Democracy is an everyday activity
“Let’s be very clear, while we’re tuning out and staying home on Election Day, other folks are tuning in. Other folks are taking politics very seriously. And they’re engaged on every level. They’re raising money. They’re making their voices heard –- and their issues known –- from City Hall to Washington, DC. And I know that in the face of all of that money and influence, it can start to feel like ordinary citizens just can’t get a seat at the table. And that can make you feel helpless and hopeless. It can make you feel or think that you’re powerless.
But I’m here today because that’s simply not true. We are not helpless or hopeless. Time and again, history has shown us that there is nothing –- nothing -– more powerful than ordinary citizens coming together for a just cause.”
” I’m talking about the tireless, the thankless, relentless work of making change — you know, the phone-calling, letter-writing, door-knocking, meeting-planning kind of work. That is the real work of democracy –- what happens during those quiet moments between the marches. ”
“That is how we carry on that precious legacy we’ve inherited — by recommitting ourselves to that day-to-day, vitally important work that has always paved the way for change in this country.
What does that mean? That means being informed. It means following the news, and learning about who’s representing us, and how our governments work. It means showing up to vote — and not just every four years, but every year in every election. It means engaging with the folks we elect, following how they vote and how they spend our hard-earned tax dollars. And if you don’t like what you see, then let them know, or better yet, run for a seat at the table yourself. ”
VOTER REGISTRATION INFORMATION – Información de Registro de Votantes
Homeless People’s Voting Rights 202-462-4822
US Election Assistance Commission 866-747-1471 (toll free) or 202-566-3100
US Acerca de la EAC 866-747-1471 (teléfono gratuito) 202-566-3100
使用本明信片表格和指南在您的 所在州登记投票 — Chinese
このはがき用紙とガイドをもとに 自分の居住する州で 投票登録を行なってください — Japanese
주정부유권자 등록 신청을 위한 우편엽서 양식 및 안내서 — Korean
Dokumento para sa Pambansang Rehistrasyon ng Botanteng Maghuhulog ng Balota sa Koreo — Tagalog
10 Tips for Voters
(1) Register to vote
Most States require citizens to be registered in order to vote. Make sure you understand the voter registration requirements of your State of residence. If you are not registered to vote, apply for voter registration no later than the deadline to register in your State. Contact your local or State elections office or check their Web sites to get a voter registration application and learn the deadline to register. The National Voter Registration Application form is available at http://www.eac.gov/voter_ resources/register_to_vote.aspx.
(2) Confirm your voter registration status
Once you register to vote, check your status with your State or local elections office several weeks before the last day to register to vote. That way, you can change your registration information if needed (for example: name, ad – dress, or other corrections) in time to vote.
(3) Know your polling place location and hours
If you vote at a polling place on Election Day, confirm your polling place location. Make sure you know what time your polling place opens and closes.
(4) Know your State’s voter identification (ID) requirements
Some States require voters to show ID to vote. You can find out what forms of ID your State accepts by contacting your State or local elections office or checking their Web sites.
(5) Understand provisional voting
Federal law allows you to cast a provisional ballot in a Federal election if your name does not appear on the voter registration record, if you do not have ID, or if your eligibility to vote is in question. Your State may provide other reasons for voting by a provisional ballot. Whether a provisional ballot counts depends on if the State can verify your eligibiity. Check with your State or local elections office to learn how to tell if your provisional ballot was counted.
(6) Check the accessibility of your polling place
If you are a voter with minority language needs or you are a voter with special needs or specific concerns due to a disability, your polling place may offer special assistance. Contact your local elections office for advice, materials in a specific language, information about voting equipment, and details on access to the polling place, including parking.
(7) Consider voting early
Some States allow voting in person before Election Day. Find out if your State has early voting in person or by mail and if so when, where, and how you can vote before Election Day. If you choose to vote early by mail, know the deadlines for requesting and returning your ballot. Some States provide dropoff stations for mail ballots, and some States allow voters to return mail ballots to polling places on Election Day.
(8) Understand absentee voting requirements
Most States allow voters to use an absentee ballot under certain circumstances. Check on the dates and requirements for requesting and returning an absentee ballot before Election Day. Absentee ballots often must be returned or postmarked before the polls close on Election Day. Determine your State’s requirements for returning absentee ballots.
(9) Learn about military and overseas voting
Special voting procedures may apply if you are in the U.S. military or you are an American citizen living overseas. You may qualify for an absentee ballot by submitting a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). Contact the Federal Voting Assistance Program or check its Web site: http://www.fvap.gov, for information relating to military and overseas voters.
(10) Get more information
For more on these tips and for answers to other questions about the election process, visit http:// www.eac.gov/voter_resources/ contact_your_state.aspx or contact your State or local elections office.