The League of Conservation Voters believes that our earth is worth fighting for and now, more than ever, we must fight to protect it. In order to fight, we have to vote. The 2020 election is our last, best chance to take serious action on the climate crisis and avoid irreparable damage. The stakes are especially high for our younger generations who will face the worst of the effects from the climate crisis if we don’t take immediate action. It is imperative that we ensure young people’s voices are heard in this election and beyond.
As we face COVID-19, changes need to be made to our election process, including ramping up voting by mail — while these changes will ultimately lead to greater access to the ballot, we need to make sure everyone is aware of the changes and can safely vote. LCV just wrapped up a $6.5M nonpartisan vote-by-mail generation and education program that engages with voters who historically face barriers when it comes to accessing their ballots, including young voters and voters of color. We spoke with numerous individuals about voting by mail and educated them on the process of mail in ballots. Below are the thoughts of Djanice, Alexandra, and Marshaun — all young or first-time voters in different parts of the country. All three will be voting for their futures because they know what’s at stake and they deserve to have their voices heard. No one should have to wait in crowded lines amidst a pandemic, and choose between their life and their right to vote for a better future. Read why Djanice, Alexandra, and Marshaun believe voting by mail is important:
Djanice from Arizona: Djanice is an 18 year old first time voter from Arizona who recently signed up to vote by mail. She is voting by mail because, as a full-time student at a community college who also works full time at a restaurant, there is little free time to vote in person. Additionally, Djanice, who is a mother and the primary caretaker of her child, just recently bought a house and has to work long hours to pay off her mortgage and provide for her family. She is studying to be a nurse because she wanted to prove that being a teen mom does not prevent a young woman from being successful. Djanice is determined to place her vote, despite her hectic schedule because she believes voting is crucial. She believes that too many people complain about the current state of the government without actually contributing to a change. And although she wishes she could do more, with her schedule the way she can contribute to making a difference is by voting. She believes that the best thing busy people can do is vote for someone who has the time and passion to make this country a better place.
Alexandra from Pennsylvania: Alexandra is a 22 year old living in Pennsylvania who was under the impression that she could not vote by mail because she did not have a Pennsylvania driver’s license. Once she learned that she would still be able to vote by mail, but would have to mail in a paper application instead of applying online, she was surprised and relieved. She plans to check the mail diligently until her application arrives, and is prepared to print one if it does not arrive in a few days. She was very grateful for the call because she felt uncomfortable with the idea of voting in person during a pandemic, but thought she had no other choice.
Marshaun from North Carolina: Marshaun is a first time voter from North Carolina. He was grateful for the outreach because he was not sure if he was officially registered to vote and was unsure how to check his registration status. When asked if he would commit to voting absentee he initially said that he was planning to vote in person, but after learning that if the pandemic continues there may not be many polling locations open, he reconsidered, especially once he learned he could still submit his absentee ballot in person. Marshuan is looking forward to casting his ballot for the first time and is glad to do it via absentee so he does not have to put himself in danger during the pandemic.