Now is the time to register if you are not yet registered – The deadline to register to vote is October 5th. If you are already registered the time to request a mail ballot is now.

Today I am writing about the process of voting and what the vote means to a first-time voter. Also, I am inviting you to attend (virtually) a Constitution Day Celebration that I have been working on organizing.

Vote411 – This is a site established by the League of Women Voters to ensure voters have the information they need to successfully participate in every election – local, state or federal. You can insert your address and it will provide you with personalized voting information – you can see your ballot, check your voter registration, find your polling place and much more. When you check your ballot, you can see how each candidate answered pertinent questions or failed to respond to the questions – which also says something about the candidate. Vote 411 is available in English and Spanish

There is a lot of discussion about how one should “Plan Your Vote”.  I plan to vote in person during the early voting period but have requested a mail-in ballot in case something prevents me from in-person voting. I think that the only thing that would prevent me from voting would be being so ill that I had to be hospitalized but I have requested a mail-in ballot to be certain that I don’t lose my voice. You can request the mail-in ballot and not use it if you decide voting in person will work for you. It’s good to have this as a backup plan.

If you plan to vote by mail, you should request the ballot NOW and return it as soon as you receive it. There has been much discussion about the tight deadlines for requesting and returning the mail ballots.  The New York Times included an article about this which can be found here. Florida was listed as a state that might allow enough time for last-minute voting by mail but don’t procrastinate – request a mail-in ballot today. You can do this by going to your county supervisor of elections:

Many years of representing clients in their immigration matters has given me an increased appreciation of the importance of voting to all of us. My clients have made me more patriotic because they work so hard for the privilege of living in the US and even harder for the privilege of voting.  There was a touching story recently published in the New York Times by a woman who wrote about the reverence that her immigrant mother showed for her right to vote.  The author wrote about her Chinese mother who came to the US in 1989 and was able to vote for the first time this year in the Primary election. She has been subjected to brazen and unabashed hostility as a Chinese person in the era of Covid-19 but that did not keep her from feeling that this is her country, her home and to appreciate that we have opportunities to change for the better. The author describes watching her mother vote in their kitchen in a way that seemed she was performing a delicate ritual. Her mother no longer relegated herself to the crowd of the voiceless in this nation. She voted, and come November, she will vote again.

Please join the League of Women Voters and the Business and Professional Women in our Constitution Day Virtual Celebration. The invitation is attached below:

Linda M Kaplan