It’s Time to VOTE. Are You Ready?
By YWCA National Capital Area
At the YWCA National Capital Area, our mission of eliminating racism and empowering women guides our work every day. Civic engagement, including voter education and registration, is a key component of our intersectional work, as we believe that all voices should be heard at the ballot box.
With just a few weeks until election day, it’s time for all of us to make sure we are ready to head to the ballot box. Here are 10 things you can do to get vote ready for November 8:
- Get registered to vote. You can use our special portal to get started.
- Already registered? Double check your voter registration. Visit our portal to learn how.
- Visit your local board of elections website for all things voting. Take 10 minutes today to visit your local board of elections websites. Here are links for the DC Board of Elections, the Maryland State Board of Elections, and the Virginia Department of Elections.
- Learn about what’s on your ballot. Our friends at the League of Women Voters have created non-partisan voter guides, based on your address. Visit vote411.org to get started.
- Know the voter registration deadlines and what to bring on election day. In the DMV, voter registration deadlines and voting ID requirements vary by jurisdiction. We recommend checking out vote411.org or your local election websites to find out about local requirements.
- Learn about early voting, absentee voting, or voting by mail or drop box. There are lots of ways to vote. You can vote on election day, vote early, or via mail-in/drop off ballot. However, the rules for each of the options VARY GREATLY by jurisdiction. Do your research early.
- Find your polling place, how to request an absentee ballot or where to drop off or mail your ballot. Don’t assume the process or location hasn’t changed since the last election. Polling places and ballot drop off boxes change frequently. You can find this information on your local election websites.
- Know your voting rights. Our friends at When We All Vote have a great checklist.
- Ask your employer about their policy for time off for voting activities. Many, but not all, employers offer paid time off for voting or to volunteer on election day. Check with your employer about what they offer.
- Save the Voter Protection Hotline number. Have questions on Election Day? Call the election protection hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE/866-687-8683. They can help! The hotline is also available in Spanish (888-VE-Y-VOTA); Asian languages (888-API-VOTE); and Arabic (844-YALLA-US).
Have questions? We are here to help. Visit our website to learn more.
So, why does voting matter to us? Why is it an essential part of our mission at the YWCA National Capital Area? As an organization supported by our national office and sister branches across the country, we are committed to ensuring that all women, particularly women of color, are heard, supported, and given a seat at tables that so often exclude them.
This year, YWCA USA surveyed more than 3,300 women and found that the concerns of women are deeply impacted by the continued inequality in our country. According to the survey on ywomenvote.org, 86% of women surveyed agree that it’s important for Congress to dismantle white nationalism and domestic terrorism. And, when it comes to concerns about voting, a majority (83%!) of Black women — across age, political party, and income — believe one of the most critical things legislators must do is put an end to voter suppression laws.
Civic engagement is not only essential to our mission, but to our democracy as well. Your Vote Matters. All voices deserve to be heard. Empowered People Vote. Happy voting from your friends at YWCA National Capital Area.