NOW THROUGH NOV. 3
Days Until Election Day:
In the tradition of an HBCU Homecoming, VOTECOMING is a celebration of your right to determine the future of your country, raising your voice in the tradition of historically black colleges and universities, particularly at Atlanta University Center member institutions Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Spelman College. Take your pride in your institution with you to your polling place or as you drop off your mail-in ballot, showing the country the transformative energy and engagement of HBCU students, alumni, faculty, and staff. Just like you would during Homecoming, connect with your friends, push them to show up, and share information about how to get involved.
This year, more than ever, REPRESENT WITH INTENT.
SIX WAYS TO PARTICIPATE:
1. Represent for Your AUC Institution.
The family of Atlanta University Center graduates are a uniquely powerful force, with the ability to inspire or motivate through words and example. Throughout election season and especially as you cast your vote, wear your school’s gear, post pictures, give shout outs, and use social media to show how your institution has prepared you to make a difference in the country. Take a selfie of you voting and post it on Election Day (make sure you know where it is legal to take your selfie at a polling location.)
2. Stay Informed.
With so much information and misinformation coming from seemingly everywhere, it is critical that you get accurate information from sources you can trust. Don’t just rely on commercials or social media posts. Check and recheck your information so you can make good ballot choices and ensure your vote is counted.
3. Stay Engaged.
Don’t just vote. Actively participate. Look for opportunities to get engaged in the process. Help register others to vote, volunteer to work at a polling precinct, or help an elderly person cast their ballot. There is more than enough work to go around, and no one is as prepared to make a difference as someone educated at an AUC institution.
Don’t keep it to yourself! Especially while people are socially distanced, it’s more important than ever to share what you know. Make sure that your information is accurate, and then let others know what you know. Even if you just want to share your excitement about voting, you may inspire others to get engaged.
5. Finish the Whole Ballot.
The presidential race gets most of the attention, but many of the decisions that impact you most directly are made at the state and local level. Make sure that you know everything you will be asked to vote on. Download a sample ballot before you go to the polling place or take your time before you mail it in. Learn about your local issues and finish the whole ballot.
• Find out what’s on your ballot through the Ballot Ready website here.
6. Protect Your Vote.
Voter suppression is real and well documented. Don’t just trust that your vote will be counted. Make sure that you do everything possible to guarantee that it is. Vote early. Check your state’s procedures and requirements. Follow up if you have questions. This year especially, your one vote can make all the difference.
Voting in Georgia
• Georgia Secretary of State (check voter registration, apply for mail in ballot, check mail-in ballot status, find poll locations, find sample ballots, learn about early voting.)
Report Voter Suppression
• NAACP Legal Defense Fund’s Thurgood Marshall Institute’s Voting Rights Defender (VRD) Project ensures voting suppression practices designed to disenfranchise Black voters are quickly identified and addressed by monitoring, tracking, and responding.
Federal and State Ballot Items
• Ballot Ready provides ballot information at the federal, state, and local level for elections across the country, in addition to voter registration, ballot requests, and other information.
• Ballotpedia provides summaries of federal and state ballot items you will be asked to vote on using your address.
• If you live in Geogia, you can find a sample ballot using your address here.
• The League of Women Voters’ Vote 411 website provides ballot informaton, along with information about voter registration, polling places, and upcoming debates among candidates in the area.
Reclaim Your Vote
• Reclaim Your Vote is a partnership between BET and the National Urban League to increase Black participation in the 2020 census and the 2020 election. It lays out the biggest issues, breaks down otherwise confusing processes and highlights specific ways we can reclaim our collective power.
Black Youth Vote
• The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation educates adults aged 18-35 on the connection between voting and public policy, how this affects their lives today and their future opportunities.
Rock the Vote
• Rock the Vote provides information on voter registration, absentee ballots, helping others register, volunteering to work at the polls, and more.
Events of Interest
- 4 National Voter Education Week
- 7 NAN Debate Watch Party | 9:00 PM EST
– Tentative AUC Votes Meeting (if needed for watch party) | 12:00 PM EST
– Spelman Social Justice Program Documentary Screening (John Lewis: Good Trouble) | 5:00 PM EST
- 15 NAN Debate Watch Party | 9:00 PM EST
– Spelman Social Justice Program Voting Book Discussion |
5:00 PM EST
– AUC VOTES IG Week (Social Justice Day)
- 22 AUC Votes Debate Watch Party | 9:00 PM EST
- 3 ELECTION DAY
– 2020 AUC Election Watch Night
- 9 NAN Election Debrief Meeting
Frequently Asked Questions
If I am a student learning virtually, can I still vote in Atlanta?
Unless you have a physical address in Atlanta, you may need to vote where you are living now. Check with your state to be sure.
Can I vote by mail?
Most states allow some form of vote by mail. Some states send mail-in ballots to every registered voters, while others require you to apply for an absentee ballot. Some states allow you to drop off absentee ballots to a box or office, while others require you to use the United States Postal Service. It is very important that you understand your state’s regulations to ensure that you ballot is counted. The When We All Vote website provides a guide to understanding mail-in balloting across the country.
What is voter suppression?
Quite simply, voter suppression is a system of efforts undertaken to prevent an eligible voter from casting an acceptable ballot, including by spreading incorrect information, limiting access to polling places, and implementing unconstitutional voting requirements. Make sure that you aren’t a victim of voter suppression. The NAACP Legal Defense Fund and others have resources to help you identify and report voter suppression efforts.
Can I vote early?
Many states allow for early voting, although the dates and duration vary by state. Make sure you don’t miss the early voting window by getting the right information based on wear you live. The National Urban League provides a listing of early voting dates in some states.
I don't want to catch COVID-19! Can I still vote?
The COVID-19 virus, or coronavirus, is very serious. It is important, however, that you continue to exercise your constitutional rights, especially because the policies enacted by your elected officials will directly impact how the country, your state, and your local area deal with the pandemic. If you are nervous about voting at a polling precinct on election day, explore your options in voting by mail, voting early when polling places will be less crowded, or special accomodations which may be available to the elderly or people with health conditions. All of those options vary by state, so be sure to check with your local authorities to get all of the facts.
Does Votecoming endorse a particular candidate or party?
Votecoming is nonpartisan and is an initiative to educate and motivate voters.
Can I vote if I have a felony conviction?
It depends on the laws in your state. Restore Your Vote provides information on voting requirements for convicted felons based on where you live.
AUC in Action: Videos and Media
• AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library conducts interviews on voting and civic engagement. Dr. Clinton Fluker interviews Genny Castillo, chief operating officer of the Blue Institute,which prepares young people of color for leadership in electoral campaigns in the South and Southwest.
• Spelman College Alumna Stacey Abrams Encourages Spelman Students to Exercise Their Right to Vote
• AUCC and WABE partnered to host VOTING MATTERS, a discussion with student leaders from each of the AUC schools.
- Robert W. Woodruff Library: Voting Rights Then and Now Series, an interview series with dynamic leaders from across the country on the subject of voting.
- Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Atlanta HBCU students can receive reduced rides to the polls
- Vox: How college activists are trying to win the youth vote remotely (featured: Morehouse College student Rick Hart)
- Essence: ‘Slutty Vegan’ Owner Pinky Cole (CAU Alumna) Is Hyper Focused On Social Justice, Engaging With Her Community
- WABE: Clark Atlanta Students Podcast To Get Georgians Excited About Politics
– Listen to the story here.
– Listen to the “Politics or Politiking” podcast here.
When We All Vote: Co-Chair Janelle Monáe, Angela Rye Rallied Atlanta University Center Students ‘Register to Vote’ Message Loud and Clear