If you are a US citizen…
- Register to vote NOW because each state as its own deadline for voter registration. Registering isn’t enough, but you can’t vote if you don’t register by your state’s deadline.
- Visit Vote.gov if you need information on how to register to vote in your state. Each state’s voting laws are handled by that state’s Secretary of State office; you can contact your state’s website or office if you have questions.
- Encourage people you know to register and to vote. Talk with your family and friends, neighbors, coworkers, members of clubs you belong to, and essential workers. You don’t need to mention a candidate to encourage others to take their responsibility as citizens seriously.
- Check to see whether your state will send out mail-in ballots to all registered voters. Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah, and Washington are mail-in states, and California and Vermont are sending ballots to all registered voters this year. In other states, you MUST REQUEST a (mail-in) absentee ballot by the request deadline, so do that NOW; some states require an excuse, but others do not.
- Read the directions on your mail-in ballot and return it as soon as possible. You may need to have the completed ballot notarized. You may need to sign the outside of the envelope. USE an official post office mailbox or official ballot drop box; don’t leave your ballot for the mail carrier to pick up, and don’t put it in the office mail pickup. Some states have a website where you can track your ballot to make sure it’s counted.
- If you must vote in person, find out where your polling place is. Many states have early in-person voting that may include weekends, but early voting usually ends a few days before the election. Whether you vote in person early or on Election Day, put voting on your calendar and allow plenty of time because physical distancing policies may slow the process. Consider organizing a group at work or school to vote over lunchtime or after work. Consider volunteering to drive members of the local retirement community, your church, or another group to the polls.
Anna Leahy is the author of the nonfiction book Tumor and the poetry books Aperture and Constituents of Matter, among other books. Her essays have won top prizes from the Los Angeles Review, Ninth Letter, and Dogwood. She directs the MFA in Creative Writing program at Chapman University, where she curates the Tabula Poetica reading series and edits the international poetry journal TAB.
CONVERSING WITH CANCER
Lisa Sparks & Anna Leahy
part of the Language as Social Action series from Peter Lang
…works that have profound, provocative implications…
Leahy writes poems with such intelligence, concision, grace, and precision in terms of line, language and the word. Aperture is an arresting and necessary addition to the landscape of contemporary poetry ~ Victoria Chang, author of Barbie Chang & Obit
SHARP MIRACLES (chapbook)
CONSTITUENTS OF MATTER