I’m Debra, founder and CEO of VoteAmerica, one of the biggest voter turnout organizations in the country.
I've lived and worked in Silicon Valley for a long time but I got out of tech and into politics a few years ago when I learned that people were buying billboards in Black neighborhoods in the South advertising the WRONG election day, and it really pissed me off. Like most of us, I believe we should all have a voice so, the next year, I bought up all the billboards before anyone else could and got the right info out there.
Ever since, I’ve been dedicated to building programs to expand and improve the voter turnout process. Over and over, I’ve seen how so many voters – especially voters of color and young voters – face real, systemic challenges to casting their ballot.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
That’s why I launched VoteAmerica, with a crackerjack team of the nation’s top election experts. We’re all obsessed with a big, simple idea - that participating in our democracy should be easy and clear, not confusing or complicated.
You’ll see us on campus, but you can also visit voteamerica.com/students, a one-stop-shop to get everything you need to vote in 2020 - to understand local guidelines, get the most up-to-date state-by-state info and key dates, and make a voting plan that works for you.
So, I’m asking you to do one critical thing right now now – vote early. Election Day’s Nov. 3, but it’s really more like Election Season, you know? And, you’ve got options, depending on wherever you’re reading this from. You can vote by mail, and either mail it in or hand-deliver your mail-in ballot to a certified drop-off location. In many states, you can vote in-person at designated early voting centers. However you choose, turnout will be record-shattering this year. Voting early means shorter lines for you and everyone else, and a smoother, more powerful Election Day on Nov. 3.
You’re already doing amazing. In 2018, students broke turnout records all over the country, in a midterm year when turnout is typically lower. Just last week, a new study came out saying 71% of students already strongly intend to vote this year.
As you’ve heard before, student voters are the future of the country. Where we go from here – on everything from racial justice to LGBTQ rights to immigration policy to climate and more – depends on what you decide to do in the coming weeks and days. Know that VoteAmerica is here for you and your voting process, every step of the way.
Thank you for being a voter,
P.S. If you love democracy, we’re also looking for volunteers! Just sign up here: www.voteamerica.com/volunteer and we’ll give you the training and tools you need to help folks vote in 2020.