An individuals' right to vote is a precious thing.
As we journey through the last weeks of summer, November seems oh-so-far-away. But anyone who treasures this right does need not be concerned about November at the moment. It is more the here and now.
Realtors and Movers: Want to reach out to your clients in a meaningful way? Anyone who has changed addresses in the last few years should hear from you on this. You have the data base, send them the link to your local Board of Elections with info on how they might register in a new area.
College-bound? Citizens who will turn 18 by Election Day can register. Use your FB page to remind your peers to register before they leave-and also to inquire/make arrangements NOW about absentee ballots. Post links, and ask others to like and share.
Friends, parents, neighbors: Know anyone whose status/address might have changed? How to quickly and easily register in your municipality is one google search away. Your one tweet, your one post can make a difference.
Similarly, your own status as an eligible voter is not to be taken lightly. Even for those who vote regularly, and without incident: the rules in your state may have changed without you being aware of it. In the last two years, a whopping 16 states have made changes in their voting laws. That's right, it's not just about Florida and Pennsylvania.
At this writing, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, New Hampshire, North Carolina Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virgina and Wisconsin all have changes on the books; Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas have laws that are being challenged.
Legal challenges to these laws will certainly continue after the election. But if you want to make your voice count in November, you need to be prepared in the way your state requires NOW. Is there any greater reason to make sure you are able to vote now, that your future rights will be protected??
Change of name via marital status? Change of address for school or work? If you have any reason to question your status, now is the time to check with your local Board of Elections. PLEASE.
Here in Westchester County, a quick phone call to the Board of Elections (914.995.5700) can confirm your eligibility on the spot, instruct you on how to make any needed updates. Information about registering, and absentee ballots can be found here on the County website.
Deadlines are fast-approaching: Do it now, or lose it.