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Unified GOTV Employee Resource Guide

By: Unified


Table of Contents

Voting Info & Registration

  • Important Dates to Remember
  • Voter Checklist
  • How to Register
  • Absentee & Mail-in Voting
  • COVID-19 and Voting

Voting Resources

  • Upcoming Election Guides
  • Commonly Asked Questions
  • Local Elections: Why Do They Matter?

Know Your Rights

  • Voting Laws by State
  • Your Rights on Election Day
  • Gerrymandering
  • Voter suppression

Extra Reading & Podcasts to Stay Informed

  • Podcasts
  • Books/Columns to Read

Voter Info & Registration

IMPORTANT!  Election Dates to Remember

California:

  • Online: October 19, 2020
  • By Mail: October 19, 2020
  • In Person: November 3, 2020

Connecticut:

  • Online: October 27, 2020 (General Election)
  • By Mail: October 27, 2020 (General Election)
  • In Person: October 27, 2020 (General Election)

New Jersey:

  • By Mail: October 13, 2020 (General Election)
  • In Person: October 13, 2020 (General Election)

New York:

  • Online: October 9, 2020 (General Election)
  • By Mail: October 9, 2020 (General Election)
  • In Person: October 9, 2020 (General Election)

Georgia:

  • Online: October 5, 2020
  • By Mail: October 5, 2020
  • In Person: October 5, 2020

Voter Checklist

  • Register to Vote (for first time voters) or Check your voter registration status!
  • Find your nearest polling location
  • Figure out what’s on your ballot
  • Check if you need an ID to vote
  • Vote!

Register to Vote

How to Register:

Absentee Ballot

 

State

Absentee Ballot Application Deadline

Voted Absentee Ballot is Due

California

In Person: On Election Day

By Mail: 7 days before Election Day

Online: N/A

Postmarked by Election Day and received within 3 days of Election Day.

Connecticut

In Person:

By Mail: 1 day before Election Day. We recommend applying at least 7 days before Election Day.

Online:

Election Day.

New Jersey

In Person: 1 day before Election Day.

By Mail: 7 days before Election Day.

Online:

Election Day.

New York

In Person: 1 day before Election Day

By Mail: 7 days before Election Day.

Online:

Postmarked 1 day before Election Day and received 7 days after Election Day. Voted ballots can also be turned in by hand on election day.

Georgia

In Person: Received 4 days before Election Day.

By Mail: Received 4 days before Election Day.

Online: N/A

Election Day.

COVID-19 and Voting

A list of the latest alerts by state with the ever-changing COVID-19 situation


Voting Resources

Upcoming Election Guides

1. Candidate Voting Guides

2. Local Election Voting Guides

a. Los Angeles

b. New York City

c. Atlanta

State-by-State Overviews

Common Questions

Local Elections: Why do They Matter?

  • Too few people choose our local leaders
    • In local elections across the United States, fewer than 15 percent of eligible citizens are turning out to vote for community leaders like mayors and city councilors.
    • Median voter age was 57, with residents 65 and older were 15x more likely to vote than Millennials and Gen Z-ers of voting age.
    • Voter turnout varies drastically by city/region.
  • Many of the policies decided on at the local level affect our day-to-day lives.
    • Many of the policies decided on at the local level affect our day-to-day lives.
    • Local taxes determine education funding with local school boards having major influence in these decisions, as well as infrastructure, parks, street conditions, etc.
    • Mayors and city councilors are at the forefront of these city-driven initiatives.
    • Local prosecutors are some of the most powerful figures in our criminal justice system in determining prosecution and sentencing.


Know Your Rights

Voting Laws by State

Voting rules and ID laws vary from state to state.

California

  • ID needed? No photo ID is necessary, but first-time voters that did not provide a valid ID during registration might be asked to provide one when voting.
  • Early voting
  • Voting by Mail: Any registered voter in CA can vote by mail.
  • Provisional voting
  • Time off to Vote: Public and private employers MUST give employees time off to vote, unless the employee already has two hours of nonworking time available to vote.

Connecticut

New Jersey

New York

  • ID needed? If you are a first-time voter who registered by mail, you will be required to show ID, no photo requirement.
  • Early voting
  • Voting by Mail
  • Provisional voting
  • Time off to vote: Employees allowed to take up to 3 hours with pay to allow time to vote. Must tell employer no less than 2 days before Election Day that you plan to take time off to vote.

Georgia

Your Rights on Election Day (courtesy of the ACLU)

  • General rights on Election Day
    • If the polls close while you’re still in line, stay in line – you have the right to vote.
    • If you make a mistake on your ballot, ask for a new one.
    • If the machines are down at your polling place, ask for a paper ballot.
    • If you run into any problems or have questions on Election Day, call the Election Protection Hotline:
      • English: 1-866-OUR-VOTE / 1-866-687-8683
      • Spanish: 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA / 1-888-839-8682
      • Arabic: 1-844-YALLA-US / 1-844-925-5287
      • For Bengali, Cantonese, Hindi, Urdu, Korean, Mandarin, Tagalog, or Vietnamese: 1-888-274-8683
  • If the poll worker says your name is not on the registered voter directory:
    • Voters are entitled to a provisional ballot, even if they aren’t in the poll book.
    • After Election Day, election officials must investigate whether you are qualified to vote and registered. If you are qualified and registered, they will count your provisional ballot.
  • If you are a disabled voter:
    • Under federal law, all polling places for federal elections must be fully accessible to older adults and voters with disabilities. Simply allowing curbside voting is not enough to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility requirements.
    • In federal elections, every polling place must have at least one voting system that allows voters with disabilities to vote privately and independently. Usually, this is a machine that can read the ballot to you (for people with vision disabilities or dyslexia), and let you vote by pushing buttons (for people with mobility disabilities).
    • Under federal law, voters with disabilities and voters who have difficulty reading or writing English have the right to receive in-person help at the polls from the person of their choice. This helper cannot be the voter’s employer, an agent of the voter’s employer, or an agent or officer of the voter’s union. The helper must respect the voter’s privacy, not looking at the voter’s ballot unless the voter asks them to do so.
    • Election officials (including poll workers) must make reasonable accommodations as needed to help you vote.
    • Election officials must provide you with help if it’s possible for them to do so.
    • A voter with a mental disability cannot be turned away from the polls because a poll worker thinks they are not ‘qualified’ to vote.
  • If you are not proficient in English:
    • Under federal law, voters who have difficulty reading or writing English may receive in-person assistance at the polls from the person of their choice. This person cannot be the voter’s employer, an agent of the voter’s employer, or an agent or officer of the voter’s union.
    • Counties covered by Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act are required to provide bilingual assistance to voters in specific languages. This means that they must provide poll workers who speak certain languages, and make all election materials and election-related information available in those languages. Check whether your county is required to provide bilingual election assistance in a language you speak.

Gerrymandering

Voter Suppression (courtesy of the ACLU)

  • Voter ID Laws
    • 36 states require some form of identification at the polls with 7 of these states having ‘strict’ photo ID laws.
      • These laws have been estimated to reduce voter turnout by 2-3 percentage points (or tens of thousands of votes) in one state alone, as outlined by the U.S. Govt. Accountability Office.
      • ID cards are not accessible to everyone due to the expenses and documents required to obtain them.
  • Voter Registration Restrictions
    • One of the most common forms of voter suppression
    • Restrictions include:
      • Requirement of docs to provide citizenship or identification
      • Penalties for voter registration drives
      • Limiting window of time in which voters can register
        • Also seen in requiring voters to register far in advance of elections
  • Voter Purges
    • Cleaning up voter rolls is important to keep registry up to date and remove those who have moved, died, or otherwise become ineligible.
      • Voter rolls are often purged, removing eligible voters, based on inaccurate data and w/o proper notice to voters.
    • Significantly higher purge rates happen in communities of color, according to a Brennan Center study
  • Felony Disenfranchisement
    • State voting laws vary when it comes to a convicted felon’s right to vote.
      • Some states ban voting for life for convicted felons.
      • Disproportionately affects BIPOC people, as they are more likely to receive harsher sentences and punishments than White people
  • Gerrymandering (see above)

Extra Reading & Podcasts to Stay Informed

Podcasts

Books/Columns to Read




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