The deadline to register to vote for the upcoming general election has passed (the deadline was Oct. 5). Those of us encouraging voter engagement now need to shift our efforts from registration to voting. We need to encourage more people to vote—especially those who might be voting for the first time.
This year there is a new collaborative effort pushing increased voter engagement in the Cincinnati area. That effort is called the Greater Cincinnati Voter Collaborative. The GCVC is “an informal, nonpartisan collaborative of local organizations who believe in amplifying safe voter engagement and advocacy efforts as well as sharing comprehensive voter resources throughout Greater Cincinnati.”
Over fifty local organizations have joined GCVC. They include: ACLU Ohio, Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio, Women’s fund of Greater Cincinnati Foundation, NAACP, Cohear, ArtWorks, Action Tank and many more. Joining the collaborative means that your organization will help share voter resources so that our citizens know their safe and trustworthy voting options.
Safe to vote at home
Meeka Owens, one of GCVC’s co-founders, says “In this pandemic year it’s important everyone feels they have options for prioritizing their health. No one should feel like they have to choose between staying healthy and voting”. You don’t need to go to the polls to vote—you can safely vote from home and mail your ballot.
If you’d rather not mail an absentee ballot you have other options. There are three ways to vote:
- Mail your absentee ballot
- Deliver your absentee ballot to the Board of Elections dropbox
- In person, early or on Nov. 3
Start today and make a plan for how you want to vote. Select the option that feels the safest to you.
Why doesn’t everyone vote?
Navigating a deadly virus can deter even the seasoned voter. But the pandemic is not the only deterrent for some in our community. Many people won’t vote because they don’t see the point–they think their vote doesn’t count. While it’s true that one single vote might not make a difference, it’s all the votes together that make an impact. Just like the pandemic, we are all in this together. Vote together and we make changes together.
Your call to action
If you are regular voter your call to action is to help others get their vote in. Do that by identifying a non-voter and help them understand the importance of voting.
Ask around, you probably know someone who doesn’t vote. Instead of insisting they vote (“You should vote”!)—invite them into a conversation. Are you going to vote this year? Oh, you don’t vote? Why don’t you vote? Are there issues you care about? How do you think voting impacts those issues?
The best way to persuade someone to see your point of view is to first try to see theirs. Try to understand why your friend, relative or colleague doesn’t vote and you might then convince them that their one vote does indeed count.
Voter engagement resources: