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5 Ways You Can Make a Difference Before the Election

5 Ways You Can Make a Difference Before the Election

It’s not too late to get involved!

With Election Day quickly approaching, it might feel like it’s too late to make an impact, but there are plenty of ways to get involved in the political processes before you cast your vote. Here are five ways you can make a difference before you vote on November 8th.

1) Make a voting plan. Do you know how, where, and when you’re voting? If you voted early or already submitted your absentee ballot, give yourself a high five, and move on to the other steps. If not, take a moment to find your polling place, and map out directions. Are you walking, taking public transportation, or driving to your polling place? How does voting fit into your work schedule for the day? Is your boss aware if you’re taking off early or arriving late? You don’t need a Joe Biden style bulletin board to map out your plan, but you’re welcome to make one for fun. 

2) Ask others in your community how they’re planning to vote.[iframe https://giphy.com/embed/10KvTHFqgAvAxG allowfullscreen="" class=^{{"giphy-embed"}}^ frameborder="0" height="406" width="750"]Maybe this is your 18-year-old sister’s first time voting or your new friend just moved from out of town and doesn’t know his polling place yet. Are your coworkers planning on voting together during lunch? Do they need you to cover any shifts? Talking to neighbors is also a good way to find out if anyone needs a ride to the polls, or if anyone is already organizing a carpool. If you find out someone doesn’t have a voting plan, offer to help them find their polling place and make one. 

3) Talk to your friends and family about the election.It may feel like it’s too late to change anyone’s mind, especially if they insist they’re not voting at all, but you never know until you try. Talk to your friends and family about why this election is important to you—and actually meet in person or pick up the phone instead of having the same argument on Facebook a hundred times. It’s easy for people to tune out another Facebook comment they don’t agree with. It’s harder to sit down with someone you care about, hear about the political issues that will impact them personally, and remain completely apathetic. If you absolutely can’t convince a friend or family member to vote for a presidential candidate, encourage them to show up and vote on the down-ballot. If you’re not sure what’s on the down ballot in your state, you can get a personalized ballot guide here.

4) Volunteer your time.[iframe https://giphy.com/embed/nGbtaOASLcuUE allowfullscreen="" class=^{{"giphy-embed"}}^ frameborder="0" height="498" width="750"]It’s not too late to volunteer for your candidate. Visit your local candidate’s website to see if they need help making calls or getting out the vote. Hillary Clinton has a call tool on her website that allows you to make calls from anywhere on your own schedule. You can also volunteer to knock on doors on or leading up to Election Day to make sure people have a plan to get out to vote, and are excited about participating in the political process.

5) Donate money.Even though it’s late in the race, candidates can still use donations to pay staff in key swing states and run advertisements through Election Day. If your inbox looks at all like mine, you’re getting approximately four million emails a week from your candidate’s campaign asking for donations. Maybe it’s time to finally give in and throw in ten bucks.

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Cassie Sheets