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Can’t Vote? Here Are 5 Ways You Can Still Participate in the 2020 Election

I think we all know that the 2020 U.S. presidential election is going to function differently than previous elections, thanks to the coronavirus. Regardless, this election is just as important, if not more, and encouraging others to take part plays a big role in its success. However, some people won’t be able to vote in this election, including me. There are various reasons that could cause people to be unable to vote; mine is that I am a South African living in America, which means I don’t have citizenship to vote here. Another reason could be that they haven’t turned 18 yet. Whatever the reason is for not being able to vote, here are all of the possible things that you can do in place of voting (or in addition to it).

Encourage others to vote

If you know of eligible voters in your family or group of friends, consider discussing the importance of voting with them. Many people have reported that they don’t vote because either they’re too intimidated, they don’t understand the process of how to vote, or because they don’t see how their individual vote could make a difference. Even though you can’t vote, educating others and encouraging them to use their right to vote can make a major impact!

Donations

If you have the means, another way to contribute to this election is by donating to a campaign that you believe in or one that supports your preferred candidate. You could also donate to non-profit organizations that advocate for something you’re passionate about. Even the smallest amount of donations can contribute to substantial change.

Volunteer to be a poll worker or a driver

Due to the pandemic, many former poll workers have chosen not to work at the polls this year because they are at high risk (the majority of them are over the age of 61). You can volunteer to be a poll worker in your area by checking your state’s requirements from the EAC. If this doesn’t work for you, consider volunteering to give rides to people who would like to vote in person but are unable to get there by themselves. There are many carpool apps that allow you to find drivers in your area, such as Carpool Vote and Rideshare2Vote. Additionally, if people choose to vote by mail (an option that has been made more widely available during the pandemic), you can spend time explaining this process to them to make sure that their ballots are counted.

Host a debate watch

The best way to get people interested and involved in the presidential election is to watch one of the debates together. Whether that be in person or through Zoom, they can see firsthand how each party conducts themselves, as well as each party’s different views and intentions for the future. A watch party also allows them to learn new things and have an open discussion with everyone afterwards. If people feel like they have a purpose being a part of a group, they’re more likely to become passionate about their stances and then vote to support them.

Hold your own hearings

Lastly, if you’re really passionate about this election, consider hosting hearings of your own! Whether that be in person or through Zoom, just be sure to maintain a safe and comfortable environment for all involved. The goal is not to get everyone to agree with your views, but rather to get everyone talking so that they can all hear from different perspectives.

Just because you can’t vote, doesn’t mean you can’t use your voice! Now that you know several ways to participate in this election, get out there and speak for what you believe in—one vote could be the difference in the change you want to see.

Kaley Gouws

Virginia Tech '22

I'm double majoring in English Pre-Law Track and Creative Writing, with a minor in Psychology. I love writing so I'm extremely happy to be a part of Her Campus!
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