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Here Is How You Can Volunteer For The 2020 Presidential Election

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Oct. 13 2020, Published 3:15 a.m. ET

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We have less than four weeks to the election. We’re still in pandemic social distancing mode, we’re listening to the debates and forming strong opinions about candidates, and we’re ready to take action. But how can we do that this year for election day and actually make a difference?

From phone calls to election judges, there are many things any of us can do to help the voting process this year.

Make Phone Calls To Help Persuade People To Get Out And Vote

If you’re ready to make an impact this weekend, there are many groups looking for your help in making phone calls to persuade people to vote in this year’s presidential election.

Whether it’s WisDems trying to swing Wisconsin left in the battle for the White House – partially funded by some pretty amazing cast reunions they’ve done this year – or Indivisible with a broad signup and easy-to-maneuver system for making calls, you can help.

Go to any of these websites to sign up to learn more about the process or take a shift.

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If you’re intimidated by the idea, Marie Jonas offers some helpful tips on overcoming that fear.

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Become A Poll Worker For Election Day

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If you’re able to volunteer in person, a great option is to become a poll worker. You can help make sure that the folks who are voting in person in your area are able to vote while answering questions they may have and protecting ballots as long as they are in your care.

To do this, you’ll need to:

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  1. Register to vote ahead of time if you haven’t already (or confirm that you don’t need to in your state).
  2. Meet the age requirement.
  3. Verify your residency requirement to work in your area.
  4. Find out if any political party affiliation is required in your region.
  5. Sign up as a poll worker in your area. Typically, this is done with your local election office.
  6. Complete any training required for the position you’re assigned.

Join A Texting Campaign

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There are some well-organized campaigning groups that have lists of voters that you can reach out to via texting. They provide you with information – and in many cases, scripts – and the contact information for the voters they want to reach. You’ll also receive any training required so that you can get started as soon as the campaign is ready to go.

This is especially critical as the election nears. Voters and potential voters are less likely to answer a phone call than read a text. This is also an especially great way for folks with anxiety around phones to volunteer without raising stress levels.

These campaigns should have apps you can use for texting to avoid your number from ever being seen by folks on the other end of the texts.

Some groups doing texting campaigns:

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Offer Your Unique Skills To Local Campaigns

The candidate you’re interested in supporting – especially if local – may not be able to afford to fill every slot on their campaign staff with paid personnel. Your unique skill set may well be something that can help make a difference for their campaign. If you can make memes, videos, graphics that catch the eye or write social media posts, you may well have something instrumental to offer to that campaign.

Reach out to the campaigners you support and volunteer your specific skill set to them or just ask what they need right now. You could be the answer they’ve been looking for.

Become An Election Protection Volunteer

If you have more specialized skills and training, you can volunteer to help protect voters’ rights or even the election itself.

You can volunteer as a poll monitor at Protect the Vote. If you have legal skills, you can call the hotline and volunteer your time and skills for this non-partisan voter protection coalition, 866 Our Vote.

Election protection helps to ensure anyone legally of age and right to vote can, while helping to reform the system, keeping our elections fair, free, and accessible to anyone.

In These Remaining Weeks, You Can Make A Difference

The battle for our nation isn’t over yet – the election is still just under a month away. Some potential voters are on the fence, others don’t think they’ll vote, but you could be the voice needed to help change their minds. You may be someone who can help protect the election itself. Whatever you do volunteer to do, you will make a difference.

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