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Use Your Voice: Your Vote Matters

The election is less than a week away, which means it’s time to vote (if you haven’t already during early voting)! Now is your chance to use your voice to create positive, lasting change in your community and our nation as a whole. Plus, by exercising your right to vote — a right for which so many women fought tirelessly — you are showing the girls in your life that they, too, can use their voices for good.

At Girls on the Run, one of our core values is recognizing our power and responsibility to be intentional in our decision making. Voting exemplifies this core value; by acknowledging the power and responsibility we have as individuals in this election, we can effect change within our communities and beyond from the inside out.

Want to be a #GOTRvoter? Here are some helpful voting tips and resources:

  • Early voting:
  • Absentee voting:
    • It’s easy!
    • It’s safe. As NPR recently reported, over the last 20 years across all 50 states, there have been only 204 confirmed cases of fraudulent use of absentee ballots and 143 confirmed and charged cases of voter fraud committed by mail. To put that in perspective, that means voter fraud accounts for only 0.00006% of all mail-in votes.
    • It tends to increase voter participation. Research shows that allowing voting by mail increases voter participation by approximately 2%.
  • In-person voting:
    • Click this link to look up polling places in your county.
    • States are experiencing record shortages of poll workers this election season due to coronavirus. Visit Power the Polls to learn how you can help your local community prevent poll place closures and be a stand-byer, not a bystander.
  • Local elections:
    • Start broadly: If you don’t know where to begin, start with the secretary of state’s office or the board of elections. You may find a comprehensive list of resources there.
      • Tip! Know your sources and look for .gov website addresses for resources directly from your local government.
    • Read local news sources: You can often find candidate lists or resources in news sources.
      • Tip! Be sure to check out multiple news resources to make sure you have the most reliable sources of information.
    • Try direct outreach: Contact your local city hall and they should be able to point you in the right direction.
  • Election Day:
    • Voter guides provide information on candidates and ballot measures. You can often find these through your local or regional news sources or local issue-specific organizations.
      • Tip! BallotReady.org‘s interactive ballot information helps to prepare you in three ways:
        1. Explore your ballot – Dive into the background of every candidate and referendum on your personal ballot.
        2. Make informed choices – Compare candidates based on their stances on issues, biography, and endorsements and save your choices as you go.
        3. Vote! – Breeze through the ballot box by bringing BallotReady to the polls.
      • Tip! Vote411.org also provides nonpartisan information to the public for both general and state elections.
    • Sample ballots are informational-only ballots showing the candidates and election measures you can expect to see on your real ballot. Unlike voter guides, sample ballots do not provide any information about the candidates.
      • Tip! Your state may mail you a sample ballot, but you can often access or download one from your state’s election site.
  • Getting prepared:
    • Schedule time to become familiar with your ballot for 2020. Prepare the resources you’ll need to vote — whether by mail or in person.
    • Did you find a voter’s guide or other helpful resources as you prepare to vote? Spread the knowledge! Share it on social media or within your friends and family network.
    • Get to know your current legislators ahead of the election — find federal, state or local elected officials at usa.gov.
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