With the election coming up pretty soon, we need to make sure we are educating ourselves on the candidates and how their vision aligns with how we see ourselves as women, as mothers and as women of color. With the landscape of the political ecosystem being overly saturated with views that are not in synch with the 21st century, we need to use our voice and our rights as citizens to cast our ballots and vote. Here are some quick tips and helpful links you can use to help you find additional information about candidates and the current officials that are in place.
1. Take a look at the political agendas for the multiple political parties. Democrat, Republican, Libertarian and Downstate United (I have never heard of this). This will help you solidify the candidates that you feel best align with your beliefs and how you see the future and change you would like to see.
2. Check out the current officials that are in place here. Simply enter your zip code and a list of your local representatives will populate. You can then, navigate to their site and find out a little more information about them and what they are doing locally and how those principles and actions are being carried out on Capitol Hill.
3. Extract a list of the candidates from here ( select printable list of all active candidates). You can see all of the individuals that are running for office. It is from this location you can find your district and gather the names of the candidates that are running in your district. You can also do more independent research on them to help you familiarize yourself with their political angle/agenda (this is for illinois only).
4. Make your way to Ballotpedia and this is where you can snag a lot of granular information not only on your state but other states as well. This will give you an opportunity to contact that cousin you have in New York about information you found about the election in their state. This site also has information about battleground states, public policy, trending political articles and much more.
5. Make it to the polls and make sure your friends and family do too! There is a site called CarpoolVote their mission is to get people to the polls! Check their site a week before election to see if they are up and running again. This organization is ran entirely by volunteers so its important that we support their mission. Another Option is VoterDrive. Navigate to their site and follow the instructions for a free ride to the polls. If you know someone that may have difficulties with transportation to their poll location, share this information with them.
6. Before you head out, check your polling place location. You never know if something has changed and maybe you missed the notice in the mail. Vote.org is a simple site to use that will help you locate your polling place by simply entering your address. Ask a friend if they know where they should be voting and if they are unsure, help them out and share the site information.
I am not a political historian, a public policy enthusiast, nor was I a Political Science major during undergrad. However, I am a citizen and parent who wants to make sure that when I cast my vote it is not done blindly and I have made an attempt to learn more than I have in the past. Please share how you have became a more intentional voting citizen! Let's rock this vote mamas!
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