Voting has not always been a granted right for all Americans. This past August was the 19th Amendment centennial and the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act – both of which were paramount to the right to vote for all American citizens. Although the fight for the right to vote has been an arduous battle, from the years of our Founding Fathers to 1965, some citizens do not capitalize on this right.
When trying to convince peers to vote, I’ve often heard the same apathetic statements, such as, “my vote doesn’t matter.” However, I know that if you’ve ever watched the election results roll in for a state or local race, you would quickly disagree. To use my hometown of Beech Grove as an example, the 2019 mayoral race was decided by a mere 67 votes. That’s less than the number of “likes” I get on my neglected Instagram account! With that being said, it is more important than ever for Indy’s 20-and 30-somethings to show up and speak up.
You can make your voice heard in more ways than showing up to the polls on November 3rd:
● Be informed! Learn about the issues and connect with candidates through Women4Change’s 2020 Voter Guide! This guide will educate you on some of the issues that affect Hoosier women. We encourage you to read, share and engage with this guide in all capacities.
● Volunteer! You can sign up to volunteer with Women4Change for our Get Out The Vote campaign by completing this short survey.
● Use your Voice! Vote early! Talk to a candidate! Share on your social media, text your group chats, tell your colleagues during your next Zoom meeting.
Participating in elections is your civic duty, but more importantly it honors those who fought for your right to vote. Your vote truly does make a difference.
Important Upcoming Dates:
October 5th | Check your voter registration and register to vote by October 5th
● October 5th is the last day for Indiana voters to register for the general election. Check your registration status, and register, here.
October 6th | Early voting begins on October 6th – You can find early voting locations on the Women4Change Vote page!
● Early voting provides several options for those who wish to vote before Election Day. A demanding job or inflexible hours shouldn’t prevent someone from exercising their constitutional right to vote.
● Early voting can increase voter turnout, especially among marginalized voters. For example, oftentimes, people who are working-class and cannot take time off of work are unable to vote on Election Day. Therefore, early voting options provide more flexibility for people with less availability for time off of work.
○ In addition, early voting locations tend to be more scarce in areas with higher populations of people of color. Marion County, for instance, where almost 30% of the population is Black, has only one early voting location available per roughly 107,456 voters. Comparatively, in Hamilton County, where nearly 87% of the population is white, there is one early voting location per approximately 30,903 voters.
October 22nd | Last day to request an absentee ballot.
● The deadline to request an absentee ballot for the Indiana general election is October 22, 2020, at 11:59pm. To request an absentee ballot, complete this form ABS-Mail 2020 (En Español) and return it to your county election officials.
November 3rd | Election Day!
● All mail-in ballots must be received no later than November 3, 2020 to be counted in the Indiana general election. If you plan on voting in person, don’t forget to follow all current COVID-19 safety guidelines and thank the poll workers!
Haley Bougher joined the Women4Change team in January 2018 and currently serves as the Director of Education and Advocacy. Haley is a native of Beech Grove, IN and a recent graduate of Butler University. Before Women4Change, Haley completed a year of service with Americorps Immigrant & Refugee Service Corps and served as the program assistant for the Desmond Tutu Center for Peace, Reconciliation, and Global Justice. In her free time, Haley serves as the head of the International School of Indiana’s tennis program. She currently resides in Garfield Park with her two pups, Chance & Scout, and enjoys taking the Red Line to work.