2020: My Most Informed Election Year

Phew, it’s been an interesting year to say the least. So much has happened over the past few months, it’d be ignorant to say that our lives haven't been affected by the issues brought to light. From the declaration of a global health emergency, to the moving and catalytic demonstrations of the BLM movement, we’ve dealt with a lot of change. But one thing that hasn’t changed is that it’s still a good ‘ole presidential election year. 

I have to be honest, I wasn’t one to keep up with politics. But with demanding issues like racism, climate change, and womxn’s rights at stake for the next four years, it was all too important to turn away. Here are some resources and tools I used to make 2020 my most informed election year yet. 

Ballot Submission Photo by Arnaud Jaegers from Unsplash

Why Vote?

It was reported last year that only 58.1% of the voting-eligible population voted in 2016. Many are misled that this historic election was a close race between the two leading candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and there has been very little to change that. But the reality is nearly 40% of voters were simply a no-show at the polls. 

2020 is arguably the most important presidential election to date. In regards to policies for the coronavirus pandemic, healthcare, foreign policy, the economy, abortion rights, and so much more, Joe Biden and Donald Trump could not have more drastically contrasting views. Their stances on these issues will greatly affect the kind of regulations that come after the election and consequently, how the issues impact your everyday life. 

What to Vote For

Voting is so important, and many recognize that. However, many fail to follow through due to the overwhelming amount of information that accompanies an election and the means of keeping up with it. Hopefully with the links and tips provided below, it will all be a little easier to digest.

Presidential Candidates

Biden v. Trump Differences in Policy and Plans

The Washington Post simplifies each candidates’ stance on key issues for this year’s election.

Biden v. Trump First Presidential Debate (starts 27:45)

Watch the candidates’ first full debate on some of the most prominent topics facing the U.S. today.

Ballot Measures

There’s a lot riding on the ballot this year, but what you see on your ballot differs depending on which state you’re in.

Ballot Measure Map

Click on your state to see and read more about the issues you can help decide this year. For ease, here are the California Propositions

The ACLU has also prepared a voter guide to help with your ballot this year. Disclaimer: These are merely suggestions. Vote according to your personal preferences. 

Stay Informed

One of the main ways I’ve personally been staying updated is through my most used apps. You can proactively stay informed about the election by taking advantage of social media algorithms. Actively choose what you’re looking at by going through the platform’s explore page and expressing interest (through likes, comments, shares, retweets, etc.) on content surrounding the 2020 election. By doing this, your feed will recognize these patterns and provide for you the latest news regarding the candidates, local campaign news, and more.

How to Vote

   1. Check your voter registration

Click here to check voter registration deadlines by state and see what you can do if you missed yours.

Visit https://www.headcount.org/ to see if you are already registered to vote, and to register if you are not. 

   2. Vote By Mail or In Person

With the pandemic still being a serious threat to our country, health officials recommend citizens to vote by mail to lessen potential contact at polling stations. That being said, you can still vote in person at your local voting center so long as you wear your mask or face covering and maintain 6-ft social distancing. 

   3. If voting by mail, remember: 

     a. Sign your envelope before mailing

The signature must match your government issued ID or your signature on record. If your signature changed, you can request a Signature Verification Form (this one’s for LA County).

     b. Dropoff at correct locations

No postage necessary. Check where your nearest drop off ballot box is here: OC LA County

     c. You can track your ballot

Stay updated on the whereabouts of your ballot by subscribing to a ballot tracking notification system here.  

This is your chance to make a difference, vote by November 3rd!

polling station Photo by Elliott Stallion from Unsplash