I want to use my voice.

Talking politics can be stressful. But it doesn't have to be. Let's normalize discussing plans and actions—not just national news cycles.

Here are a few small tips to help.

IMPORTANT:   Before you get started, please double- and triple-check you've completed your 2020 Census, confirmed your voter registration is active, and that you have a detailed plan for how, where, and when you will vote.

  ACTION #1  

Estimated time:   ⌚︎ 30 minutes (or more)

Why it matters:   As the late Rep. John Lewis said, "The right to vote is precious, almost sacred. It is the most powerful nonviolent tool or instrument we have in a democratic society."

  1. Determine the best way for you to cast your ballot: Visit MakeAPlan.com and follow their tool for a simple and clear overview of how you can ensure your vote is counted.

    NOTE: The USPS can no longer guarantee delivery of mail-in ballots by Election Day. If you haven’t already mailed your ballot, please return it by hand to your election office or drop it in an official ballot drop box. You can also vote on Election Day.
  2. Get familiar with every candidate and issue on your ballot: Anonymously type in your address to this Ballotpedia tool and look at every line. If you're unfamiliar with any candidate, look up their official website to learn more about them. For ballot measures, research various perspectives on them.
  3. Complete your vote: Don't forget. Add a reminder to your calendar for when you plan to deliver your ballot or go to the polls. Over 79 million people have already cast their ballots. Don't let them speak for you.
  ACTION #2  
Text your friends and family about their local candidates

Estimated time:   ⌚︎ 15 minutes

Why it matters:   Local state legislators are the foundation of our democracy—responsible for voting districts, voting process, and voter rights. Plus, centering them gives you a more personal way to start the conversation.

  1. Decide who to text: Open your texts. Start with anyone you've texted with in the past 30 days. You'll be surprised how many of them will appreciate your interest. You can also look at how close the 2016 presidential race was in their area using this excellent map tool—just zoom into their area or type in their city, town, or ZIP code. Even if their area appears solidly "blue" or solidly "red," don't immediately shy away from contacting them: many areas have less solid, but equally important, down-ballot races that aren't factored into this map, so it's still important your friends in these areas show up.
  2. Look up their local candidates: Type their address into this Ballotpedia tool and scroll to the bottom of the sample ballot it shows you to find their state representatives. (Example here. NOTE: ~20% of people may live in a district without a state representative race this year.)
  3. Text them a casual question: Try something like "you ready to vote?" or "did you figure out how you're gonna vote this year?" When they respond, share something like "nice – you've got some really interesting local candidates this year" and be ready to elaborate.
  4. OPTIONAL: If you want help figuring out who to text, the Official VoteJoe App available on iOS [direct link] and Android [direct link] pulls in all your contacts and sorts them by propensity to vote and other variables. Start with the people you've texted recently, but if you've contacted everyone you regularly talk to this can be effective, too. One tip: write your own texts rather than using their pre-populated message. This can make a big difference, so write with the "casual question" suggestions above in mind.
  ACTION #3  
When you vote, text 3 (or more) people proof

Estimated time:   ⌚︎ 10 minutes

Why it matters:   People are more likely to vote when they feel like everyone's doing it. It's also a helpful nudge for your busy friends.
  1. Right after you vote, snap a photo: Be sure this is after you leave the polling place and does not show your ballot, especially if you're in one of the 25 states that has banned ballot selfies. Your photo can be of your mail-in envelope, your "I Voted" sticker, your hand on a mailbox, or the outside of your polling location. Also make sure there's no personally identifiable info in view.
  2. Text it to at least 3 people: Share your excitement with a simple "Voted!" and the photo you just snapped. This is a moment to celebrate (and send an easy reminder).
  3. Now send it to any active Group Text you're part of: This is arguably the optimal balance between personal influence and reaching more people. Spark any group text that's been active in the past 30 days. More people will probably pile on. It's fun, it matters, and it works.
  ACTION #4  
Check in with anyone you know who's recently moved

Estimated time:   ⌚︎ 30 minutes

Why it matters:   Lots of people are moving this year, likely accelerated by the pandemic. Many needed to re-register to vote in their new districts. Many states now have same-day voter registration, including crucial swing states like MI, WI, MN, and IA, so it's not too late to reach out to them.

  1. Scroll through your recent texts: For each name you see, think about the last time they moved (or changed their name). If it was this year, text them about their voter registration.
  2. Text anyone who has moved: A simple question like "hey hey – did you have to re-register to vote with your new address?"
  ACTION #5  
Follow a few simple guidelines for posting online

Estimated time:   ⌚︎ Whenever you're on social media

Why it matters:   Jokes, memes, and venting online affect perception more than you might think. It's easy to inadvertently stoke support for the opposite of what you believe.

  1. Post your voting plan: On your phone, press and hold to save the template image on this page. Then use the "markup" feature to fill out your voting plan. Post the completed version to your Instagram Story and any other place you're comfortable posting.
  2. Get out the vote by focusing on voter suppression: If you see long lines at polls or any type of voter intimidation, capture it via video and publish the video to your social media account (with public visibility). Even if you don't see any, post to raise awareness that "Somebody doesn't want us to vote. That's exactly why we must." Realizing someone is trying to keep us from voting can be very motivating to be sure we do.
  3. Post who you support: If you feel comfortable with it, post explicit support everywhere you can: your Instagram Story, Snapchat Story, Twitter, Facebook, etc. A simple positive message like #BidenHarris2020 is plenty. Lots of these show the wide range of people who support the ticket.
  4. Don't give it oxygen: Avoid posting about, "liking," commenting on, or discussing anything related to the president, as much as possible. I know how satisfying it can feel to fire off a good joke, but all it does is strengthen his visibility and cultural relevance, which is his most valuable (and let's be honest, only) asset. He's counting on his detractors, as much as his own base, to keep him relevant. Don't do him any favors.
  5. Share your actions (not just your thoughts): When it comes to politics, share something you did, not just something you think. It's more likely to motivate others to action.
  ACTION #6  
Text this website (yes, this one) to 3 friends

Estimated time:   ⌚︎ 5 minutes

Why it matters:   We build momentum one person at a time. You have a friend who wants to help, but isn't sure where to direct their energy. If you've appreciated the clarity of this site, so will they.

  1. Decide who to share this with: Which of your friends have been actively posting justice-oriented messages online? Who have you talked with about real societal issues?
  2. Text a simple message: "Have you seen this? SmallTogetherNow.com" works great. Even the URL alone if it's someone you often share things with. Let's do this together, one person at a time.

I also want to use my . . .


Thanks for everything you're doing.

Send an email any time to hello@smalltogethernow.com. : )

This is a personal website, not associated with any organization and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.