2020 has been a year of major changes to the world and our way of life, and it’s not over yet. With an election looming, New York still needs to keep the energy and activism up so that we can take care of business–through the democratic process.
One in four eligible voters isn’t registered. That means, a quarter of American voices aren’t heard. If you want to be part of this important expression of your rights there are two important steps to doing so: registering to vote and volunteering to get others involved.
If you’re thinking that volunteering is just signing others up to vote, stop right there! There are plenty of other ways you can get involved in the election without just ticking boxes. The right to vote is so much bigger than that. Volunteering means spreading knowledge and getting involved with the community you call home.
If you want to get involved in this year’s major election, here are a few organizations leading the charge.
In partnership with the Global Citizen Festival, Headcount brings voter registration to popular music events so attendees can get registered.
On their website, you’ll find a full schedule of events that you can join them at so non-registered voters can make it happen. As a bonus, you’ll get the access to the show!
They’re not only attending live shows (something that’s hard to organize nowadays), but organizing efforts to make some noise while staying home. Sign up and volunteer for “At Home Texting,” and spread the world on voting without going out at all.
Not sure if you’re registered? You can check now with a few simple steps on their website.
Rock the Vote has been around since P. Diddy was Puff Daddy. They’re still here kicking, and invite everyone to get involved and bring their friends.
Not only do they help people register, but also help to create and spread knowledge so you can read up before you cast your ballot. Ultimately, they’re all about taking action, and they have plenty of ways to do it.
Volunteering at Rock the Vote means putting your talents to good use. Whether you’re an influencer, video editor, or graphic designer, you can help be part of the efforts of registering younger generations to flex this power.
If you need to get sorted with your ballot, they can guide you to register to vote.
Any law students or legal professionals looking for ways to help? Led by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Election Protection gives you a chance to volunteer your expertise to provide non-partisan voter information to those seeking it. These volunteers can be especially helpful for voters with document problems, or people who have trouble navigating the red tape in their attempt to register to vote.
The site also serves as a helpful resource to the public with a state-by-state breakdown of when elections are held, and an opportunity to check if you’re registered to vote. Even if you don’t have law experience, you can volunteer for their poll monitoring program.
Similarly, the Brennan Center for Justice is setting out to fight for more equality within the justice system, including a push for automatic voter registration. Their organization is open to individual donations and partnerships with other firms.
The League of Women Voters is an organization with roots from the Suffragist Movement. It thrives today on the same commitment of offering support and knowledge for women so they can vote with power. Members of the League provide call services, events, and a helpful guide to who’s who in government and how to contact them at “Who Represents Me.”
They also set up voter registration tables across the five boroughs, actively registering people to vote, even in non-presidential voting years. You can sign up to volunteer to staff a table and be a part of spreading knowledge and boosting voter turn-out.
When We All Vote is an organization that doesn’t only call on young voters to participate, but also aims at closing the race gap and enlivening the culture around voting.Co-chairs currently include Michelle Obama, Janelle Monae, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. There are plenty of other big names in involved in this organization, but it’s not just the celebs that make a difference.
Sign up for updates on volunteer oppportunities and discover ways you can help the cause. You can alsoapply to become your localVoting Squad Captain. This program puts you in control of the efforts in your community, and links you with other community captains for all the training, tools, and resources you need.
The site also offers you helpful resources, like knowing your rights and FAQ around voting by mail.
Follow them on Instagram for virtual rallies, valuable information, and insightful messages.
Voto Latino is a grassroots political organization focused on educating and empowering a new generation of Latinx voters, as well as creating a more robust and inclusive democracy. In their 15-year history, Voto Latino has been at the forefront of political, cultural, digital trends for organizing and activating Latinxs.Through innovative digital campaigns, culturally relevant programs and authentic voices, they shepherd the Latinx community towards full realization of its political power.
Join Voto Latino Foundation in sending out Vote by Mail reminders to Latinx voters! RSVP now, they’ll be sure to send-out training materials for their volunteer activation.
Voto Latino members and volunteers can host voter registration drives, canvasses, rallies, debate watch parties, text banks, and more! Check out their map of national events and find one near you. If you don’t see one in your neighborhood, sign up to host your own!
Help! I still need to register!
The final day to register to vote in New York is Friday, October 9, 2020. Let’s get you sorted right now.
Register to Vote Online
You can register to vote in New York City online if you have a valid NYS driver’s license or ID, and know your social security number.
If you have both of these things, visit The DMVs voter registration page to register.
Register to Vote In Person or By Mail
If you don’t have the required information to register online, you can do so by mail or in person.
Processing time by mail can be up to six weeks, so it’s best to get it complete another way. Get all your documents together and make it happen online–or better yet, stop at a volunteer table if you see one first!
Where Do I Vote?
All registered to vote? Excellent. Now you need to know where to go.
You can look up your local polling location with the New York State Voter Look Up.
Never forget, it’s a hard-earned right and privilege to have a say in who leads this country. If election day still seems far away, then use some of this remaining time and volunteer your time to get American voices heard.
When November 3rd comes, you’ll have a new posse of progressive Americans who are proud to be voters!