Take A Stand for Mental Health and Addiction This November!
Voting is one of our most important rights as American citizens. When we vote, our government begins to reflect the values of our community. If we truly want to change the way America cares for people living with mental illness and addiction, then we need to make our voices heard this November!
Did you know that people who sit down and make a plan to vote are more likely to follow through? Take five minutes right now to sit down with your friends and family to go through Vote 411‘s voter checklist and make sure everyone is ready to cast their ballot this year!
Below you will find resources and information that will help you develop your plan to vote and help others do the same.
Check your voter registration
If you haven’t already, make sure all of your voter registration information is current and up-to-date.
Get started by visiting our voter resource page.
Confirm your polling location
Some polling locations may have been moved due to precautions taken against COVID-19. Find out where you can vote on election day by entering your address here.
You should also look into early and absentee voting options offered in your state. Visit When We All Vote’s voter resource hub to learn more.
Learn about the people and issues on your ballot
Take some time to explore where the candidates stand on the issues you care about most. The Mental Health for US presidential candidate surveys are a good place to start.
You can also visit Vote 411’s voter guide for more information.
Check your state’s voter ID laws
This step is especially important for students who go to a school outside of their home state. Some states require you bring an official state ID to vote.
See if the state you plan on voting in requires identification here.
Voting is an important constitutional right! Whether you plan on voting in person or voting by mail, make your voice heard on November 3!
Join the National Alliance on Mental Illness and pledge to #Vote4MentalHealth this November.
Planning on voting in person? Here are some tips to stay safe and healthy
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is changing the way many of us will head to the polls this year. If you’ve opted to not receive a mail-in ballot or if they are unavailable in your state, it’s still important to exercise your constitutional rights!
Here are some simple tips to make sure you’re protecting yourself and others when you go to the polls:
- Wear a face covering when going to vote and consider wearing gloves when using voting equipment. Your face covering should cover both your mouth and nose.
- Try to stay at least six feet from other voters waiting at your polling location.
- While they may be provided at your location, consider bringing your own pen and hand sanitizer to use.
- Wipe down any polling equipment you use before and after you use it with anti-bacterial wipes.
- Try to vote at a time of day when your precinct is less likely to be crowded. This is often early morning or mid-afternoon.
Find other helpful tips from VOTO Latino.
The first ballots of the 2020 presidential election have already been sent!
As the country continues to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of states are expanding the use of mail-in ballots. Whether you’re planning on voting by mail or in person, it’s important to have the facts so you can practice your constitutional right this November.
Each state has different guidelines for absentee or mail-in voting. In some states—like Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah, and Washington—every registered voter automatically receives a mail-in ballot. Other states may require you to list a reason for wanting to vote by mail. Sorting through all the information is hard, but we’re here to help!
Below you will find resources and information that will help you understand your state’s requirements, request your mail-in ballot, and help others do the same.
The Mental Health for US voter resource center is a one-stop-shop for all your voter registration needs. Visit mentalhealthforus.net/voters to check your voter registration status, register to vote, sign up for election reminders, or register to receive a mail-in ballot!
Vote.org makes finding your state’s voting information easy by offering state-by-state election guides. Visit their website to easily find your state’s voter registration deadlines and policies about mail-in voting.
When We All Vote understands that every vote matters—that’s why they want to help you inform yours. Visit their website to find your personalized voter guide, request a mail-in ballot, and learn about the people and issues you’ll be voting on this November.
Be a resource for your friends and family – here are some quick responses you can use to answer any questions you might get during your outreach.
What’s the difference between an “absentee” and “mail-in” ballot?
Some states prefer one term over the other, but both “absentee voting” and “mail-in voting” refer to the method of using the mail to deliver ballots to voters. When the use of mail-in ballots began during the Civil War, it was originally reserved for individuals who would be “absent” from their voting jurisdiction on election day while serving in the military. The practice has since been expanded to make voting more accessible for anyone who is either unable to, or chooses not to vote in person. Learn more.
Voting by mail—a practice that has been used in American elections since the Civil War—is safe, secure, and reliable. According to Washington State’s Director of Elections Lori Augino, of the nearly 3.2 million ballots cast in Washington in 2018 (a state with universal mail-in voting), only 0.004% of the ballots may have been fraudulent. Learn more about the security of mail-in ballots from the Bipartisan Policy Center.
If the election is November 3, when do I need to send my ballot in by?
As more and more people opt to vote-by-mail this November, it’s more important than ever to request your ballot early and return it as soon as possible. Make sure you check the resources above to learn about your state’s deadlines for requesting and returning mail-in ballots. As a general rule of thumb, USPS recommends that voters request their ballots at least 15 days before Election Day and mail their completed ballots at least one week before the due date.
Have you taken the WEVOTE Pledge?
If we want to create real change in our mental health and addiction care systems, it won’t be enough just to vote. We need to ensure the entire mental health and addiction community is empowered to make their voice heard!
The Mental Health for US coalition needs your help—take the WeVote Pledge and commit to helping at least five friends or family members register and make a plan to vote between now and November.
Mental Health for US is a nonpartisan, educational initiative focused on elevating mental health and addiction to national policy conversations by empowering grassroots advocates and improving candidate and policymaker health literacy. The Mental Health for US coalition is comprised of 95+ organizations from around the country dedicated to uniting the American people to make systemic, long-term change with civic engagement tools and resources. For more information, visit www.mentalhealthforus.net.
Exercise your constitutional rights and pledge to help five friends register to vote before the November elections! #WEVOTE
Over the next couple of weeks, national party organizations will be gathering to officially nominate their candidates for President and Vice President of the United States and to finalize the policy platforms they’ll be supporting for the next four years.
With one in five Americans living with a mental illness and one in 12 living with addiction, the need for comprehensive mental health and addiction reform to be included in these conversations has never been more urgent. This becomes even more critical when you consider the fact that the psychological impacts of the coronavirus pandemic are leading to unprecedented rates of suicide and overdose deaths and increasing the demand for mental health services around the country.
The time for awareness is over. We need to hear how our leaders will take action to invest in evidence-based prevention strategies, expand and improve timely access to treatment and interventions, and support those living in recovery.
Join the movement to encourage our leaders to take action—use the tools below to tell party leaders to #TalkAboutMentalHealth during the conventions!
Click here to tweet!
We can’t ignore our struggling #mentalhealth and #addiction care systems any longer. @TheDemocrats & @GOP, #TalkAboutMentalHealth at the nominating conventions! http://ow.ly/efDG50At8dt
Click here to tweet!
1 in 5 Americans live with a mental health condition. @TheDemocrats & @GOP, how do you plan to support this community? #TalkAboutMentalHealth at your presidential nominating conventions! http://ow.ly/efDG50At8dt #demconvention #RNC2020
Click here to tweet!
Join the movement to encourage our leaders to take action for mental health and addiction—use @MHforUS’s tools to tell party leaders to #TalkAboutMentalHealth during the conventions! http://ow.ly/efDG50At8dt #MentalHealthforUS
Make sure you check out our Medium article on the importance of the presidential nominating conventions!