Lots of ways this year to make your voice heard.

Voting is one of many seemingly normal activities that have become complicated in 2020. Do I vote by mail or in person? Do I vote for this person or that person? Will my vote even count?

You can request a mail in ballot and stick it in the mailbox or a ballot dropbox (or one of Philly’s new Voter Satellite locations). If you’re more comfortable, you can still vote in person. There are signs going up all over the neighborhood telling you where this year’s polling locations will be. The important thing is – however you do it – VOTE!

And yes, your vote will absolutely count. It’s your voice in the political process. You get the chance to tell elected officials at every level of government whether or not you are satisfied.

It is a Presidential election year – that is inescapable and important. But it’s not everything. Laws are written locally and change starts in our own backyards.

You can try to opt out of the political process. It may be daunting with social media and dinner conversations always turning political and controversial. But opting out of voting won’t end those conversations; voting gives you the power to change these conversations to fit your values and priorities. Politics and its ramifications are part of our everyday life and by choosing to engage, we can move our neighborhood and our City in the direction we feel is best.

Your favorite bar or restaurant getting financial assistance to weather this pandemic, the street covered in potholes that makes your commute that much more unpleasant, the resources local housing developments and schools receive – these are not decisions that come from the White House. Congress and Harrisburg make these decisions and they’re on the ballot too.

So don’t sit out this election. Pennsylvania and Philadelphia (and East Falls!) are making it easier to vote by giving us options and education on the issues. It can be confusing, but it will also be empowering.

Research candidates’ websites and nonpartisan views on the issues to start planning Election Day. Talk with friends and family about the different methods of voting, make a plan and stick to it.

And remember that change is slow and it’s difficult. Whether this is your first Election Day or your 50th, the results may not end how you want them to, but you’ve engaged with a process. And we have two Election Days every year so there is always the opportunity for next year.

Vote by mail or vote in person. Vote with those you love or vote alone. Vote for change or vote for continuity. Whatever you do, come November 3rd (or earlier by mail), vote.

Need help? 

Volunteers are at your service Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in our office at Chelten & Pulaski (10am – 2pm) thru Election Day on November 3rd. Lifelong community activists Lenora and Sheena can help answer questions, look up polling locations and regulations, check registration status and more for FREE on our computers. Stop by for information and resources to ensure your voice gets heard! 

Assistance & Information Available
245 West Chelten Ave (map)
Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays
10am – 2pm

About Max Weisman 2 Articles
Max Weisman works as Communications Director for Philadelphia Councilmember Isaiah Thomas. He owns a home on Indian Queen Lane with his wife and infant daughter (plus a pup and a kitty!) Follow him on Twitter and Instagram .

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