election checklist, week one.

July 27, 2020

We have 99 days until the 2020 election in the US. That’s 14 weeks during which I’ll be trying my damnedest to get leaders elected who will move the dial toward equity, inclusion, and progressive policies that will do the least harm and the greatest good.

I love lists. I love checking things off of lists. I’d hazard the guess that lots of folks reading this do, too. So, every Monday until November, I’ll be listing one specific action to take in preparation of the election. Electoral politics won’t solve everything, but voting is a tool in the box and it needs to be sharpened, oiled, and ready for action.

Week One: Register to vote.

You can’t vote if you’re not registered. This week, take three minutes to double-check your registration status, register yourself to vote for the very first time, or remind friends and family to do the same.

In a June Democracy Now interview, speaking about the incredible momentum behind the Black Lives Matter movement, activist scholar Angela Davis said: β€œWe’re going to have to translate some of the passion that has characterized these demonstrations into work within the electoral arena, recognizing that the electoral arena is not the best place for the expression of radical politics.” In this spirit, my personal vow is to not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. So I’m checking my registration status and encouraging all my friends to do the same.

Here are the details:

I am a voter is “a nonpartisan movement that aims to create a cultural shift around voting and civic engagement by unifying around a central truth: our democracy works best when we all participate.” Head to I am a voter or text VOTER to 26797 to check your registration or register to vote.

PS: If you have an action item you’re itching to share in the weeks leading up to the election, feel free to pitch the idea to erin @ readingmytealeaves dot com.

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  • Reply Megan July 27, 2020 at 2:38 pm

    Love this as a series! Just moved to a new state, time to re-register to vote πŸ™‚

  • Reply Katey July 27, 2020 at 2:43 pm

    This is a great series, thank you! One thing though, I begrudgingly decided to use the website link you provided to verify my voter registration status (I say begrudgingly as I saw an email address was required and that I would be receiving their emails by using the form). However, my result said that they couldn’t confirm my status despite all the details they asked for! Then I Googled and found this website for NY State residents (https://voterlookup.elections.ny.gov/) and by just entering a few details, I was able to quickly verify my voter registration status (and no email required!). I realize there are readers here beyond New York State, but just a piece of advice that using this state website is much easier and delivers accurate results (and I would assume most, if not all, states have a comparable website that can be found through a quick Google search).

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE July 27, 2020 at 3:33 pm

      Ha, well, yes! Individual research is always a good route, but sometimes it’s an impediment to folks taking the next step! All states certainly have comparable websites, but the idea of sites like I am a voter is to create a single spot that folks from anywhere can use! I tested it myself with great results; it was essentially a redirect to the NY State site! Glad you made your way there eventually!

  • Reply Maria July 27, 2020 at 10:01 pm

    This is great, thank you, Erin! This triggered my memory to locate the Board of Elections letter somewhere in the piles from our move. Address confirmed. Check, check!

  • Reply Anna Azvolinsky July 28, 2020 at 1:14 pm

    This is great Erin–we also need to emphasize, that given the large volume of mail in ballots, that the US Postal Office is urging all mail-in voters to send in their ballots 15 days prior to the official Nov. 3rd election day–making the effective election day October 19th! (https://www.postaltimes.com/postalnews/usps-urges-local-jurisdictions-to-advise-voters-to-send-mail-in-ballots-at-least-15-days-before-election/)

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE July 28, 2020 at 3:29 pm

      Yes! Gonna give that one a whole post of its own!

  • Reply Abbi July 28, 2020 at 3:54 pm

    Can’t wait for this series– looking forward to more actionable steps!

  • Reply Sofia July 28, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    Can’t wait for the rest of this series, what a great idea!

  • Reply Susan Krzywicki August 1, 2020 at 11:27 am

    I read an article that said an obstacle to younger voters wanting to participate is their self-perception that they do not know enough. -Would you be able to make an item about this? I am not sure what the thing would be – we all have a powerful sense of right and wrong, so maybe just reminding people about this?

  • Reply Judith Ross August 24, 2020 at 1:48 pm

    Thank you, Erin for this and all that you do. It’s very much appreciated.

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