When I was a little girl, my father used to take me with him to go door-to-door canvassing for the candidates he supported and then volunteering at the polling place on election day. It feels as though times were different then. Many of his friends and neighbors voted against the candidates he supported, but they still opened the door when he knocked and most took the literature he shared with them. Civic engagement was important to him — and it’s important now to me — and even more important to our country.
Regardless of your political affiliations, it is a privilege and a right to participate in our democracy, and every vote counts. So, please vote and help others to do so as well. The health of our waterways is directly influenced by the strength of our democracy, and, as the voice of the Nation’s River, we here at the Potomac Riverkeeper Network urge everyone to use their voice this election season, and vote FOR clean water.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic is still gripping the nation, there are many safe and effective ways to protect your health while making sure your voice is heard this election cycle, including mail-in voting, early voting, and official absentee ballot drop boxes that can be found throughout your polling region. Here are a few helpful links to make sure you are well prepared to cast your vote:
Check Your Voter Registration Status:
Make sure you are registered to vote, and that all of your voter registration information is correct. You can check your voter registration status here.
Register To Vote:
If you are not registered to vote, you can do it in less than 5 minutes here. Now is the time to register, as today, October 13th is the registration deadline for Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and DC, and Pennsylvania’s deadline to register is Monday, October 19th. If you are in Maryland or DC and missed the voter registration deadline don’t worry! Maryland and DC both allow same-day voter registration at the polls with a valid ID.
Check Important Deadlines, and Find Polling Places:
Make sure once you are registered to vote that you have a voting plan. Know when, where, and how you are going to be casting your vote. Unsure of where your closest polling place is, or when early voting opens? You can check important deadlines and polling places for your state here.
Understand the Issues on the Ballot:
You are voting for more than just the President this election. Find out what else will be on your ballot this November here.
Know your voting rights:
• Did you know that if the polls close while you are still in line, you still have the right to vote? Stay in line and cast your ballot.
• This November if you make a mistake while filling out your ballot you have the right to ask for a new one.
• If the machines are down or not working at your polling place this November, you have the right to request a paper ballot.
• If you run into any problems while trying to cast your vote you can call the Election Protection Hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE or for Spanish call 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA.
Make sure your voice is heard on November 3rd. Your access to clean, healthy waterways depends on our democracy, and our democracy depends on you.