It could be said every election year, but without getting too political, this year's election is probably the most important one of our lifetimes. ALL eligible voices need to be heard and as current and future leaders in (y)our community, we need to do all we can to help this election be a successful one.
1) Register to vote: Whether you send an absentee ballot back to your home state or register here to vote in Virginia, get on this! Absolutely no excuses- it will only take a few minutes online to either register to vote and/or request an absentee ballot.
2) Become a poll worker: Self-Disclosure: I (Jillian) actually did this for the first time this June. It was a little bit of paperwork, an hour long training session, and a very early morning to arrive at my poll location assignment here in Charlottesville, but it was worth it! Not only did I get to meet community members that I wouldn't have otherwise, but I am young, scrappy, & healthy...(and I am not throwing away my shot! See Hamilton lyrics if you missed that). Come join me in November- let's make sure our Cville community has a safe, clean, well-staffed place to vote.
3) Where are you going to vote?: A lot of you probably moved recently- know where you are supposed to vote. Us the above link to look up your polling place & post this to social media- does everyone else know where to vote? Do they know when to register? Our friends from Wyoming were used to same-day voter registration, so they showed up at their new polling place in Virginia hoping to register AND vote. No can do- they threw away their shot. Don't let that be you and don't let that be your friends and family.
Finally, here's a NYT opinion piece by Thomas Friedman from a few weeks ago imploring that young people participate in any way they can to help this election. He said "It would be so helpful if they enlisted to be poll watchers, to take COVID tests and, if they are free of the disease, help take at-risk voters, their fellow citizens, to the polls, one by one, so they can vote, and to help sanitize polling places as often as necessary to make them safe places for people to enter and exercise the most fundamental freedom we have."
Voting is what our democracy is made of- do your part.