While voting is one of the most important things you can do, it's not the only way you can make your voice heard in this election. No matter why you can't vote, there are still a range of actions you can take in that can be just as impactful as casting a ballot. In fact, participating in the options below could have an even greater impact on this election, because you'll be directly connecting with voters and changemakers! Here are several alternatives to get involved and make a substantial differences in this election, whether or not you can cast an official ballot.
Phone banking has been to demonstrated be one of the most effective ways to get out the vote (GOTV) for swing state voters, and a safe alternative to door-to-door canvassing amid COVID-19. Phone bankers call up swing voters to explain their stance on policy issues and how and why they believe such issues should be addressed, all of which take just around or under three minutes per call. According to GOTV research results at Yale, it is the personal delivery of these phone calls as well as their "dynamic interaction of authentic person-to-person contact" that sets them apart from other forms of outreach.
For those who might feel anxious at the prospect of speaking to various strangers over the phone, political advocacy groups such as Swing Left or MOVE Texas help put first-timers at ease by hosting phone banking parties over Zoom. These go over all the basics of phone banking and allow rookie phone bankers to connect with and call alongside numerous other first-time callers.
Call your elected officials.
It's an incredibly effective way to ensure voting is possible for all citizens. Call your governor (find info here) and inquire into how they plan to manage voting accessibility and address issues of voter suppression. You can also call your senators to let them know you support the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2019, a law that combats voter discrimination.
Get active on social media.
Social media can be utilised as both a platform and resource, and is nowadays one of the most efficient and accessible way of sharing information. Dare take up more space on your own platform to voice your thoughts on the election, whether it be to help others find their polling place, to repost infographics that combat fake news, to share how you might be personally impacted by a certain policy or issue, or simply to advocate for your chosen candidate. Just make sure you're not also sharing misinformation.
Every person can have an impact on social media — just a single voice can influence so many other voices, so your reach is bound to be substantial, regardless of your number of followers. With that said, posting publicly entails a certain level of responsibility, so it's important to be intentional about what you post and aim to only share accurate information, and to connect and express solidarity with others.