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Five ways you can participate in the election process

The 2024 presidential election is just months away. Why not help by volunteering as a changemaker in this vital election?

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While voting is certainly the most important way to participate in elections, you can do so much more.

“Joining in all phases of the election process helps strengthen our democracy, one person at a time,” said Bradley E. Heard, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s deputy legal director for Voting Rights. “Knowledge gives power to a voter, and each voter can help spread that knowledge to others.”

Here are five ways you can contribute this year:

Volunteer to be a poll worker

Local polling locations are often looking for volunteers to assist voters, manage lines, provide information and check in registered voters. This is critical for easing the voting process. You can learn more about becoming a poll worker here.

Volunteer to be a poll watcher

Poll watchers differ from poll workers because they act as observers and reporters. Poll watchers ensure compliance with voting laws, tackling issues such as voter intimidation or suppression, improper handling of ballots or problems with voting machines. They report any concerns to election officials or any illegal activities to law enforcement officials.  You can find more information about being a poll watcher here.

Boost voter turnout

Help spread the word about important voting information – such as deadlines, mail-in ballots, absentee ballots, polling locations and hours of operation – on your social media feeds, through student or professional groups and organizations or religious affiliations. You can also volunteer or organize a voter registration drive to get people to register to vote. Learn more about getting the word out about voter registration here.

Volunteer to transport people to polling stations

For many voters, getting to the polls can be a challenge either because of physical limitations or lack of transportation. You can volunteer to drive these voters to the polls and ensure their ballot is cast.  You can learn more about providing transportation to the polls here.

Educate voters on their voting rights

You can help voters understand their voting rights by distributing educational materials in multiple languages either in person or by creating online resources and sharing the information widely with your networks. You can collaborate with student-led groups, professional organizations and community leaders to make the materials available to as many people as possible. You can also team with legal professionals to host events that educate voters about their voting rights. Voter education resources can be found here.

Illustration at top: While voting is key, there are other ways to participate in the election process. (Illustration by Alyah Holmes)