2020 Voter Mobilization Toolkit
You Registered, Now Make Sure You Know Where to Vote!
2020 is an important year for our democracy and our individual participation is key in determining the political landscape of our country for the next four to ten years. If you’ve registered to vote and still need to cast your ballot and/or are eager to do more to ensure that other people’s voices are represented, this resource guide was made especially for you!
Know Your Rights at the Voting Booth
Voters have special rights at the polls that are important to be aware of in case any of them are challenged.
- The Right to Vote Free of Intimidation
- Federal law (18 U.S. Code Section 594) prohibits the intimidation of voters and can result in prison time.
- The right to vote by provisional ballot if your name is not on the list of registered voters
- The right to vote with accommodations
- Efforts to protect the voting rights of people with disabilities has led to accessible polling places that meet the American Disabilities Act requirements and “curbside voting.’’ But not everyone is in favor of these accommodation, so it’s best to check the rules in your state.
- The right to vote after the polls close
- If you’re in line when a polling place closes and you still want to vote, stay put.
- The right to re-vote
- If you make a mistake, like voting for the unintended candidate or voting or more than one person for a single office, ask a pollster for help. Replacement ballots are available.
- The right to vote in your native language
- Voters who do not wish to vote in English (e.g. English may be a second language) can receive assistance at the polls by bringing a friend or relative. Under the Voting Rights Act, some counties are required to provide bilingual assistance to voters in the language they speak.
Anyone with voting issues can call, chat or text the Election Protection Hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE! Spanish speakers can call or text 888-VE-Y-VOTA, for Asian Languages contact 888-API-VOTE, and for help in Arabic contact 844-YALLA-US.
Requested A Mail-In Ballot But Haven't Voted Yet?
Your ballot must be postmarked by Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020 and received no later than Tuesday, November 17th, 2020.
NOTE: USPS delays could mean that, even if your ballot is postmarked in time, it may not be received in time to be counted, so we encourage you to explore the options below to ensure your vote is counted!
- Turn in your ballot at your nearest drop off box. Find a drop off location near you.
- If you have already received your mail ballot, take it with you to an early voting site or your polling place on Election Day and surrender it to an election judge. Your mail ballot will be voided, and you will receive a regular ballot.
- If you have not yet received your mail ballot, you will be asked to sign an affidavit certifying you have not received your ballot. You will then be issued a regular ballot.
- If you received your mail ballot but lost it, you may sign an affidavit certifying you have not yet voted in this election. You will then be issued a provisional ballot.”
Don't Get REJECTED: Mistakes to Avoid When Voting By Mail
According to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the top reasons why ballots get rejected are missing signatures, unverified signatures, or late arrivals.
To avoid these errors:
- Read all the directions on the ballot.
- Help family and friends navigate the ballot.
- Return your ballot ASAP!
- Spread the word!
Getting De-Registered is a Thing, Make Sure it Doesn’t Happen to You.
In 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that states may kick people off voting rolls if they skip a few elections and fail to respond to a notice from election officials. To avoid being told on the day of elections that you’ve been kicked off the rolls because you missed a piece of mail, check your voter registration status and that of others!
Spread the word using the social media post we created specifically for this action!
Educate Others About the Candidates and Issues on the Ballot
We can’t underestimate the important role local leaders play in shaping our everyday lives. The COVID-19 pandemic has created the perfect example of this. Governors, mayors, local elected school boards, etc. have played an essential role in figuring out how to keep their communities safe. There are plenty of ballot lookup tools you and others can use when going through the ballot from top to bottom, such as Ballot Pedia, Ballot Ready, and Vote 411.
Also on the ballot are measures that are important for people to be educated about. This November, Illinois voters have the opportunity to vote for a Fair Tax amendment to the state constitution, which will eliminate the requirement that Illinois tax income at a single rate.
There have been a lot of ads on TV and social media about the Fair Tax – some of which are just plain wrong. As you prepare to vote in Illinois and help others navigate the ballot, make sure you have all the facts about the Fair Tax to help inform your choice. Check out our Fair Tax Myth Busters and use our posts on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook to spread the word.
We Hope this Guide Helps You Prioritize and Protect Democracy!
Completed one or more of the above recommendations? Congratulations!
Celebrate this accomplishment by sharing with your friends and family on social media.
You can also add a frame to your profile picture that lets others know you are a democracy defender!