Baratunde speaks with Maria Teresa Kumar, President of Voto Latino, about the power in numbers of Latinx voters and the work of relationship-building for this moment. Maria shares stories of what effective government looks like and its impact on the lives of the Latinx community.
We are grateful to Maria Teresa Kumar for joining us.
Follow @mariateresa1 and @votolatino on Twitter. You can learn more about Voto Latino at their website.
Please show your support for the show in the form of a review and rating. It makes a huge difference with the algorithmic overlords!
(Actions that help you reflect and explore your emotions and experiences related to these topics or are personal actions that don’t involve others)
Prepare yourself emotionally.
This year, we have an election season, not an election day. And we may not know the result for several days or even weeks after November 3rd.
Make a plan to vote and start acting on it NOW.
If you haven’t voted yet, make your plan now. Figure out how you’re going to vote, and who you’re voting for. Plan this like it’s the biggest date of your life.
If you can, vote early and in-person.
It is still the most ideal way to vote in this election.
A great resource with state-by-state information is at whenweallvote.org. Check it out then confirm your voting rules and deadlines with your county elections office.
If you plan to vote by mail (also called absentee voting in states like Wisconsin), make sure you are registered, and then VERY CAREFULLY follow the directions on how to submit your ballot.
Adopt a swing state and help get out the vote.
You can phone bank or text with others organizing in battleground states - we don’t believe it is even partisan anymore to help to ensure Biden wins since Trump is no longer interested in preserving or leading a democracy. Go to https://votesaveamerica.com/states/#battleground-states to learn more and sign up.
Make, “have you voted?” the new “how are you?” in your conversations.
Check in with the people you care about. Ask them if they plan to vote or have already voted. This is healthy peer pressure.
Once you’ve voted, let EVERYONE know (more subtle and not so subtle peer pressure on social media!)
Post the “I voted” sticker on your IG grid and ask others to do the same by tagging folks and using hashtag #ivoted #howtocitizen
Volunteer with a friend to be a poll worker.
Because of COVID-19 and the older age of most poll workers, we have a severe shortage of poll workers in many parts of the U.S. Visit powertothepolls.org and consider becoming a poll worker yourself or encouraging people you know to volunteer. More poll workers means faster voting means more people get to exercise their power.
If you take any of these actions, share that with us - email@example.com. Mention Making Our Voices Heard in the subject line. And brag online about your citizening on social media using #howtocitizen.
We love feedback from our listeners - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit Baratunde's website to sign up for his newsletter to learn about upcoming guests, live tapings, and more. Follow him on Instagram or join his Patreon. You can even text him, like right now at 202-894-8844.
How To Citizen with Baratunde is a production of I iHeart Radio Podcasts. executive produced by Miles Gray, Nick Stumpf, Elizabeth Stewart, and Baratunde Thurston. Produced by Joelle Smith, edited by Justin Smith. Powered by you.
Baratunde Thurston 0:05
Welcome to How to Citizen with Baratunde a show where we reimagine the word citizen as a verb, and remind ourselves how to wield our collective power. I'm Baratunde.
For the next few episodes of the show, we're going to focus on one specific form of collective power and that is voting. Voting is ground zero when it comes to laying the foundation for How to Citizen. You can consider these next few episodes, a series within a series will bring you conversations with some of the most committed, experienced, and insightful people working to ensure that this part of our democracy functions well. These are the people who know how to citizen and I'm working hard to make sure all of us can do the same through this basic yet profound right that we have to vote and make our voices heard. There's really no such thing as sitting on the sidelines in an election. every choice is a choice. And as I saw on a recent Instagram post, not voting still helps someone win. For this episode, I spoke with Maria Teresa Kumar, the CEO and founder of voto Latino, the largest Latino voting rights organization in America, which has registered over 500,000 people to vote this year alone, and helped millions of people understand how voting impacts their everyday lives in tangible ways that you're going to hear Maria in this interview, say a lower number of registrants around 300,000. That's how fast they're moving. In the time. Since we did this conversation, voto Latino has turned up the numbers even more, and by the time you hear this, it's gonna be even higher. One key insight Maria dropped on me in this interview. She said November 3, is not election day. It's election deadline. People are already voting. So let's go. Now.
Maria Teresa Kumar 2:14
Hi, my name is Maria Teresa Kumar, and I'm the founding president of voto Latino, the largest voter registration outfit in the Latino community because we believe that a strong robust democracy depends on all of us.
Baratunde Thurston 2:26
Maria, can you describe? What's the typical method of registering people to vote? And what is the voto Latino method? And why is it different and better?
Maria Teresa Kumar 2:36
Yeah, so the typical method is waiting for someone in front of a Walmart and trying to convince them to register. And you can imagine how that can be hard if you have a couple kids in tow, right? Or, or knocking on doors, right? In COVID era, that becomes really hard. And in the Latino community in particular, since there's so much anxiety among anybody knocking on your door, even if you're a US citizen, that creates another friction of participation. And so 15 years ago, I set out with my partner in crime Rosario, and she's like, what do you think if we do a PSA campaign, and that's Rosario Dawson, Dawson.
Baratunde Thurston 3:13
I love that she just dropped in the first name, though. She's clearly your partner.
Maria Teresa Kumar 3:17
So she had done a whole bunch of the essays. And he's like, do you think we could do anything more than this? And that's around the same time I met her and I was like, Well, how hard can this be? Oh, my gosh, 15 years later, the experiment is finally coming to fruition. So the idea was to register voters online and to registered Latinos at scale. And this is what during a time when someone was telling us that Latinos didn't speak English, that what was social media? What did you know? And how did why would you use celebrity voices. And so this was back again, 16 years ago. And now I can tell you that in that year, we registered 2400 people. As of this morning, January one, we have registered over 367,000 individuals since January one, and we are talking to roughly 15 million people a month across our social media channels.
Baratunde Thurston 4:04
Wow. And what's your goal for 2020?
Maria Teresa Kumar 4:07
Ideally, would be endless, but
Baratunde Thurston 4:09
there's an upper limit on the population, right.
Maria Teresa Kumar 4:13
So the biggest challenge of Latino community is closing the voter registration gap because we have 32 million Latinos who are eligible to vote, but only half of us are registered. And of the 15 million that are unregistered 10 million of us are under the age of 33. Hmm. And 4 million of us are brand new voters since the 2016. election. So you have 4 million young voters who heard the President called their family loved ones, rapists and criminals, who are eligible to cast a ballot this year. And so our voter registration is concentrated in six states. We believe they could make the most impact meaning that they could flip a Texas they could flip Florida, they could flip Arizona, they could flip Georgia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. And our goal is to register at least 500,000 folks, but to be honest, we're actually Closer on track to registering over 650,000.
Baratunde Thurston 5:03
That's an incredible number. And I want to understand you've been at this 1516 years, what have you learned about what it would actually works? Because you described this Walmart parking lot scene, and I can imagine, that does not work. And some celebrity voices probably don't work if they're not really connecting to folks. So over these years of experimentation, what have you learned about what actually works to get people to register and to actually vote?
Maria Teresa Kumar 5:29
The number one thing is you have to talk to them, and you actually have to create a space, right? So when we started with the Latino, if you ask someone to register to vote, but the moment that they walk out, everything that government does for them is broken, their schools are broken, they don't have access to health care, they don't have wage equity. It's hard to convince someone that voting will make a difference, right? And so that both the Latino when I say we talk to 15 million people a month, we're educating people about what happens when you have a good government. What happens when you vote? What happens when how do you actually transform the healthcare system, educational system, address the environment, get background checks on people, making sure that you have good days for police reform, that then people start taking, making the connections. And I can tell you that the difference is that when we started doing this work, getting people to make the connection, for example, between protesting and voting was almost impossible. Why was really, really hard? Because no one was used to the protesting, and they were starting to learn a habit of protesting, and then they would still vote and wouldn't see any difference. this past June, when local Latino, we were planning on registering roughly 20,000, folks, in June, when we connected the tragic death of George Floyd and the protesting happening in the importance of going to the ballot box to change our leadership. We saw a 20 700% increase in our voter registration numbers from the previous month. We registered 21,000 folks in three days. Yeah. And we register over 100,000 in the month of June, and that was because in the Latino community, and this is where, again, it's generational, but people don't get it like what is happening in the African American community resonates in hurts so much in the Latino community. Because we are experiencing so many unfortunate levels of policing as well. under this administration, you have 11 million undocumented immigrants that are constantly getting profiled. But in reality, it's 60 million of us, right? Because no one knows whose document and who's not. And so when you talk to a mother and talks about having that conversation that talk with their with their kids, it's the same talk, but no one talks about it out loud because people are ashamed. And they're, they're scared, right? What does that fear? Well, it's a real anxiety about being targeted and hurt by the people that you may call to your friend door. Because you might have an instances of domestic violence or being shot. There's a horrible incident in Los Angeles, where this young man 18 years old undocumented kid, he was moonlighting as a security guard at an auto shop. And shortly after George Floyd, he was shot close to 17 times in the back by on duty police officers. And he was moonlighting because his parents had lost their jobs to COVID. He was just trying to make ends meet. And there's no accountability, sadly, in some parts of the police force, so Latinos really get it. And so when we started talking about the issues, specifically around health under COVID, when we start talking specifically about jobs under COVID, and racial inequities among Blacks and Latinos, that was through the roof, because even though we don't discuss it, we know that it is something that is an epidemic as well, sadly, in the Latino community, and Trump hasn't made it easier. Obviously, he is very much of your either doesn't matter if you're here as a fifth generation American citizen, if you're Brown, you might as well have never shown up. I mean, that is that type of strife. And, sadly, you have hate crimes really skyrocketing, because it's not just the government, it's all of a sudden the agency that other folks have that say okay, well, you know, I just have to point out, sadly, what happened with El Paso, right?
Baratunde Thurston 9:11
Are there stories that you have of making this connection from voting back to the quality of people's lives that sort of keeps you motivated that you can kind of show people who asked you, why should I vote and you have this result that you can point to and say, Look, this made a difference? What are those examples for you?
Maria Teresa Kumar 9:30
So until 2018, it was very much small pockets of it. But 2018, we saw something remarkable. For the very first time we saw Generation X, Y and Z outvote their older generation. And it was also the most diverse group of Americans that ushered in the most diverse Congress. So in 2019, we brought in the most women, the most Muslims, the most LGBTQ, the youngest generation, the most Latina, the most veterans, you name it. It was the most That reflected
Baratunde Thurston 10:01
our country, the most American
Maria Teresa Kumar 10:03
and the most Americans that actually, you know, and it only took us 455. year almost right? It was really easy. But But what was really exciting about that piece is that and people will say, and this is where we have to make sure that there's a case for why we need diversity in entertainment, why we need diversity in Silicon Valley, why we need diversity in our schools. That new legislative body that reflected our values most came up with 400 pieces of legislation that is a blueprint to our America that we deeply believe in. It talks about modernizing our elections, it talks about background checks, it talks about policing, and reforming policing. It talked about making sure that there was a pathway to citizenship for immigrants. It talks about the environment that Oh, my gosh, climate change is real. let's address that thing. So there's 400 pieces of legislation that this diverse body was able to discuss and actually pass that now is basically rotting away at the Senate, because Mitch McConnell and the rest of the senate does not look like America. So when people say my vote doesn't matter, like no, no, tell me your issues. I bet you they've passed it. I was never able to say that before.
Baratunde Thurston 11:18
You know what, when I hear about the Black community, or read about the Latin x community, I know enough to know that there's multiple communities within that. And so within the voto Latino universe, I'd love to ask you about what that Latino or Latin x community is, and in particular, those who actually support this president, which you know, are headlines that I'm coming across, and you're closer to these voters and the issues, can you break down some of the segments within the the Latin x community and that segment that is pro this president?
Maria Teresa Kumar 11:50
Yeah. So first of all, we're talking about over 30 countries in Latin America, right, and trying to bring everybody here. So I always remind people that Italy didn't become Italy until they landed here, right? Yes. That's kind of what we're seeing here. Right. But but this is the thing. In Latin America, what you have is that people still hold on to their roots. And then they come to this country. And they're reminded that they're anything but an individual, right, they're oftentimes put together. And in the Latino community, though, this is where I think there's great opportunity. And when I say that our job at Buddha Latina is to market democracy, we're talking to a vast majority of Latinos who are under the age of 33 60%, of all Latin x are under the age of 33. They're super young. So the mode like the majority of whites are 54, the majority are sitting down, the majority of Latinos are 11 years old. Like when I say young, there's super young, not the average, but it's like the most like where they cluster. So if you were to see like a map, and you see all these like little bumps, 58 over here, 11 years old over here, right? So we're very young communities, which is not surprising why they are trying to pass voter suppression before we could even vote because they're preparing the turn to prepare a disenfranchised group of Americans for the future. Right. And so, the other thing I also remind folks is that 24% of Latin x, we identify as Black, we're from my family's Caribbean, right, I was born and got the hand, right. So but so we identifies but you also have a whole group of people that also don't identify as Black, or, or as a color, right? And that gets more complicated specifically in Florida is you see a lot of first wave of Cubans that came that were brought over by Ronald Reagan, who very much espouse this idea that free markets are the answer to everything, and it's an older generation that really much believe in what Donald Trump has to sell. He has scared them to believe that the democrats aren't just socialism and communism. And I like to remind them is that if they believe in Social Security, and if they believe in Medicare, that is government doing good by its people, and that's technically a government program. And this is where I think that the Biden campaign can improve is that for most Latinos, and for a lot of communities of color, we don't have supplemental income, that for most social security, and Medicare represents Medicare is our health plan, when we retire, and Social Security is basically our retirement plan when we retire, like nothing else is coming in the door. Right. And so when the president says that he's going to take away payroll taxes, that sounds nice as a small business unless your health plan and your retirement plan happened to be Social Security and Medicare, right, so, so it's kind of it's opening that up, but but then you also have a very group of folks that are just very older, for the most part that are just conservative and are very much aligned with with anti choice. That's not the case for young Latinas, young Latinos. The people that we mobilize are disproportionately if you ask them what they care about in order of preference is right now it's racial inequities. In Health care. It's jobs in that order, and then the environment. And then you talk about immigration. And the sixth one now is talking about gun reform. Those are young people in Texas.
Baratunde Thurston 15:12
You mentioned voter suppression. And we've seen a lot of attempts to discredit parts of the voting process, whether it's the county or the delivery of mail. I'm curious about the other side, you know, because you work across all the states, what states are doing a good job of encouraging voters or protecting the vote? Are there any models that we should try to replicate and hold up as a positive example of this is how you support the voting?
Maria Teresa Kumar 15:38
I love that question. I would say that California, where you are is one of the best, it's such a large system that is still getting new kinks, because it's trying to modernize quickly. But I'll give you an example. If you're 16. In California, you're pre registered to vote. That's huge. We actually had to pull out of California because you guys were doing such a great job. Guys, Secretary video is one of my close friend. And when he told me his plans, I said, we're gonna put me out of business. That's fantastic.
Baratunde Thurston 16:07
But that should be your goal.
Maria Teresa Kumar 16:10
To register all the voters, I mean, look, this idea that a third party organization has to do a government function of registering voters is actually absurd. My job should be about encouraging people to vote for an issue. And for a candidate like that's that's what my job should be persuading you, you know, who you should vote for. But a government function like you don't depend on the government doesn't depend on a government function to collect your taxes. You know, like not yet.
Baratunde Thurston 16:35
So you cited the great California Republic as one example of, you know, the opposite of voter suppression, voter encouragement by pre registering 16 year olds, whatever, a few other examples of people doing it, right?
Maria Teresa Kumar 16:46
Yeah, I see Colorado and Colorado, you don't have a voter registration deadline, you can just show up with your ID, and you can register and you can vote the same day. That's fantastic, right? And you have pre voting, meaning that you can actually vote before the actual November 3, because so many people are going to be interested in the election this year, we should think of November 30, as our deadline, that's the last day to vote. And the more we can bank our vote, that is going to make a difference because one of the things that I'm concerned with is that there's gonna be so much participation that everybody's going to wait until the last minute now as a Latina, we wait for the last minute for everything. Not this time guys. Like bank about
Baratunde Thurston 17:27
if I if I'm talking to my fellow Black folks like no CP time?
Unknown Speaker 17:31
No, no, no, no. Barely showing up right time guys.
Baratunde Thurston 17:37
I have one more at least follow up. I think it's about how voto Latino operate. You said social media, you use the word technology, you're engaging people who are under 33. By and large. What do you actually do? How does it work? What is your text me?
Maria Teresa Kumar 17:52
So imagine someone selling you Nikes online and you double click on it, right? So it's, you know, we basically market democracy all the time, and we identify where you are and not to sound creepy, we try to use it for good. two registers, once you register to vote with Latino, then we start actually providing you with the information that you need. So where's your voting booth, have you made a plan to vote have you and we try to make it all inclusive. So if you were to tell me that you really cared about the environment, once you're part of our world, we will tell you when it's time for you to call your member of Congress on the environment. If you want to volunteer, we'll pull you in, and you can volunteer from the comfort of your home. If you text volunteer to 73179, you can just start texting fellow voters to go out and vote about the issues they care about. And then what we do is that for those folks that are really into it, we basically we do volunteer programs where they actually come and get trained. So for example, on October 2, we're going to have our power summit, it's going to be virtual this time, normally it's in person, but it's usually about 500 young people that are really aggressive of trying to change their neighborhoods, and we train them on everything they need to do, including running for office. And the idea is that we have to flip the script when people say that the system is rigged. I say no, let's be clear. The system works for those who occupy. We are part of the largest, most diverse generation of Americans, it's time that we flex and that we occupy our institutions, because they're still using our taxes. They might as well put our taxes to work for good. At least most of ours. They're not using the President's because he doesn't.
Baratunde Thurston 19:24
That got me pretty fired up and the idea of marketing democracy. It's almost voto Latino is like the first step. You know? Yeah. And it's you're following through in terms of volunteering and contacting your representative. Are there things that you have planned, that you're excited about in terms of how your model is going to continue to evolve?
Maria Teresa Kumar 19:44
So I'll share with you we started about four years ago, we started encouraging young Latinos to run for office that was part of our, you know, an experiment and since that time, we've had 16 people run of the Six, Five of one and they're all the youngest in their chamber. So the youngest forbore, the shut Ganga City Council, and currently the youngest in Congress. And so what we would like to do is basically build off of that and just encourage more people to run for office. I think that what folks don't realize is that young Latinos, they've been navigating America for their families long before they turn 18 years old. Oftentimes, simply because he knows the language. I was translating for my mom when I was six, seven years old, you know, always with this nervousness of when I was with my grandmother and doctor's office, am I gonna get her medication? Right? I mean, like some of the stuff that's kind of big and quite frankly, translating less well, when it came to school.
Baratunde Thurston 20:35
Oh, just couldn't conveniently I don't know how to translate this particular note from this. Yeah, but you're saying that a lot of folks in the Linux community have experience navigating the system on behalf of their families,
Maria Teresa Kumar 20:46
right for everything but democracy, right. We know how to buy the best cell phone plan, because we're getting marketed that right. But when it comes to democracy, we don't and so, like only eight out of 50 states require civic education to graduate from high school, when you're in places like Texas, where close to a good 60 70% of our kids are of color, where are they learning democracy. So we try to fill as little as we try to fill that gap. Because, again, our democracy is only as strong as our participation. And when we have such a lopsided participation, we're only one side with one viewpoint is participating. We get what we get right now in the White House, right? Yeah. And so our job is to flex and again, we're gonna be the largest generation coming out to the polls, you're gonna have 12 million more young voters than baby boomers for the first time. Two thirds of them are young people of color.
Baratunde Thurston 21:48
We have a belief in this show about the word citizen, and we are interpreting it not as a legal status. But as a verb. If you were to interpret the word citizen as a verb, what does it mean to you?
Maria Teresa Kumar 22:02
I citizen for my neighbor, right? Our job, my job, I think everybody's job is to recognize that COVID has exposed over 50 years of what the civil rights movement was about, that there were institutional inequities in our system that were the fault lines were around race, and gender. And if you look at disproportionately the people who are at the front lines, our communities always knew we were essential workers, right. And COVID is exposed. What that means. It means sacrificing sometimes your family time and sometimes sacrificing your body's at to ensure that our families can be fed, but so can the country can be nurtured. And so for us to citizen right, is to address the neediest most vulnerable around us. I do think that COVID, while as painful as it's been, is giving us an opportunity of a generation. FDR, you know, right after the Great Depression, had the opportunity to reimagine and think what America meant. And that meant providing public schooling meant providing social security and meant providing fair wages, because you actually were able to organize under a union, you had like this whole list of what our priorities were as Americans. COVID is going to allow us to think as audaciously and as big. And what we need to do is that we need to citizen right, so that everything is possible to re calibrate where we are, I don't think that there's now an American who can't say that, where you grow up in your zip code in the color of your skin or your gender don't matter if anything COVID has demonstrated those spotlights are very real. But as you know, I mentioned I have two little ones that are six and eight years old. They're technically the beginning of what is called the majority minority country where no one is majority. Always the end of the future has been born and we're not ready. So just like you know, World War One defined America and the world for the 20th century. One can claim that the 20th century started February 2020. And how we actually legislate coming out of that out of the pandemic is where we are for our citizens, but also for the world at large. Are we going to step up to that leadership that is so so needed?
Baratunde Thurston 24:19
Yeah. Watch out America. Maria, Teresa Kumar, thank you for your time. I think there's one I'm already registered and I double check every week. But if I weren't, I would register through voto Latino, just you could market democracy to me, and I'd love to experience that. There's also something you made me think of when you described very young Latin x folks having to navigate on behalf of their families. That's representative democracy right there. Like there's a constituency and you're in a service position, and you have to understand and sort of provide in this way. So it's not surprising that five of your six one, if that's the group that you're pulling from with that depth of experience, is there anything you want to add on this topic? Voting or how to be a citizen,
Maria Teresa Kumar 25:02
I think more than anything, we just want to make sure that you have a voting plan, make sure like just like you make a plan to go to the doctor's or, you know, go go on a date, like make a plan for voting, and try to do it early the fastest you can do it, because I will tell you this, usually on November 3, on Election Day, everybody's calling the shots, everyone's gonna say, Oh, this person is going to win this year, we're not going to have that. And we have some pre prepared, but a lot of people millions of us are going to be voting by mail. And as a result, some of them it's going to take us sometimes weeks to count them. Like in Georgia, it took us two weeks after the Georgia primary to count those all those ballots. So one be a savvy voter. So if someone tells you on November 3, that we know who won, they're fully we don't know. Okay, so just give me Let it let it work through the system. Because you know, every vote does count. And number two, the more that the folks on the progressive side, the more that people vote, it inspires other people to come along. And they feel like they're part of the winning team. And media being the media will start creating narratives of who's winning, right? And so don't wait until the last minute start banking early. And the more that we start banking those votes, the more we can actually control the cycle and inspiring people to come out and saying, Oh my gosh, my vote, I do see a difference. I keep telling people that there's only 36 days till dawn, but I need everybody to participate.
Baratunde Thurston 26:22
Thank you 36 days till dawn, we're looking forward to that sunrise. Thank you. Thank you so much.
We want to thank Maria Teresa Kumar, again for taking time out of a very, very busy schedule in the middle of election season to talk with us. Please follow voto Latino on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, visit their website at votolatino.org. There are some amazing resources there. Even if you're not Latin X, you can find this entire episode, the transcripts, the calls to action, always at how to citizen.com. And if you've enjoyed this episode and others, please leave a review and tell someone you know put it up on social media. Word of mouth is the best way to grow a podcast and we think this thing we're doing with you here is something worth growing. So we'll see you out there on the socials. Now, let's get into the set of actions. We're offering up for this episode. There's a lot, and I'm not asking you to do everything, but I want to give you options. Because everything feels like it's on the line. On the internal front, here are some of the things you can do. The first thing I want you to do is just prepare yourself emotionally. We have this historic expectation that we know an election result in the morning after quote unquote, election day. And as I've repeated many times in this episode, we're in election season, these are election weeks, and November 3 is just the deadline. But because so many people are voting by mail, and because this race could be very close and come down to a few states, assume we won't know. And brace yourself emotionally for that, plus all the nonsense that you know is going to happen between now and then. And possibly after I make a plan to vote and act on it. Now, if you haven't voted yet, make your plan, figure out how you're going to vote and who you're voting for. plan this, like it's the biggest day of your life. I'm talking about get the lint out of your shirt, brush your teeth, get that mouthwash going you don't just run out into an amazing first date, that could be the potential for the rest of your life. So don't just run out markup your ballot. without informing yourself, don't just make up the rules. Take the time to figure out how you want to get this done. And start. I would even say pause me right now and just figure some of this stuff out right now. If you can vote early and in person is still the most ideal way to vote in this election. If you're unable to do that, if you don't feel safe doing that, obviously don't do that. But if you do when you have a choice, take that route. There's a great resource with state by state information. Whenweallvote.org look up your state there, see what your options are. And then confirm with your county elections website yourself. If you plan to vote by mail, sometimes called absentee balloting in states like Wisconsin, make sure you're registered and fill it out and submit it very, very carefully. You got to follow those directions to a tee. I'm holding my California mailing ballot in my hand right now. And this is confusing and I read a lot, you know, so just take your time with it. Do some breathing exercises, double check everything. Don't give anyone any excuse to not count your vote or to challenge it. There's a bonus round here for those who are feeling a little more partisan. But I don't even think in the season we're in now, supporting Joe Biden for president is partisan, I think he is a pro small d democrat right now. And the other candidate has shown his colors is not being down for people power. So phone, bank or text and adopt a swing state, and I'm gonna send you to vote save america.com they have a whole battleground states adoption program. You don't actually adopt all the people in the state, but you take them on from an electoral perspective, to try to make sure people are voting there because it counts a little more because the electoral college at the federal level, but you pay attention to your whole ballot. All right. Now, there's more, like I said, many options on the more external facing stuff that involves other people. Make the phrase Have you voted? The new How are you? in your conversations, I want you to check in with the people you care about, and be like, Oh, that was a crazy week, have you voted? I want you to log into your zoom and just flood the chat with Have you voted, make that a social norm. It is healthy peer pressure to encourage people to flex their power. And once you voted, you let everybody know, I want you to post the net, I voted sticker on your body. So they show up in all your web things and your grocery store visits. And once you posting on social media use the hashtag #IVoted with the hashtag #howtocitizen. Lastly, on the action front, this is a bigger lift. But if you're feeling particularly young, and healthy and energetic, volunteer to be a poll worker, because of COVID-19 and the generally older age of our poll workers, we have a severe shortage of poll workers in many parts of the US. Visit powertothepolls.org and consider becoming a poll worker yourself. encourage people you know to volunteer bring a friend with you. More poll workers means faster voting means more people get to exercise their power means a happier Baratunde, host of How to Citizen with Baratunde. If you take any of these actions, let us know. Email us email@example.com mentioned voting in the subject line. brag online about your citizen and using the hashtag how to citizen. And we're always open to general feedback, guest recommendations actions you have in mind. Comments at how to citizen.com you can also text me I'm at 202-894-8844. Put citizen in there so know how you found me and share your ideas that way too. If you prefer texting, I'm reading them all myself. This has been an extraordinary pleasure. We have more voting episodes coming so stay tuned, and more importantly, make your plan or work with someone you know who can vote to make their plan. And let's have record flexing of power. How to citizen with Baratunde is a production of IHeartRadio Podcast executive produced by Myles Gray, Nick Stump Elizabeth Stewart, Baratunde Thurston. Produced by Joelle Smith, edited by Justin Smith. Powered by you.
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