You might have heard, but there’s a super important midterm election this Tuesday, November 8 in the US. There’s a lot on the line that impacts our lives, including bodily autonomy for women and girls, the cost of prescription drugs, maintaining social security, and honestly, the preservation of our entire democracy in the face of The Big Lie.
It’s not just your own Senator and Congressional Rep who may be up for election — there’s the opportunity to choose judges, assembly members, and to vote on ballot proposals that effect you and your community in significant ways.
Here are just a few helpful resources I’ve been bookmarking to enlighten you, stress you out, or maybe de-stress you completely. And most importantly to help you and your family vote if you haven’t yet done it.
Important voting information and resources
Iwillvote.com is the best, fastest way to find out where to vote, where to drop off a ballot, how to fill it in, whether you need ID to vote in your state and more.
Vote.org offers similar info to help you confirm your registration, polling place, and more, plus it offers some handy options like setting election reminders.
Ballotpedia allows you to type in your address and see your actual ballot so you can research the issues and candidates. It’s a BIG help!
States offering same day voter registration including Election Day. (Go, those states!) If you recently moved to one of 22 states or Washington DC Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, and more than a dozen other states, you can still register to vote there — and actually vote — with the right identification.
Wondering how quickly your absentee/mail-in vote will be processed or pre-processed? This article is a good place to check — and a reminder why we don’t know all the results exactly on Election Day.
States offering same-day voter registration in 2022 via the NSCL
Reporting voter intimidation and suppression
Be aware of suppression tactics in these final days. It goes without saying that NO, YOU CANNOT VOTE VIA TEXT. This is a suppression tactic disseminated by bad actors to try and disenfranchise voters.
866-OURVOTE is an election protection hotline. Call if anyone is blocking your polling place, electioneering (i.e. wearing clothing or buttons that may be intended to intimidate others), trying to keep you from legally voting, or engaging in other illegal actions meant to intimidate.
You can also visit 866ourvote.org (say, it’s easier to do it silently on your phone’s browser instead of making. call.)
In fact, if anyone is keeping you from voting in any way, or trying to intimidate you, please call 866-OURVOTE or visit 866ourvote.org. You have the right to request provisional ballot, even if there is a legitimate discrepancy at your polling place.
This helpful cheat sheet of Voter Protection Hotlines by State was created by the amazing folks at Vote Save America. Right-click to download on desktop or add “save to photos” on your phone so that you can have it with you when you vote.
This also goes for election workers. In 2022, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security are issuing warnings about threats to voters and poll workers. And yes, that’s disgusting. The only way to get things back to normal — voting for the candidates who are speaking out against voter intimidation and fraud, not encouraging it.
If you need to report threats at the polls, Georgia has launched a text alert system — if you’re in a battleground state in particular, check to see if your state election board has something similar.
What can I wear to the polls? This article helps you be sure you’re in compliance so you’re not turned away. (Though no one should turn you away; at most can you turn a t-shirt inside out.)
Is a ballot selfie is legal in your state? Vox has answers.
Want to do more than doom scroll Twitter or refresh the polls all day? Visit these sites and find out how you can help by phone banking, texting, supporting swing states, and more. It’s so fulfilling — and fun! You never know which celebs might show up during an event.
You can also work directly through any campaign you support, in your state or otherwise — or via an organization you support like Moms Demand.
Text three friends!
You don’t even need any training for this! One of the most impactful things you can do right this very minute: text three friends or family members, especially in swing states/counties, and remind them to vote.
Ask them if they have a voting plan, if they know where and when to vote, and help them in any way. Believe it or not, it’s proven to increase turnout by a significant number.
Where to follow the polls…AFTER you’ve done everything else
If you know what I mean by “the Nates” then you’re my people. If not, I can help!
Many top newspapers and online magazines have made election coverage free as a public service, even if you don’t have a subscription. (So no article limit.) Start with the New York Time and The Washington Post, which have excellent polling and diverse, intellectually honest analysis. Also check your local papers. An informed electorate is a good thing!
Looking for good polling data and electoral vote info?
– Live updates on The NY Times
– FiveThirtyEight has clear and helpful graphics and analysis of polling.
– On Twitter, follow this number crunching list, including an excellent array of pollsters, political scientists, and political journalists put together by Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo. You can also find links to their websites through the individuals tweeting.
– Also on Twitter, Dave Wasserman of Redistrict / House Editor of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report is a favorite of mine. (You may know him for his catchphrase before calling a race: “I’ve seen enough…”)
I would just like to note that following the polls or the Twitter debates can be exciting and nerve-racking and addicting…but it’s one case where knowing something is no substitute for actually doing something.
One essential reminder: It won’t be “over” Nov 8. Sorry.
I know we’re all anxious. I know we think of this as being “over” by the end of Election Day.
We have never had final election results on Election Day, even if elections have been “called.” And with so many absentee ballots and even early voting records, there will be lots of counting. LOTS and lots of counting. Which is totally legal, and always has been.
Many states count ballots postmarked by Election Day, just like the IRS accepts taxes postmarked by tax day. In a Democracy we count every vote and we believe that every vote matters.
To put a fine point on it: No matter what anyone might be saying right now, it has never been illegal to count all the votes; it’s only illegal to not count the votes. Or as Tom Stoppard wisely wrote (though it’s been misattributed to Will Rogers), It’s not the voting that’s democracy; it’s the counting
Make a plan to take care of yourself this week
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This week is going to be hard. Consider doing any or all of these 12 things this week.A post shared by Christine Koh (@hellochristinekoh)
I love this 2020 list from our friend @hellochristinekoh on Instagram about making a care plan for this week. Some of us will really need it.
It’s okay to turn off the polls and turn on a show that makes you happy. It’s not sticking your head in your sand if you’ve already done everything else you can do.
Top image: Phil Scroggs on Unsplash