're planning to be away from home on November 3 and you've already registered to vote, you can apply for an absentee ballot.
- Due to COVID-19, more state are allowing vote by mail or absentee voting without an excuse. Check out your state’s requirements on what circumstances qualify someone to vote absentee. Additional information on how to vote by mail can be heard on the NPR Life Kit Podcast.
- Find out if your state requires voter identification at the polls. Be sure that you have qualifying identification to vote on November 3.
- Your state may have early voting (or voting in person before November 3). If so, it might be more convenient for you or a loved one to vote in advance.
- Find out your polling location and make a plan to get there during polling hours.
- Lastly, keep this number on hand: (866) OUR-VOTE. If you or someone you know is turned away or has trouble voting when I get to the polls on November 3, you can submit a complaint online or call the Election Protection Hotline!
Plan to vote.
Planning to vote is key to voting successfully! Make sure you know if you can vote early and/or by mail and don’t miss the deadlines! If you’re voting on election day, be sure to think about your schedule for the day. Will you need to vote in the morning? After class? In the evening after work? Will you need a ride to the polls? Does your neighbor? Plan to research your candidates and make a list of who you want to vote for ahead of time. Plan to encourage everyone—your partner, co-workers, newly 18-year-old nieces and nephews—to get registered to vote. Plan to make your voice heard!
Don’t forget to share with your friends!
Voting is more fun when done with the people you care about most. Here are a few notes you can send your friends and family to encourage them to get registered and to plan to vote on Tuesday, November 3, 2020!
- Hey [their name], the deadline to register to vote in [fill in your state] is [fill in the deadline from here]. Have you registered yet? It only takes a sec to do so. Don't miss your chance to be heard this year. Let me know if you need help!
- Hey [their name], the election is coming up November 3rd and we need to be able to vote while staying safe in a pandemic. See whether your state allows voting by mail and then make a plan.
- Hey [their name], did you know that November 3rd is election day? I'm planning to vote at [insert your plan for voting, i.e., time of day, transportation, polling location]. What's your plan—have you already figured it out? Here are some cool resources to help you prepare to vote: https://bit.ly/2Ce5npU
Want to help even more people to vote? Check out some volunteer opportunities.