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Four Things to Do to Get Ready to Vote in Midterms

Who’s ready to vote?!…

After the devastating antisemitic Pittsburgh synagogue shooting this weekend, and all that’s happened over the past couple years, November 6th can’t come quickly enough. The midterm elections are really important this fall. All 435 seats in the House of Representatives, 35 seats in the Senate, and governors in 36 states are on the ballot. “There’s a lot at stake for President Trump,” writes CNN. “The party that ends up in control of Congress can make the President’s life a breeze or a nightmare during the last two years of his term.”

Here’s how to get yourself ready for voting day:

1. Find your voting location and times.
If you enter your address here, you can confirm your voting place, and see the hours it will be open. If you’d like to try to vote days ahead of time (some states require a valid reason for this, and some states don’t offer it at all), go here. If you need an absentee ballot (typically because you’ll be out of the country or unable to appear at the polls because of sickness or disability), go here.

2. Find out what you need to bring with you. In some states (including California and New York), you usually don’t need ID; you can just state your name and address. Other states require ID. Check your state’s requirements here.

3. Get the transportation or support you need. If you need a ride to the polls, reach out to Carpool Vote, and Lyft and Uber are also offering discounted or free rides on voting day. If you’re taking care of kids, you are allowed to bring minors with you into the voting booth in every state in the country. If you feel as if you’re getting harassed, intimidated or turned away at the polls, don’t hesitate to call a voter protection hotline. They’re made for that exact reason, and people want to help.

4. Decide who you want to vote for.
BallotReady and Ballotpedia show you all the candidates on your particular ballot, what they support and who endorses them. Both tools are super helpful and easy to use. Another approach: If there’s an issue or two that you’re incredibly passionate about, you can find groups that support those causes and see which candidates they’re supporting. For example, if your top issue is gun reform, you can use the Gun Sense Candidate look-up tool created by Moms Demand Action. If your number-one issue is the environment, you can see the League of Conservation Voters’ list of ‘Dirty Dozen’ candidates who consistently side against the environment.

vote on November 6th

Will you be voting on November 6th? It’s so important! We can do this!!! What else would you add to this list?

P.S. On sexual harassment, and how do you get your news?

(Bottom photo taken by General Store of voting posters by Lena Wolff and Publication Studio Bay Area.)

  1. Misha says...

    This post and the comments made me cry and I’ve been sitting here trying to figure out why,

    It suddenly dawned on me: it made me feel hope. That felt like such a foreign, moving feeling that it took me a minute or two to identify.

    I’m a mid-forties, returning student and on campus, I have been engaging students 25 years younger than me about these midterms. I’ve offered rides, I’ve asked repeatedly if they are voting, I have one seatmate who is staunchly conservative and believes many things I vehemently disagree with, but I’ve tried to represent a compassionate person with whom he can have a warm disagreement and still feel respected for his military service and humanity.

    I think I have still just felt so much shame and horror for our country, for how my own teenage children are being affected by everything in the daily headlines, and to feel a tiny glimmer of hope today was just what I needed. I am filling out my ballot this afternoon, Joanna, (WA state resident) and I want to thank you for this post. There is no question in my mind you abhor anti-semitism. That you once again for using your voice to mobilize and make us all feel less alone in our grief.

  2. Lea says...

    I just have to say this, as a Danish citizen: I simply don’t understand the American voting system. In Denmark (and all the European countries I know) you don’t have to register in order to vote. If you’re 18 years or older you just receive a ballot in your mail and come Election Day you just vote. I don’t see why it has to be so difficult in the US. It doesn’t seem reasonable or very democratic. What about the less fortunate, less educated people who may not be able to or aware of the registration proces? To an outsider like me it seems like a bureaucratic way to suppress the voice of groups of potential voters.

    • Sara says...

      Lea, another European here and I was just thinking the same thing!

    • mcf says...

      Lea, many Americans are well aware of how undemocratic our country is. The Republican party has deliberately and systematically oppressed the votes and voices of anyone who doesn’t support their agenda over a decades-long campaign fueled by hatred and untruths. Millions are taking up the legacy of the Civil Rights movement of the ’60s (led, of course, by disenfranchised Black men and women) and trying to enact sweeping changes to the plutocracy/kleptocracy that currently has its grip on our institutions. Many, many people support the same access to the voting process that those in the EU expect as a fundamental right.

  3. Bea says...

    Thank you so very much for this! Also thank you for all informative, encouraging comments!

  4. Elisa says...

    I would add to the list: volunteer if you can. I have never put up a sign, donated a cent or volunteered to a campaign before. I have now done 4 block walks for Beto O’Rourke. I am trying to channel my anger over the current state of our country into something positive! It’s not too late to volunteer, this weekend is soo important!

    • Bea says...

      Thank you for doing that! I am looking to do the same, if I can find a day and time I’m free in a nearby swing district. Out of bad comes good.

  5. Chelsa Williams says...

    How refreshing it is to have a candidate who isnt about Republican or Democratic sides but has a vision of people as Americans and Texans coming together to solve problems and unite as one. If Texas gets out and votes, Beto can happen.

  6. Amy says...

    I’m pro-life, pro-increased access to contraception, and pro-gun control. Who am I supposed to vote for with a clear conscience? :(

    • Katy says...

      Democrats aren’t anti-life, so research and re-frame your decision. Republicans might be against abortion in ANY case, but they also cut funding for women’s and children’s programs (like free/reduced lunch, comprehensive sexual education and Medicaid), have no problem with immigrant children in cages, and don’t care much about stopping children from being shot in schools. Doesn’t seem very pro-“life” to me!

    • annie says...

      easy. vote for the person who supports access to contraception and gun control. the pro-life bit comes in where those two things keep people alive. your vote is your voice. use it! XO

    • Alexandra says...

      Hi Amy,
      I read this article by a blogger that also felt stuck between camps because of her views on choice/life, and it was really eye-opening: https://rachelheldevans.com/blog/pro-life-voting-for-hillary-clinton
      One of the big takeaways for me was that abortions actually tend to drop more under democratic policies – makes sense when you figure in their commitment to education, access to contraception, supporting the social safety net, etc.

    • Amy says...

      From one Amy to another…I’m with you!
      I’m pro life (mostly), all for getting this country out of debt! (Seriously, I can’t accomplish much when I’m in debt…I expect my govt to get themselves together and get outta debt too so we can be generous), pro strong military, pro GUN CONTROL!!, pro environment, pro LOVE, pro maternity leave, pro free healthcare for everyone….sigh. Where is this dream candidate for me? She is out there somewhere….

    • Amy says...

      I certainly don’t believe, and didn’t mean to imply, that Democrats are anti-life. I voted democrat in the most recent election. I do find that many democrat policies are more in line with what I believe affirms life throughout the lifespan, not just for those less than a certain gestational age. But protecting the life of the unborn is a very deeply held conviction for me—as deeply held as the conviction of the right to choose is for many. I’m just expressing my discouragement and frustration with what is not, for me, an “easy” choice.

    • Amy says...

      For some reason I couldn’t see all the comments when I replied before! Thank you for the link to that blog post, I will definitely read it tomorrow :) and thanks Amy—I have been feeling so isolated this week, like everyone else has a party they’re completely behind and I’m alone. It’s good to be reminded not everyone agrees wholeheartedly with one party or another!

    • s says...

      Re: Jay Anna’s comment. I went to the Forbes article, which is an OPINION piece, written by Ms. H.H. Manning, the health policy director of Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) a conservative think tank. There is conjecture, but no proof. There are what ifs, but no smoking gun. The use of the terms “abortion quotas” is a “dog whistle” for ultra conservative ears. Really… abortion quotas? Who thinks up this crap? Planned Parenthood would like to continue to allow people (mostly women, I admit) to PLAN THEIR FAMILIES!

    • This is in response to Jay Anna –
      As someone else mentioned, that link is misleading and dangerous.
      No Planned Parenthood chapter would do what the article suggests. That would go against their entire mission to provide top quality health care for women (and for men!)
      If you want to lower the already historically low abortion rate in this country, be more like Amy and endorse more access to contraception.
      Spreading misinformation in the name of your cause is dangerous and unhelpful. If you personally are against access to safe abortion, you do not need to have one.

    • laura says...

      the way to avoid abortions is to provide better, cheaper access to birth control, full stop. voting for democrats who champion womens reproductive health is the only way to get there.

      side note: the “pro-life” terminology itself is just a clever way to make you feel like you are voting for the opposite if you don’t vote for someone who claims to be pro-life. democrats are not pro-abortion. the options are really: pro-access to reproductive options vs anti-access to reproductive options.

  7. Vero says...

    Joanna and readers, please check out what Shaun King and others have posted about very misleading things happening when voting. One voter posted that in Texas, they chose the straight ticket (Democratic) and when they reached their final screen, the vote showed that it would be for Ted Cruz rather than Beto O’Rourke. You can easily look this up! It’s not even enough just to vote anymore. Make sure you are VERY vigilant and double-check everything so your vote is cast for all of the candidates properly.

    https://www.msnbc.com/am-joy/watch/ap-some-texans-saying-voting-machines-changing-straight-ticket-choices-1355379779527?v=railb&

    • Christine says...

      This happened to my husband too. Texans are tempted to vote straight ticket because otherwise the ballot, with all the judges and so on, runs to over 15 pages.

  8. Jodie says...

    Just need to say thanks so much for this post. I saw it yesterday and voted today in Chicago. It was a breeze to vote early! Thanks again!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s so great, jodie!!

  9. MAC says...

    If you’re in NY or NJ, I found this guide that WNYC and Gothamist put together to be SO helpful when doing research on candidates.

    https://elections.wnyc.org/

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you!

  10. Emily L says...

    The following cities are providing FREE bikeshare on Election Day:

    Residents of New York and Jersey City (Citi Bike), Boston (Bluebikes), Minneapolis (Nice Ride Minnesota), the S.F. bay area (Ford GoBike), Portland (BIKETOWN), Columbus, Ohio (CoGo), and Washington, D.C. (Capital Bikeshare) can unlock Motivate bikes all day on Nov. 6 with the code BIKETOVOTE. Divvy users in Chicago will have to use the code VOTE18.

  11. Andrea says...

    For those in NYC, you can vote absentee in person at your borough board of election prior to November 6th. They have extended hours between now and the election.

    I went today and it took 40 minutes in all.

  12. Yulia says...

    Thank you. I’ve been planning to vote but haven’t done my research yet. That ballot link was quite helpful and now I have it all lined up.

  13. MEDG says...

    Thank you for this! Really helpful & easy to use.

  14. patricia blaettler says...

    A sign at the Tree of Life Synagogue yesterday: VOTE AS IF YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT.

  15. Melanie Gehman says...

    I voted for Beto O’ Rourke last week. The energy around his campaign in Texas is so hopeful and energizing. Sadly, I think Ted Cruz will win again. It is so depressing…

    • K says...

      I’m not in Texas and not even a US citizen yet, but I wish I could vote for Beto! He seems so full of all the good the world needs!

  16. Brooke says...

    This is so wonderful and encouraging to see everyone so engaged in democracy together. And thank you friends around the world for cheering us on in this difficult time in our country. We see you!
    One more voting suggestion: don’t forget to encourage friends or family who don’t always vote in midterms b/c they don’t feel sure of their knowledge. I talked through our ballot measures with my mom and she just turned hers in!! Woohoo!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s wonderful, brooke! thank you!

  17. KR says...

    I’m so excited to vote for Stacey Abrams as governor in our GA election! I can’t wait. I’ve been canvassing with our family (kids included — never too late to get them engaged). Fingers crossed.

    • KR says...

      I meant “never too early”!

    • Brooke says...

      Did you see the lil video of an 18 year old African American young woman crying as she voted for Stacy Abrams? I’m crying remembering 😭💛.

    • Morgan says...

      I am so jealous that you get to vote for her :) We are cheering on Stacey (and I am donating to her) from all over the country. Go Stacey!

  18. Nina says...

    We recently had local elections in Belgium and I read this article listing all the municipalities where a few hundred, a few dozens or even A SINGLE VOTE would have made a notable difference in who got elected and which parties were able to form a majority. It was fascinating to read how less than 250 vote would have complete changed the political conversation in my city of over half a million people. The larger the election the less it feels like your vote matters, but this article was a great reminder how a few voices can make a big difference.

  19. Kathryn says...

    Thanks for this post! Another good tool to help you decide who to vote for: https://www.votesmartjustice.org/
    It’s set up by the ACLU to help enact reform in the criminal justice system.

  20. Jenni says...

    Hi Californians!
    League of Women Voters has great resources, including their recs on how to vote for the propositions on the ballot. Their non-partisan Voter’s Edge guide is also the best for comparing candidates side by side for some of the more local seats.

    Additionally, if you are still incensed post-Kavanaugh, consider spending a little more time researching the judges on your ballot. The LA Times recommended just voting “yes” on basically everyone in LA County, but there are other groups (Indivisible, Swing Left) who are saying perhaps we need to more carefully review these people before they continue to serve in our courts.

    Finally, if you live in a swing district, you have a real chance at changing the trajectory of our country! Please take a neighbor and a friend with you to vote. I have been volunteering for Katie Hill and Harley Rouda, but there’s so many great people on the ballot this time around that hopefully you can feel excited about who you GET to vote for.

  21. Sara says...

    Thank you for this post! I wanted to volunteer as a driver on Election Day for my community and was really struggling to find how to go about that (google wasn’t much help). I just signed up to offer rides through Carpool Vote!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s wonderful, sara! thank you!!!

  22. Rachel says...

    Wanting to give credit where credit is due …. the post’s final image of the posters VOTE FOR DEMOCRACY and YOUR VOTE IS YOUR VOICE were created by Lena Wolff @lenawolffstudio and Publication Studio Bay Area.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so much!

  23. Cheering you on from Australia! says...

    The necessary thing for the triumph of kindness is that good people do something. (I prefer action statements – can you tell? ;))

    • Sasha L says...

      I love this, thank you!!

  24. Kristina says...

    Kansas resident here and I voted early last week! I was filled with so much pride leaving the polling station and I want so badly for things to change with the midterm elections. Fingers, toes, everything crossed!!!

  25. Rachel says...

    I live in New Mexico and we have early voting. You can walk in to any location. I already voted. It took ten minutes on my lunch break. Every state should have this!

  26. My 90 year old grandmother just told me she is refusing an absentee ballot and going to the polls with my aunt to vote despite her delicate health. She is voting democrat down the line and was worried an absentee ballot might get lost or thrown out. If she can make it to the polls so can everyone else. Let’s go ladies! Time to make a change!

  27. Cynthia says...

    I have not missed a November election in 46 years. I voted absentee ballot when I was pregnant with our second daughter because I was given a due date around election time. She was born at the end of October. If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain.

  28. Amy says...

    I voted today after work! And it felt great. I think a lot of people had the same idea- there was a 45 minute wait when I got there, and a longer once when I left. Hoping for some positive change in light of such recent tragedies.

  29. Jay Anna says...

    I’m so very excited to once again support my local governor, Kim Reynolds, here in Iowa!!! She voted in favor of the belief that life, liberty, and the pursuit should begin the moment your heartbeat is detected. In a time when the term “bravery” is thrown around quite casually, I consider her to be truly brave. #sheisababy

    • Amy says...

      Well said

    • Katie L. says...

      Thank you, Jay Anna.

    • Emma says...

      Not to open a very sensitive debate here, but I would respectfully encourage Jay Anna and the other commenters on this post to read this thread by Design Mom. I’d actually really love to hear what you think.

      https://www.designmom.com/twitter-thread-abortion/

    • Jay Anna says...

      Hi Emma — thanks for the comment! I read this thread a few months ago (it’s so long and so wordy, but I got through it :).

      At the end of the day, it’s still a baby. I agree that women and men need to make wiser choices when it comes to sex, but once the egg is fertilized — it’s life and it’s worth protecting.

      The end result of an abortion is a dead baby. I think society can advocate for better options than abortion. Thanks again.

    • Amy says...

      EMMA!!! That was such a good article!! Thank you for sharing!!! Oh it really does turn everything on it’s head.
      I feel the EXACT same way about prostitution laws. Always the women get stuck with the consequences!!!!

    • Melkorka says...

      Jay Anna – referring to a fetus as a baby – or using the language ‘dead baby’ is very very inflammatory. I would caution you to realize that there are many women who have had to go through ending their pregnancies that didn’t want to and using language like that – well it is really harmful and it hurts people. I can understand taking a stance on abortion as a moral issue – but I believe we can have those discussions with compassion and a willingness to understand each other’s view point without resorting to language that seeks to vilify people. 1 in 4 women will have an abortion during their lifetime.

    • Jay Anna says...

      Melkorka – I’d also (kindly) add that something does not become moral or admirable because 1 in 4 will commit/partake/etc.

  30. Sara says...

    Early voted already in Texas. Please keep your fingers crossed that we can actually get rid of Ted Cruz and elect Beto O’Rourke! Don’t know if I have ever been this excited about a Senate race. It’s been a long time since we have had decent people elected in Texas. We are so overdue.

    • Alanna Rice says...

      Me Too Sara! Go Beto!!

    • Lauren says...

      I feel the exact same way. Beto is one of the few bright lights here in Texas, and the reason I volunteered for the first time ever for a political campaign. Happy to have already cast my early vote for him!

  31. Christina says...

    Great post, Jo! I would add, if you have kids, use this time to teach them what voting looks like. If you’re able to bring them to the polls with you, do it. (I know this may not be an option for some people!) If you have absentee ballots, sit them down at the table with you while you fill out the card. If they’re old enough, talk them through how you’re voting and why. I remember my mom taking me to the polls with her when I was a kid, and it made such an impression on me. Let’s influence the next generations to be engaged in the voting process!

  32. Lillian says...

    My first child was born just a couple weeks before the election in 2016. I was so dazed and upset by those results, and the first two years of his life, politically speaking, have been heartbreaking. My second child is due next week, just before the midterms – I have already sent in my absentee ballot, with a hopeful heart that things will get better. Thank you for this reminder to everyone that we need to be active in making changes for a better, hopeful future!

  33. Adel says...

    Joanna, I love your blog and completely respect your political views, even if I don’t always agree with them so please don’t take this the wrong way. I am a bit confused about the connection between what happened in Pittsburgh and the importance of voting. Is there an insinuation that had different people been in power the shooting would not have happened? Regardless of what side of the gun control debate you are on, to reference Pittsburg in that way (and the only mention of such on your blog, which is puzzling given your usual in-depth, empathic reaction to national tragedies) is hurtful (I believe) to those suffering from this awful tragedy. It also brushes past the issue of anti-semitism, assuming that if there was a better gun situation, anti-Semitic acts such as this would not take place, and I think that as History has unfortunately shown, it’s a lot more complex than that. What are your thoughts?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so much for your note, adel.

      yes, there is so much hateful, inflammatory rhetoric, angry language and rabble rousing coming from the current administration. many people, including myself, feel that this plays a role in enabling violence and hate crimes in the country.

      as obama said after the synagogue shooting in pittsburgh: “We grieve for the Americans murdered in Pittsburgh. All of us have to fight the rise of anti-Semitism and hateful rhetoric against those who look, love, or pray differently. And we have to stop making it so easy for those who want to harm the innocent to get their hands on a gun.” i absolutely agree with his statement.

      normally, after an attack like this, you’re right, we would have done a post focusing on the shooting itself. but since the midterm elections are a week away, i felt a different kind of post was more pressing here: i wanted to encourage all readers to jump into action as much as possible to help change the tone and direction of the american government, as well as to help bring about common-sense gun laws, which of course won’t stop all anti-semitism in the world unfortunately, but will make it harder to do a mass shooting like the pittsburgh tragedy.

      i hope this makes sense. thank you so much xo

    • Adel says...

      Joanna- thanks for responding!
      All interesting points. I do think though, that haters hate regardless of the political party of the administration in the west wing. Here’s the thing though, people who engage in violence will do so, regardless of laws regarding weaponry. I also dislike guns but I don’t that changing the legislation will change the actions of disturbed and angry people. 9/11 was executed without actual weapons (unless you count the knives), Nazi Germany would not have prevented a Holocaust if guns were illegal. I’m a school psychologist working with inner city, and one of my biggest passions in life is helping children turn their lives around and not need to feel the need to engage in violence and hatred. However, when we have a student throwing chairs, we don’t blame the chair (or even a principal with whom I may disagree with their educational philosophy.) We work to get to the WHY the student feels the need to engage in violence and address that. While of course protecting the other students and staff in the process. So bottom line is, I think that making this into a gun issue is way oversimplifying the issue, and really barking up the wrong tree.

    • Essie says...

      Thank you, Adel, for articulating just what I was feeling. Thank you, Joanna for answering. I do, howeverz still wonder why a separate post regarding the horrific shooting was not warranted before resuming your usual posting, even if you felt that due to the nearness of the election it was important to make this about the vote, first.

    • Joanna says...

      Adel, thanks for taking time to express your thoughts. Can’t we take more than one approach to decrease mass violence in our country? Sensible gun reform AND work the root causes. This is going to be a silly thought experiment but here goes: if your school had chairs with super pointy ends on the feet of the chair allowing them to kill a student if thrown, would the school not take action and change what they allow in the school? A chair that is functional but not able to cause excessive damage if used inappropriately. Like sure people use and have guns for many sensible, functional reasons but there are certain guns and ways of using them that may cause more harm then potential good.

    • Adel says...

      Joanna, agreed! What you are saying makes sense. We should address that. But we can’t make it the primary issue, as it being done by politicians, because it’s not going to fix the underlying problem.
      Anyway, happy voting! And may the best men and women win!

    • AB says...

      I agree with you Adel on this issue. Unfortunately, I had the sense that this would get swept under the rug when I came to check the blog. What you are saying in response Joanna is what probably should have been in the original post. It really does feel like when something happens to immigrants, the LGBT community, and such- the PRIMARY focus is the group of people and secondarily the issues which allow the violence to happen. I happen to think that posting in this way and referring to the event as “what happened in Pittsburgh” detracts from so many primary issues beyond political. It’s very unfortunate that on BOTH sides of the political spectrum, national tragedies are used to boost votes. The post really did imply that the political climate is responsible for mass shootings when the root of most these mass shootings is hatred, mental illness, ignorance, and other things. I’m also not surprised (but equally dismayed) to see the vast majority of your readers taking your lead and commenting solely on the political aspect of this issue.

      Shooting and murdering people in a place of worship is horrific beyond description and somehow what you conveyed in response was “c’mon guys, rock the vote!”

      It was disappointing and irresponsible.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so much for your note, and i’m glad to read your comments. i have to say, i disagree. it is absolutely horrified and devastating. but i don’t think having a post that focuses on how heartbreaking it is is the best course of action when midterm elections are a week away. we CAN take action here to help honor these victims and try to prevent this from happening again. encouraging common sense gun laws, much less incendiary hateful rhetoric from leaders, etc. is a way to help this. i would have done the same post if another group (LGTBQAI, immigrants, etc.) had been targeted. this cannot keep happening, and any steps that we can take, no matter how small or large, are incredibly important. i really appreciate your comments.

  34. Lindsey says...

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I just called my local county register to get a mail in ballot. I’m having oral surgery the day before election day and I realized that I was being preeetty optimistic in thinking I would be up for leaving the house, even to vote. I called, they set me up over the phone, and I’ll get a mail in ballot in 3 days!
    No excuses, we gotta vote!

  35. Samantha says...

    My boyfriend and I are going out to a harry potter-halloween themed dinner then early voting for date night tomorrow :)

  36. Cait says...

    We vote by mail in Oregon, so I have already voted! We have the option of mailing back our ballots or dropping them in ballot boxes placed throughout the state.
    We also have an option for text notifications, so I get a text when my ballot is mailed to me, one when it is received after I vote, and one letting me know it will be counted.
    Every state should do this!

  37. I work for Chen Design Associates, a branding studio in Oakland, CA and we made these awesome stickers to encourage as many people as we can to get out the vote for Nov 6! If you pledge now on http://www.votewithchendesign.com, we’ll mail you a really cool sticker sheet for free. *we also promise not to spam you or sell your info– never!*
    I’d love lots of CoJ readers to get some stickers :)

    • Wendy says...

      I love this and I shared it on Facebook! Thanks.

    • Vanhutch says...

      Thanks!!! Just pledged :)

    • Theresa says...

      Just pledged. Thank you.

  38. JP says...

    Already voted by mail!

  39. bisbee says...

    We vote early here in Maryland. If you can in your state, I HIGHLY recommend it! I’ve done it for the last several elections, and I will continue…here the polls are open for a week, including on the weekend. No excuse not to vote…not that there ever is! I’ve never missed an election since I voted for the first time at 21 (it wasn’t 18 back then) and I am 67 now. It has NEVER been as important!

  40. Lindsay says...

    I just do the mail in ballots now, so easy!

  41. Sara says...

    There was a post which wrote something like, it´s my decision if I vote or not.
    Exactly, no. Living in a Democracy, it´s our obligation to vote!

    And imagen, first in ’65 afroafricans were allowed to vote and only around 100 years ago we women!

    There are so many countries still in the world, where people can vote only for one candidate or get threads if they vote for the “wrong” person.

  42. Paula says...

    I find it so crazy that they wouldn’t ask for your ID in some states! Doesn’t that lead to fraud? (I’m not from the US)

    • Fae Z Ehsan says...

      voter fraud is extremely rare in the united states. voter ID laws disproportionately disenfranchise black and latinx voters, and older people with accessibility limitations as well. voter ID laws were a tactic in the jim crow south during segregation to stop black people from voting (black people weren’t able to easily get IDs because of segregation). it’s an outdated practice & comes with a lot of ugly history, too. there are other ways to ensure that someone is who they are without voter ID. (my state requires me to sign something when i register to vote, and when i arrive to vote, i sign something again. the signatures match.)

    • Emma says...

      Nope! Many people do not have identification because it can cost money and require documents they may not have (such as a lease, bills in their name to an address, etc). Voter fraud is exceedingly rare, but poor people getting turned away from voting sadly has a long history in our country.

    • edie says...

      it’s crazy, right? there’s a strong movement fighting for voter ID here in the states, but too often we’re labeled as racist. Hopefully there’s another red wave and we can continue advocating for common sense voter regulations.

    • Allison says...

      I will also say, many (most?) people in the States vote at local polling places run by their neighbors. That may play a role in why voter fraud is truly so low in America.

    • Sarah says...

      I’m Australian, and we have compulsory voting. I’ve never been asked for ID – no one gets asked, and voter fraud is nonexistent. We don’t have a national ID card, for good reason, and without such a system making sure that any ID required to vote is a) rigorously verifiable and b) available to all citizens equally is almost impossible.

    • No, it does not lead to fraud.
      I’ve voted in Massachusetts and in California and have never been asked for my ID, just to tell them my name/address and sign their booklet.
      The people who claim there is insane voter fraud are actually the people working to disenfranchise voters.

    • Paula says...

      Thanks for the thoughtful explanations! I honestly wasn’t aware that getting an ID had such historical implications and costs associated. In my country people get an ID immediately after being born, for free, and I assumed this was the case for the US as well. I wish I had been better informed before asking my question, I truly appreciate your responses.

    • mandy says...

      edie, there are resources to research the history of voter ID laws. this can help educate on the racist beginnings of these laws and the reason they are “labeled as racist.” google is your friend!

    • Lisa says...

      Thanks for all the explanations! I had no idea. I’ve experienced voting in two countries – in south Africa and in the UK. In South Africa, because of all the focus on keeping elections free and fair, it’s very strict. When you vote, the army is brought in to prevent trouble and to guard polling stations, and once you’ve voted you get invisible ink on your ID and thumb. It was quite a shock when I got to the UK and the first election I voted in, the polling station was a hut (essentially) by a tennis court, they had a list with everyone’s names and the closest thing they had to a weapon was some hot tea (and biscuits. It is England of course). My husband is French and in the municipal elections, friends of his reported that the National Front (Le Pen’s far right party) being involved in voter fraud, pretending to people who hadn’t voted yet and using theirs.

    • DN says...

      Thank you for this question. The responses about voting around the world are so interesting. I was told by a Dutch friend that in the Netherlands, someone can vote for you if they have your ID card!

      I have voted in the the states of Massachusetts, Vermont, and NY, and have never been asked for ID. I don’t drive, and my only ID is my passport, which cost about $100 to process.

    • Fae says...

      edie, it’s not really the voter ID issue that makes it racist. it’s the way they’re implemented. for example, texas was accepting concealed carry weapons licenses as ID (white voters are more likely to have this), and not accepting a state employee ID or a student ID (people of color are more likely to have these forms of ID). they were repeatedly advised that this would have a disproportionate impact on black voters in their state, but they rebuffed any amendments to help alleviate the impact of the law. cheers!

  43. MD says...

    Americans – please vote! Among the many reasons you already have to get out there and have a voice.. as a Canadian and a Jew, your actions have consequences far beyond your borders. Hatred can breed hatred. Those that are looking for an outlet do not need inspiration from the horrific acts of others or from the generally closed words of a world leader. It is beyond heartbreaking to think that these people, some of whom were old enough to have been alive during the time of the Holocaust, would die hearing anti-semitic language, thinking that the world hasn’t changed as much as they thought. Here’s to embracing differences in faith and ethnicity – we have so many wonderful things to learn from one another!

  44. Jade says...

    Sending love and encouragement from Australia. I was heartbroken with the results of America’s previous Presidential election but over the past 2 years have been encouraged by the changes being made at local levels – the communities standing strong together – the women (and men) who have raised their voices for change – it is reassuring to know that there are politically engaged American (Global) citizens who share my opinions and are doing their best to action positive growth however small.

  45. Reader says...

    I’d say that it might me worth mentioning that there are other ways to address the horrific things that have, like how to effectively address hate speech and how to talk to your friends and family members who disagree with you in a meaningful and effective way. In the off chance that you chose not to directly address the events as anti-semitic…I find that many of my friends and many bloggers/leaders/celebrities etc are afraid to speak up for Jews because they are afraid that they will look “pro-Israel” or alienate Palestinians and/or Muslims. This isn’t the case. You can be against anti-semitism and still support all faiths, ethnicities and background. Just spread love and squash hate.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh, i COMPLETELY agree that this was anti-semitic. absolutely. we are writing here about ways to make big, sweeping changes as quickly as possible, but i absolutely agree that it would be great to talk to friends and family, as well. xo

  46. tracey beal says...

    Edie, thank you for taking the time to clarify your comment. I am one example of someone who clicked on the ballot ready link and began compiling my voting list today. I was actually on the fence about voting and here’s why: 1) I am feeling very hopeless and overwhelmed by the current state of our nation; 2) I have not taken the opportunity, nor did I want to take the opportunity to set aside at least 4 hours to educate myself on all the candidates and issues; and 3) I am very republican-leaning but can’t stand Trump and honestly don’t know what to do (it feels like you are either with him or against him depending on how you vote during these mid-terms).

    But this post came at the right time for me (feeling energized this morning) and decided I just need to do it.

    • edie says...

      so interesting to hear your perspective. thanks for sharing it with me!

    • trace says...

      Sorry that comment was supposed to go under Edie’s comment. I’m too busy voting to put it in the right place!

  47. Heather says...

    Thank you! This is so very helpful.

  48. Carrie says...

    Voted by mail

  49. Sara says...

    I’m mailing in my ballot today which is amazing because I’m not even a citizen!! San Francisco is allowing non citizen parents to vote in the school board elections this year. Pretty cool!

  50. Kate says...

    Thank you for this great reminder, CoJ. I live in Oregon and love our vote-by-mail system. My husband and I filled out our ballots together – it’s very helpful to have all our resources on hand and be able to discuss it since there’s a lot of measures on the ballot this year. I share this to remind readers in places where voting is more difficult that it does not have to be this way — keep asking for better voting services where you live. I’m so glad to see so many thoughtful, informed readers here who plan to stick up for our values.

  51. Di says...

    Thanks for the great work here— it’s so important.

  52. Tabitha H says...

    My husband and I voted this morning! It felt really empowering! (I love in TX, so we’ll see how I feel on Nov. 7th).

    Also, if you’re in Harris or Travis county, Texas make sure you double check your votes before you submit your ballot, since some voters have inadvertently changed their votes by pushing the button at the wrong time. (The voting machines can be confusing.) And I was asked for photo ID like always but they asked for my voter registration card for the first time. You can still vote without it, but it’ll take longer.

  53. Lisa says...

    I’m Jewish, and our life centres around the synagogue local to us; both our children go to the nursery there, it’s where we go on Shabbat and chagim (holidays), and it’s the centre of our friendships and community. I love that when I drop my babies in the morning people are coming out of shacharit (the morning services) and during the day there’s the bridge club, ladies guild and all sorts of events. Security is tight; we have to be realistic that this is London in 2018 and there is a real and constant threat (my husband is French and the synagogue where we got married is guarded by the army).
    I spent all of yesterday worrying about how safe my children will be when I drop them the next morning and reminding myself that (hopefully) the same couldn’t happen here because of our devoted (non Jewish) security guards, all the fences and gates (that are annoying but essential), the CCTV, the police who guard on holidays and the fact that guns aren’t readily available in the Uk. There’s a church nearby and the security is non existent; I don’t think my non Jewish colleagues have ever had to have the same considerations about childcare.

    I wish it wasn’t like this, but it is. I feel heartbroken for those families and a community that should be able to exist in peace, without threat.

    • Justine says...

      Sending you love, wishing I could be sending you security and peace of mind as well.

    • Meg Lec says...

      My son attends daycare at our local synagogue and my heart has been heavy with fear this week. Yesterday they had a police officer stationed at the door, and it breaks my heart that it has come to this in the US. Florida has been through so much in the past years and I am hopeful that locally and nationally there will be change.

    • emma says...

      Lisa, I am not Jewish– but my husband, daughter, and half of my family are. I am a dual citizen and when Trump was elected, we finalized my husband and daughter’s dual citizenships in (the hopefully unlikely, but increasingly possible event that we ever need to flee). We actually have family that attends the Pittsburgh synagogue, and it shook much of my family to the core. It’s a scary time and even though our daughter does not go to a Jewish school, this has made me have to think about the sad idea of whether our preschool has enough security and if the teachers are prepared and knowledgeable on what to do in an active shooter situation (something we have prepped for at my workplace for several years now). I’m so sorry that so much ugly has been brought to the surface and this makes this election even more important to me.

    • Lisa says...

      Thanks for all the kind words. This has been scary because it feels like when someone attacks one of us, all of us bleed. Friends in the US have been posting requests to pray for the speedy recovery of people injured, and the descriptions of some of the people who were killed sound just like people in our community. Also, this Shabbat was the one when “the Shabbat project” takes place every year (it started a couple of years ago in South Africa). The aim is to have one Shabbat a year where as many Jews as possible do even one small thing to honour Shabbat, there’s communal challah bakes, communal dinners and events. I don’t know if this synagogue was involved, but again it’s so tragic that this happened the week when so many Jews (around the world) are doing wonderful things to try and bring the community closer together.

  54. edie says...

    this isn’t aimed at this site, rather, at the overwhelming amount of people telling me I have to vote. I don’t need anyone telling me to vote and if i did, I shouldn’t bother voting.

    I love what Pay Sajak said, “I would encourage you to vote next month, but if you need a TV game show host to remind you, then you probably shouldn’t.”

    • amy says...

      i respectfully disagree. i believe that it is each citizen’s duty to vote for issues that affect them, their families, their communities, etc etc.

      i read this in marie clare — “What do you stand for? In the immortal words of the impeccable, immaculate Lin-Manuel Miranda, “If you stand for nothing, Burr, what will you fall for?” Stand for something! Not having an opinion is boring, and frankly, anyone who says they don’t care about politics is either lying or lacks any kind of awareness as to how politics impacts their lives, which is in itself a form of privilege. How lucky some people are that their bodies aren’t on the line, their lives aren’t being threatened, that they don’t have to care.”
      https://www.marieclaire.com/politics/a23082959/who-to-vote-for-2018-midterms-guide/

    • Meg says...

      Hi Edie, I’d be curious to hear more about why you feel this way. Only about 60% of Americans voted in the 2016 election. There are probably a myriad of reasons why the remaining 40% didn’t vote, but a big reason could be because some people don’t think it’s important to vote, or that it doesn’t matter. That’s why I think we should talk about voting! If we all talked to our friends, family members, (or to our readers if we happen to be bloggers like Joanna), maybe some of those people will start to think that it IS important. And that gets the ball rolling for them to research the issues, and show up to participate in our democracy. It’s so much easier to think something doesn’t matter if nobody is talking about it. I get that you might get tired of the constant refrain of “get out and vote!!!” but isn’t that way better than complacency and disengagement??

    • Kate says...

      I think we should be rooting for more people to get engaged, not fewer.

    • Claire says...

      I just don’t get this comment at all. The campaign to get the vote out is offensive to you – but it’s preferable to take life advice from Pat Sajak?

    • -mika says...

      Edie,

      I have been registering first time voters for the past month, and many are students or people who just don’t pay attention to politics. I’ve signed up many young people who just turned 18, and don’t understand what the midterms mean. It’s up to us, the people who have more experience with voting, to encourage and remind them to participate in our democracy.

      Many who we have signed up and informed about the voting process have thanked us, and will hopefully inspire their friend and family to vote as well. We cannot be passive and stand back and allow complacency to pass us by. Our democracy is too important.

    • t says...

      Hi Edie, It is great that you don’t need anyone reminding you to vote but I don’t quite understand the sentiment that if someone does need reminding, and if that reminder comes from an entertainment source, then they probably shouldn’t vote.

      Are they not smart enough to vote? Are they not informed enough to vote? Should their vote not count?

      The CoJ team is taking the opportunity to inform, remind, educate and encourage voting and I don’t see how you wouldn’t want those impacted by this post (obviously, not you) to vote?

    • edie says...

      To re-word a bit: I’m all for engagement, but I just can’t imagine people (who are eligible to vote in this election) suddenly deciding to vote because of a celebrity’s gentle nudge etc. That’s more what I meant.

    • Marissa says...

      I think celebs (and lifestyle bloggers) encouraging people to vote can be effective (think Rock the Vote from the 90s) but I would guess the majority of readers on this particular site vote anyway. Maybe it is a bit like preaching to the choir, but it can’t hurt. ;) From a statistical POV however the vote has hovered around 50-60% since 1960 so it’ll be interesting to see the turnout in this midterm election (which usually have much lower turnouts than pres. elections).

    • -mika says...

      Edie,

      After Taylor Swift posted about her political beliefs and the importance of voting in the midterms, there were 65,000 new registered voters in 24 hours. I wouldn’t underestimate the power of a celebrity’s influence in young people’s minds – especially with social media.

    • Fae says...

      some people are working class, and are really busy trying to survive to remember to vote. any kind of reminder helps.

    • J says...

      Edie, I get where you’re coming from, and I laughed out loud at your Pat Sajak quote. Thank you.

  55. Jessica says...

    Thank you for this. I live a block away from the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. Although my family isn’t Jewish, this tragedy has rattled me to the core. My friends and neighbors are devastated. After dropping my son off at preschool (housed in another local synagogue where most of the funerals will be taking place) this morning, I walked over to the site of the shooting to light a candle and say a prayer for this madness to end so that my children can grow up feeling safe.
    I work from home and obviously have had trouble focusing this morning. I stumbled on this post and feel empowered for the first time all weekend and have already connected with Moms Demand Action.
    Thank You!

    • Claire says...

      Jessica, I’m thinking of you and your neighbors in Pittsburgh. I hope you all are able to support one another as a strong community during this senseless and tragic time.

  56. Tricia says...

    VOTED!

  57. anon says...

    If you dislike canvassing, texting, or phone-banking, you can make a difference by sending voters encouragement via old-fashioned snail mail – I’ve enjoyed it so far:
    https://postcardstovoters.org

    • Kathleen says...

      I received a personal postcard in the mail last week and it was such a nice surprise in my mailbox (I had just sent in my mail-in ballot). I have no idea who the person was who sent it but it felt nice that she had taken the time to hand-write such an important reminder.

    • Sara Farris Dodson says...

      I agree on the postcards! I mailed out over 200 in Texas. Felt good to do something.

    • Wendy says...

      I have also been writing postcards for Postcards To Voters and have found it very satisfying. When I hear something (everything!) in the news that upsets me, I tackle another stack of postcards. It’s nice to hear that a postcard made an impression on Kathleen!

  58. Irena says...

    If you haven’t done this already, depending on where you live, you should make sure you are still ON the voter rolls. As you may know, in some states, they have, without notification, removed names of individuals on the rolls who have not voted in recent years. (Legal or not, it’s been done and one can only imagine what other methods are being used to eliminate voters who are already legitimately enrolled.)

    If you have a voters registration card, bring it, along with your ID, to the polls.

    Finally, leave enough time to vote. Here in NYC, depending when you go and where you vote, the lines can be very long.

    In 2012, I stood in line over three hours to vote in the Presidential election. And I’m glad I did.

    This country should allow early balloting in every state (can’t believe we do not have here in NYC!).

    Do whatever you can, but VOTE. No matter for whom you are voting.

  59. Kristin says...

    I have been waiting for Nov 6th for two years now and am filled with so much anxiety as it is finally here. I voted early and have opened my house that evening for my neighbors to drop off their kids so both parents can go vote together (date night!). I am also canvassing on Saturday for the first time ever. Get out the vote, Americans!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      “I have opened my house that evening for my neighbors to drop off their kids so both parents can go vote together (date night!)” = YES!!!!! what a great idea!!!

    • -mika says...

      You are AMAZING Kristin! Thank you for your generosity!

    • JMK says...

      This is a wonderful idea, but I also think it’s important to bring your kids to the polling place! It teaches them the importance of civic engagement. My parents always took my sisters and me, and I continue the tradition with my nine-year-old son. I want to raise a voter!

  60. Anne says...

    Volunteer! I made calls and knocked on doors last week and I plan to do it again a couple more times before election day. It’s been giving me hope in days that feel hopeless. Bring a friend if you are nervous–it’s a lot easier than it seems! Encourage folks to early vote if it’s available (it saves you waiting in long lines on election day and if you run into problems you still have time to right it before it’s too late). Call your family and friends and bring them to the polls with you. EVERY vote counts in this election. Your vote is your voice and your political power, so use it!

    • -mika says...

      Amazing, Anne!!

  61. Ann says...

    Thank you for those links especially the gun safety. So helpful. I pray we can turn this boat around.

  62. Becca says...

    Thank you! Wonderful, informative post.

  63. Meg says...

    As someone who works in progressive environmental policy, I have to say that the LCV list is quite misleading. This sadly lacks the nuance to understanding the policy baggage of environmental issues, which are not typically R vs. D. They’re more often more about coastal v. interior, development v. austerity.

    • Brooke says...

      This is good to know Meg. I really want to understand how to support progressive environmental work in a more thoughtful way. Any resources you would point us to? I am up for reading books, articles, websites, policy/legislative recommendations. Thank you!!

  64. Emma says...

    Thank you so much for posting this! It’s wonderful to read such clear information and such motivating comments on a dark day after a dark week.

  65. Kate says...

    Make sure you give yourself time in case your absentee ballot needs to be notarized! I know Missouri requires absentee ballots to be notarized before they can be sent in, so check and double check your ballot ahead of time!!

  66. Stephanie says...

    Thanks for this!!!!

  67. Jen says...

    Another Canadian here – PLEASE vote American friends.

  68. Maire says...

    Here in Indianapolis, we have just opened up more satellite early voting locations, and the lines have been out the door, some with 1-2 hour waits over this opening weekend. I went on Saturday and brought my 20 year old ‘Little Sis’. She is the only U.S. Citizen of voting age in her family, so she has to cast her vote for many who live here but do not yet get to have a say. I’m proud of her!

  69. J says...

    You can do this America!! You have such a beautiful country with so many warm, wonderful people. We’re rooting for you up in Canada.

    • Di says...

      This made me cry. I’m frustrated and overwhelmed (and frankly, not entirely optimistic— however the midterms go, we’re still going to have so much work for justice to do).

      Anyway, thank you. It matters that someone’s cheering for us.

    • Mallory says...

      <3

  70. Claire says...

    As a mom who has her Election Day childcare covered twice over thanks to my husband and sister both working in government and having the day off, I reached out to anyone I know with young kids/babies who aren’t in daycare and offered myself up for free babysitting that day. Yes you can take your kids to the polls with you, but you might not want to or nap time might be the optimal time for you to vote and you can’t because you’re stuck at home. If you’re off that day and you don’t have kids who need watching, consider reaching out to people in your networks and neighborhoods to offer up childcare coverage so at-home parents can get to the polls with ease and no added cost.

  71. Judith N. says...

    As a European (non US-citizen), I would like to emphasise that you’re not just voting for your own country with this mid-term election: we’re all watching and hoping for sanity and dignity to return to what’s still one of the world’s power-houses. After all, it affects all of us: climate change policies, attitudes towards the Other (reflected in US media, which we and our kids also consume) trade agreements, world politics etc. etc.

    Growing up in the 90s with the idea that endless good things came from your beautiful country, my generation has generally felt a deep sadness about the state of the States. To be fair, we’ve all had some good laughs at the expense of the circus in the White House, but when we’re serious we wish we could vote as well. Because even if you live in one of the wealthiest, most well-faring countries in the world (I live in Scandinavia) – we need the US to be sensible, set the right example and use all its wonderful human and natural resources for the good; for all of us.

    Thank you!

    • M says...

      Yes! This!

    • Kristin says...

      I love this reminder about the world’s perspective. One of the worst things about the past two years for me has been reflecting on how the rest of the world is viewing us. Please know there are lots of us who are more politically active than ever and we are trying to do good!

    • Thank you. I lived abroad (in France) during some of the George W Bush administration and it was frustrating to keep explaining to people “But MORE of us disagree with him than agree!” I can only imagine living abroad as an American now must be 10x worse. Some foreigners tend to think of the US as this homogenous place of same-thinking people. I am so frustrated with our current outdated system (the electoral college) that allows the minority to make decisions for everyone else. I just hope there’s a way to get rid of it before what happened in 2016 is repeated.

    • Adrienne says...

      Yes! Thank you for this reminder, and for your kind words about the United States. Many, many of us love and need to hear that others around the world are with us as we strive to make change happen.

    • Kathryn says...

      I completely agree with this.

      It is terrifying to think that a country you have no say has such a huge impact worldwide. I’m from NZ and no matter how much we stand up for the environment it will never be enough to offset huge countries whose leaders don’t believe in climate change, not to mention the impact they have on global trade, peaceful inter-country relations etc. So many people around the world are hoping for a different future for the US. Good luck! Xx

    • Kimberley says...

      Yes Judith! Watching with baited breath here too in the Netherlands!

      And Kathryn, I couldn’t agree more about the environment. We do our bit here in NL, but it will never be enough x

    • Rachel L says...

      I would echo everything that Judith – and others – have said. I’m from the UK and the USA has always been a country I adore. I lived in DC for a year before university, my uncle also became a US citizen in the 1980s. Two our very best friends are Americans and it’s hard to watch the anguish they are going through currently. I feel very affronted by the ‘Make America Great Again’ slogan – I’ve ALWAYS felt that it was a great place! The divisions and latest terror attacks are truly dreadful and I so want you to know that you have many, many people around the world (my sister is in Australia and feels the same) who love and care for your wonderful country. Hoping that November 6th starts a turnaround x

  72. Milka says...

    Love the shout out to Moms Demand Action! I’m a member myself. By the way, we use the term “gun reform” instead of “gun control” as it’s more accurate and less polarizing. We are not anti-gun; we are anti-gun violence.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you, milka!

  73. Eliot says...

    I’m so upset. I’ve lived in Massachusetts for three years but I’m purposefully registered to vote back in Texas, my home state. I requested my absentee ballot nearly a month ago and have yet to receive it so I can vote for Beto. I’ve contacted my local election office via email and phone multiple times but I still haven’t received any help. I have my fingers crossed that it will arrive in time and that I’ll be able to overnight it back to Texas. Wish me luck!

    • Kaye says...

      Ummm yeah—unless you’re a student and your permanent address is in Texas, you really shouldn’t admit this ethical lapse…

    • Andrea says...

      I would see whether you are still registered in TX. States look at where you file taxes and can purge you from the roll if you live in another state and file taxes there for a period of time. You are supposed to vote where you live.

    • Eliot says...

      Kaye, I’m a graduate student in Massachusetts but my permanent address is and always has been in Texas. I will be moving back to Texas when I graduate in May. Since I lived in Texas for nearly three decades and will be living there again for the foreseeable future beginning in a few months, my choice to submit an absentee ballot is completely justified.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s great, eliot!! fingers so tightly crossed.

    • B says...

      As another commenter noted, most voter registration laws depend upon your domicile (i.e., place of permanent residence.) Please seek assistance to make sure that you are casting your vote in a state that you are legally entitled to vote in. If it turns out you cannot vote in TX, perhaps make phone calls or donate to the campaign. I know it is not the same — but I would hate for any of us to give someone a reason to validly complain about voting fraud of any kind!

    • Allison says...

      Eliot, My parents TX absentee ballots took a MONTH (!) to get to them after they requested them. They called several times too. I find this totally crazy, but I just wanted you to know that you’re not alone or being singled out. I think democracy is being singled out :(

    • Eliot says...

      Allison, thanks so much for telling me! That makes me feel better. Fingers crossed!

    • Eliot says...

      Update: my absentee ballot arrived! I voted! What a relief. Go Beto.

  74. Claire says...

    Already voted, and it felt good!

  75. EP says...

    As a lovely blog with such a vast readership I thank you for mentioning the horrific Pittsburgh Synagogue shooting, but I wish you could have called it out for what it was – anti-semitic. Anti-semitism can take on many forms; devastatingly, this time it was murder. Where there could have been dialogue, where there could have been awareness, there is now silence. Say the word Jewish. Say the word anti-semitic. Say the word synagogue. Because the shooting was horrific, but anti-semitism was the cause.

    • Agreed, and thank you.

    • Reader says...

      This. Especially after all of the systemic anti-Semitic comments on this blog after the pro-peace Israeli mother shared her story in the “Mother’s Around the World” series. But thanks for mentioning it at all, COJ–many of my favorite blogs did not. And thanks for getting the vote out! <3

    • NMS says...

      yes.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh, i’ll absolutely say the word anti-semitic! i said it on instagram, and i’ll say it here, too! thank you so much for your notes.

    • Ally says...

      EP – I agree with you. I enjoy this blog, but today’s posts were disappointing. I think the anti-semitic shooting over the weekend deserved more attention. I think there should have been a post reflecting on this incident, as this blog has done with so many other current events (border crisis, Kavanaugh hearing, etc). Media and society in general is all too quick to move on quickly from anti-semitic incidents. We shouldn’t already be moving to “a lighter note” considering that every year the largest number of all types of religious hate crimes are directed at Jewish people – but that stat rarely receives coverage. We’ve got to make room to discuss anti-semitism among all the other types of hate and bigotry.

  76. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this clear and informative post! I have never been so fired up for a mid-term election. Things are going to change, I can feel it.

  77. Thanks for putting this together! I have already early voted, and am now just encouraging everyone I know to vote.

    You have such a large audience, and I’m so grateful you’re sharing this message of voting with them. :) It means so much to me.

  78. Amanda G says...

    I have never felt luckier to live in Colorado than in recent voting years – not only are we able to register to vote up to Election day, but absentee/mail-in ballots are very prominent here. I received my ballot around the 15th of October and had plenty of time to research ballot initiatives and and candidates I wasn’t up to speed on. Dropped my ballot off at the county building last week and just ensured online that it has been received. I wish all states made voting so easy – some consistency across the board sure would be helpful…

  79. Lauren says...

    Thank you for this post!

    If you live in Massachusetts – here is the link to find early voting locations: http://www.sec.state.ma.us/earlyvotingweb/earlyvotingsearch.aspx.

    Also, please take a few minutes to research ballot questions! It’s hard to miss all of the ads about Questions 1 in MA (nurse staffing ratio) but they can be misleading so if you have the time, I encourage you to do some additional research. Same goes for Questions 2 and 3 in MA and any questions/propositions in whatever state you happen to vote in!

    HAPPY VOTING!!

  80. Yes! It really can’t come soon enough. I just hope it makes a difference!

  81. Jess says...

    Thank you, Cup of Jo team! THANK YOU.

  82. I am so scared about this election. I thought 2016 and the horrors of this administration would be a wakeup call for us all and we wouldn’t even have to worry about the midterms, but I’m afraid there are just too many misinformed, complacent, or outright bad people out there. I never used to vote in the midterms because I assumed my super blue county in my super blue state would take care of itself, but never again will I skip midterm elections. Vote!

    • Lauren E. says...

      You took the words right out of my mouth. The only silver lining to 2016’s outcome is how informed and activated I feel now. VOTE VOTE VOTE!

  83. Scarlet says...

    Thank you! I’d also add to check out your local newspapers’ endorsement list, which usually have more details on down-ballot races than Ballotpedia. If you think it’s reprehensible that the U.S. is home to MORE THAN 30% of the world’s female prisoners, it’s hugely important to vote for judges that support common-sense measures like alternatives to cash bail, diversion courts, and speedy trials. Criminal justice reform does not fall on party lines (perhaps more than most issues)! My family was… surprised to hear me asking them to vote for Republican judges, haha, but my mom and dad both printed out the Houston Chronicle endorsement list and took it with them to the polls :)

  84. Zara says...

    Reach out to your friends and ask them if they are voting/remindask them to vote. Especially if they live in areas with close races. Personal contact increases voter turnout.

  85. Emma Bee says...

    Please consider doing this post a little earlier in the call next year. Voter registration (if you are a new voter in your district) have already passed.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh yes, we did lots of voter registration call-outs on instagram, but we can do a post next year. thank you!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      great point, amy — and in north dakota, you don’t need to register, you can just show up with ID.

  86. Sarah says...

    5. Help GET OUT THE VOTE! go to votesaveamerica.com for a huge database of how you can help no matter where you live and what your ability. I registered voters on Ohio State’s campus earlier this fall and am knocking on doors this weekend. Studies show that canvassing the days before an election has a huge impact on voter turnout. Let’s do this!

  87. Ash says...

    Hi — I am Canadian, I don’t live in the states but have visited many times (Maine, Boston, San Fran, Orlando, Georgia, etc.) and I know it is a wonderful place filled with warm friendly people. I can empathize with your frustrations with the rough time you have experienced in the recent years and I wish you all the luck and support in this upcoming elections!
    <3

    • Claire says...

      Thank you, Canadian friend. It’s nice to know that the entire world doesn’t view us as violent, racist fools.

  88. Ana says...

    Thanks for this helpful post! In my state (Washington) we do mail-in voting, and I just dropped mine in the mailbox this morning!! I am feeling hopeful despite it all.

  89. Colleen S. says...

    I voted by mail two weeks ago, although I won’t know if my vote counted until November. I’m eager to see how it all goes down.

    • Kelly Libby says...

      Yes, EVERY vote matters.

  90. Betsy says...

    I learned something lovely this weekend: a neighbor who serves as an election judge was told at her training, “Our primary responsibility is to ensure that any eligible person who comes in and wants to vote, can do so. We’ll give them the info they need, find them a ride, watch their kids, generally remove any possible barrier to voting.”

    I Love Minnesota!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s wonderful, betsy!!!

  91. Lauren B says...

    THANK YOU!
    And I’ll add: if you live in a state with early voting, please vote early! Life happens, kids get sick, it rains, there are emergencies that pop up at work… and if these things happen on election day people are less likely to go vote. So if your state allows it, please vote early to ensure that whatever life throws your way doesn’t prevent you from voting.

    • Emily says...

      Some states (Maryland!) allow absentee voting without need for a reason why. Having a paper ballot in front if you and having the time to review it (and Google info) at your own pace is valuable. You’ll feel like you made an informed decision instead of a rushed one.

    • MK says...

      I voted early this morning!!

  92. Kelsey says...

    I might add that I believe as long as you are phyiscally on line to vote by 8pm, you must be allowed to vote. Even if the wait to vote crosses over 8pm. Also, there are numbers you can call if you are denied the ability to vote and you disagree with the rationale. They can help you either talk to the volunteer or will come to assist if they can.

  93. Mouse says...

    I teach singers at a music school, and in academia we must be careful talking about politics. But every Oct I send the American singers an email saying, “You have a voice; please vote”. I

    I know that it often doesn’t feel like we do have a voice, but it is our civic voice and we need to use it.

    • Louisa says...

      I teach at a university and I send my students a link to vote by mail and offer to bring them stamps (which I learned was one of the biggest hurdles for college kids!).

  94. Nena says...

    I live in Texas and because I am over 65 I was able to vote by mail. I have never been as heart sick for my beloved country and democracy as I am now and at 73 I’ve seen a lot. Thank you for reminding everyone to vote.

  95. Liz says...

    I believe this is the most important election of my lifetime. Please get out and vote!!

  96. I already voted since we have early voting in Texas. The turnout so far has been amazing! Really hoping for good outcomes!

    • Summer says...

      Same here, Jessica! I’m trying not to get my hopes up, but I sure would love to see Beto win. :)

  97. B says...

    Thank you, CoJ! So grateful that you are using your platform this way. I already voted (absentee) but I have been struggling with whether there is anything else that I can do to make a difference in this election. Do you know of any resources that can recommend close races for which a donation would still matter at this date, or resources that we can connect to to make calls to get out the vote? Thank you so much for all that your team does.

    • Andrea says...

      Vote save America has a bundled donation option that can help in the most moveable contested elections.

      They also have a guide where you can look up your zip code and see what you can do today.

    • Zara says...

      Vote save america (which is the pod save america folks) has this kind of info, as does swing left. There are lots of races where phone banking help is greatly needed!

    • K says...

      If the organization SwingLeft aligns with your political ideology you can use the map on their homepage to select districts with close races. From there you can donate directly to that race or sign up to phone bank for that candidate.

      It’s wonderful that you are looking to get more involved, B!

      https://swingleft.org/

    • Madeline says...

      Every campaign and SO MANY orgs are doing GOTV calls! Not sure where you live or what your top issues are, but if you search your preferred candidates/favorite non-profits and “volunteer” or “phonebank,” you should be able to find plenty of opportunities. For general progressive politics, swingleft.org has great resources and immediate actions.

      As this point, these are usually easy calls to friendly lists, reminding supporters to vote and helping them make a concrete voting plan. Calls can often be done from home, using your own phone.

  98. Thank you for this! I know you might get some pushback for your political posts, but I SO appreciate them. It is so critical to speak up.

  99. Karen says...

    Thanks for posting this. I can’t wait!

  100. Thank you for sharing this information! These things are all so important to know. I love that there are discounted carpool/rideshare options available on voting days. Thank you for encouraging people to vote- I hope it does not go unnoticed!