October 4, 2022

How To Do Your Civic Duty

We’ve been working hard on voter education here at YWCA Spokane – that means knowing WHO can vote, HOW to vote, WHEN to vote, and of course, WHY voting is important.

Whomst indeed?

Did you know you can still vote with a felony conviction? Your voting rights are automatically restored in Washington state as soon as you are no longer serving a sentence, even if you still owe fines, restitution, or other legal financial obligations (LFOs).

You do not lose your right to vote in Washington for a misdemeanor or juvenile conviction. Learn more from ACLU here. If you or someone you know is still unsure, ACLU has this helpful tool to help you navigate.

You don’t need to speak English to vote. The US Election Assistance Commission offers language access resources to help non-English speakers. Learn more about who can vote from ProPublica here.

You also don’t need a permanent address to vote. You can list a shelter address, a park you go to frequently or is nearest to you, or another specific address. Check out this guide from the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness for more information.

Turning 18 before or even on Election Day? You too can vote!

How, though??

Download this guide offered by the Washington Secretary of State’s Office. Their Civics Education page has lots of helpful information (including videos!) to help you wade through the process.

Register, update, or track your ballot through the VoteWA portal. Ballot drop boxes are available starting October 20, 2022 and close promptly at 8:00 pm on Election Day. Find the closest ballot drop-off location to you in Spokane County here. A postage stamp is not required when using a drop box!

Why vote?

IT’S IMPORTANT! A ton of policy at the local government level directly affects us and our families, how we live our lives, and our quality of life. Several positions up for election such as county commissioner, prosecutors, and judges wield power and control that many of us are unaware of. Our vote is our voice. And certain people are trying to oppress it. Read more about the fight to block Americans from voting here.

Conservatives are working hard to discourage voters from exercising their civic duty, especially those that may not read well. Olivia Coley-Pearson serves as commissioner in Douglas, GA, where 1/3 of the population struggles to read. Learn more about her work to close that gap with this video (8 minute watch).

General Election Dates

10/21 | Start of 18-day voting period (through Election Day). Ballots are mailed out and Accessible Voting Units (AVUs) are available at voting centers.

10/31 | Online and mail registrations must be received 8 days before Election Day

11/8 Deadline for Washington State voter registration or updates (in person only)


Resources
Illustration of astronaut on the moon with an American flag, with text that says, "Get Out The Vote 2022"

Illustration courtesy of Reimagine Spokane’s 2022 GOTV Zine

Reimagine Spokane’s GOTV Zine

YWCA Spokane contributed to RS’s efforts to translate this zine in Spanish and Vietnamese. It’s a beautiful collection of art, information, and calls to action from 13 other activist organizations doing the work to make Spokane a better city for everyone.

SPANISH VERSION

VIETNAMESE VERSION

ENGLISH VERSION

 

Flyer Canvassing

Spend some time helping put up flyers around town! Post at your favorite coffee shop or restaurant (with permission), walk around your neighborhood, or travel across town.  Tap or click the When We All Vote image to download a printable flyer.

DOWNLOAD FLYER

 

 

Fine-tune Your Media Literacy

See where your news source falls on the Media Bias Chart, which shows a source’s reliability and bias.

VIEW CHART

You can filter media type by website or article,  TV or video, and podcasts or audio. Watch this video for more on media literacy (3 minute watch).

WATCH VIDEO


Read our past blogs on legislation and voting:

By: Lara Estaris

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