Our country’s youth have been a powerful voice for change this year, speaking up forcefully about racial and social injustice and the existence of systemic racism that is embedded in major institutions in our country.
They also have the potential to exercise considerable influence in the election, making up more than one-third of eligible voters. And polls show they’ve expressed a strong desire to vote.
As part of the Communities In Schools (CIS) commitment to give every young person an opportunity to engage with and give back to their community, CIS of Mid-America is providing resources to our voting-age students and alumni.
Our goal is to inform them about their voting rights; help them overcome any potential barriers to participation and ensure they have the resources they need to exercise their right to vote.
Below, find a list of resources to get started. Together on Election Day, #CISVotes. And in that way, we will continue to be #AllinforKids.
Register to Vote
When We All Vote – Register to Vote: From your local school board to the Senate, it’s important to vote in every election. Complete the online form to make sure your voice is heard!
FiveThirtyEight – How To Vote In The 2020 Election: A state-by-state guide to voting in the age of COVID-19 – Get state-by-state information on registration deadlines, voting early, ID needed for in-person voting, and what is new for this election due to the pandemic.
TikTok launches in-app guide to the 2020 US elections: For those who use TikTok, the app released a guide to the 2020 US elections that offers information about candidates at the federal, state, and local level, powered by BallotReady; how to vote in every state, powered by the National Association of Secretaries of State; and educational videos about misinformation, media literacy, the elections process, and more, powered by MediaWise.
State Voter Registration Deadlines for the CIS of Mid-America Network:
- Iowa – October 24
- Kansas – October 13
- Missouri – October 7
- Oklahoma – October 9
Confirm Your Voter Registration
Can I Vote - National Association of Secretaries of State – Not sure if you're already registered, or need to update your information? Select your state in the drop-down menu on the Can I Vote site to make sure you are registered to vote.
Check Your Polling Place & Hours
When We All Vote - Voting Deadlines – It is important to know the voting deadlines for your state and local jurisdictions. Get state-by-state information on deadlines for voter registration, vote by mail applications, when your mail-in ballot is due, and if your state is doing early voting.
Voter Identification Laws in Effect in 2020
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures -- which broke down voter ID laws state-by-state -- 36 states require some sort of ID at the polls. If you are a first-time voter, you may be expected to show some sort of ID, too.
Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Tennessee and Wisconsin are the strictest states, in that they require a photo ID, while Arizona, North Dakota and Ohio require a non-photo ID. In both cases, if you don't have the required ID, you can vote with a provisional ballot.
Know Your Rights
Know Your Voting Rights – Voter intimidation is real - and it’s illegal. Learn more about how to exercise your voting rights, resist voter intimidation efforts, and access disability-related accommodations and language assistance at the polls. For help at the polls, call the non-partisan Election Protection Hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE or 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español).
Text Your Intention to Vote
Text the word CISVOTES to 26797
Empower Others to Vote
Democracy Class - Democracy Class is a free, nonpartisan curriculum that educates high school students about the importance and history of voting and pre-registers and registers them to vote.
Power the Polls - America is facing a record shortage of poll workers this year due to the coronavirus. Our democracy depends on ordinary people who make sure elections run smoothly and everyone's vote is counted. You can make sure we have a safe, fair, efficient election for all. Poll workers get PPE, training and paid.
Many city bus systems offer free service to get to the polls to vote. Check your local bus schedules to learn more. Companies like Lyft (click through to article) and Uber (click through to article) offer discounted trips to the polls.
Making a Plan to Vote
Election workers are essential to ensuring that elections are a success. With each election, millions of Americans dedicate themselves to sustaining the backbone of democracy - our election process. Poll workers are hired at the local level, so contact your local election official if you have questions on the process to become a poll worker in your area.