There are lots of things 2020 will be known for: global pandemic, wildfires, murder hornets, unwatchable presidential debates. For me, overwhelmingly, it will be the year that voters realized making our democracy work—takes work!
Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation floating around that makes it seem like our most sacred democratic process, electing our representatives, is somehow going to be easily manipulated and that we should question the results. The best way to counteract this misinformation is to make sure you have a Voting Plan in place before Election Day: make sure you are eligible to vote (check your voter registration on or before OCTOBER 5th!), determine who is on your ballot and what candidates you want to support (be sure to check out www.VOTE411.org), determine how you are going to vote (by mail, in-person early voting, or in-person on Election Day), and, most importantly, VOTE!
The League of Women Voters is dedicated to ensuring that all eligible voters-particularly those from traditionally underrepresented or underserved communities, including first-time voters, non-college youth, new citizens, communities of color, the elderly, and low-income Americans—have the opportunity and the information to exercise their right to vote. We are here to help anyone who has questions, concerns, or just wants to learn more about the process! There are resources on our website www.lwvindy.org and on www.VOTE411.org that will guide you through the process of voting from start to finish, but here some basics you need to know:
- Want to Vote-by-Mail? You must request a ballot through an application. You can complete this application 100% online and it can easily be found at www.IndianaVoters.com. Remember, you must have a valid reason to request an absentee ballot. LWV Indy strongly suggests that folks mail their ballots no later than 10/19/2020 to ensure they get to their destination with plenty of time for processing.
- Want to vote early? Fantastic! LWV Indy is strongly encouraging folks to vote early. Unlike voting by mail, you do not have to have a reason to vote early. You will, however, need your photo ID (driver’s license, ID card, Military ID, or an ID from an Indiana state college or University). Early voting starts on 10/06/2020 at the Marion County Clerk’s office and will expand to five more locations beginning on 10/24/2020. Visit www.vote.indy.gov to find the location most convenient for you.
- Want to vote in person on Election Day? Make sure you have a plan! We expect there to be lines so be sure you are ready to stand in line for an extended period. Dress for the weather, make sure you have your photo ID, water, shade, and maybe even a chair. There will be 187 Voter Centers open on Election Day—and Marion County voters can vote at any one of them! A great feature at www.vote.indy.gov is the ability to find the Vote Center closest to your current location.
So take a deep breath and focus on the amazing parts of participating in our democracy:
- Voting brings us together as Americans—it is the one time when we are all equal.
- Voting is your opportunity to support your community and have a say in America’s future.
- Our democracy is stronger when every eligible voter can cast a vote—and have it count!
So please, if you do nothing else today? Plan out how you are going to #BeAVoter and #MakeDemocracyWork!
Meet The Author
Rhea Cain is the current president of the League of Women Voters of Indianapolis and the Controller and Human Resources Director at P.H. Drew, Inc. She has been involved with LWV since 2008 and has always had a love of government and policy—not politics! She studied history, political science, and anthropology at Butler University and earned her MBA in Non-Profit Management and Marketing from the University of Indianapolis. Volunteering has always been important and has volunteered and served on various boards since 1998. She has been giving her time for over twenty years to her second love; the Indiana Medical History Museum. In this capacity she teaches visitors about medical history, conducts research, and writes for their website. If she’s not in a meeting, working, leading a tour, or managing the League’s communications, she can be found COVID quarantining with her rambunctious toddler, three cranky cats (Bernie, Yogi, and T.I.G.), one spunky American-Eskimo/Husky rescue (Gizmo), and her ever patient husband. You can reach Rhea by emailing email@example.com Learn more about LWV Indy: www.lwvindy.org Learn more about the Indiana Medical History Museum: www.imhm.org