November 4, 2014 is the big day. This mid-term election will have far reaching impact for people of color, people of lesser means, and people who need temporary financial and social support.
I missed the (generous) early voting opportunities. I am busy, but aren’t we all? As I struggle to fit one more thing into my schedule, I am reminded that our ancestors fought and sacrificed for us to have this opportunity.
Voting may seem insignificant but over time, it makes a big difference. How so? Read “You Better Vote…or You Asked for It!.” written by our own Nashvilian at the Tennessee Tribune and “A Republican Midterm Wave Will Further Sink Black America” via the Huffington Post. They outline the many ways black people will lose if we do not vote.
Join me in voting Tuesday. Here’s how I’m preparing…
1) Read the ballot before you go
Before I vote, I’m reading the sample ballot so I can figure out (as best possible) the legal jargon. I will know what is good for me and my community.
This election is especially important, as we determine who will represent us, whether abortion costs will be covered, if wine will be made available in grocery stores or remain in the hands of local mom and pop stores; there are many legislative measures that directly impact us.
You can view the sample ballot via this link.
2) Find your voting location
Unlike early voting (where you can vote anywhere), you must vote at your assigned poll location on election day. Click here to find yours. Then, simply enter your address on the right of the website. (Of course, you must be a registered voter. If you are not, register here so you are ready for the next election.)
Polls are open from 7a-7pm on election day.
3) Take the right document
I always take two forms of ID, just in case: my voters card and my driver’s license. You only need one. The list of acceptable forms of ID are below.
4) Get ready, mentally and physically
Manage your expectations by preparing for a long wait. When I attempted to vote early, the line was wrapped around the library. I left. I simply wasn’t prepared. I was hungry, had a day of meetings and was on my way to another. I didn’t expect a wait.
This time, I’ll make sure I’ve eaten, my phone will be fully charged so I can work in line, and I will completely clear my morning schedule. My vote will be cast. My voice will be heard, even if it takes all day.
5) Encourage others
My 71 years-old dad sent me a text message on the last day of early voting. His text prompted me to get up and try to beat the crowd. I wasn’t successful but his action did lead me to act. We are more powerful than we know. Text, Facebook, Instagram can all be used to make positive change in our inner circles.