How To Get Involved In The 2020 Election As Campaigns Are Ramping Up
While the 2020 election is still over a year and a half away, campaign season is already in full swing. In fact, a host of candidates have declared their intention to run for president and various other offices. If you're looking for ways to get involved in the 2020 election as momentum builds toward the next big American voting day, this list offers a variety of ways for you to contribute your time.
So far, lots of Democrats have announced that they intend to run for president in 2020. According to Vox, these candidates include Senators Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, and Bernie Sanders, along with Representative Tulsi Gabbard, Washington Governor Jay Inslee, and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Former Representatives Beto O’Rourke and John Delaney, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, entrepreneur Andrew Yang, and Oprah's spiritual adviser Marianne Williamson have also all announced bids for office.
On the Republican side, President Trump is running for office again — and he's already started fundraising and campaigning, the Center for Public Integrity reported. Vox noted that, thus far, only former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld has indicated that he intends to challenge Trump in the Republican primary. However, as the site reported, other Republicans could still announce that they plan to participate in the primary in the coming months.
Of course, the 2020 race isn't just limited to the presidential contest. All U.S. representatives are up for reelection in 2020, as are one-third of U.S. senators. Moreover, there are countless state and local races around the country that will also take place in November of next year. As a result, there are tons of ways that you can get involved in the next big Election Day.
Work On A National Or State Campaign
Many candidates who have declared their intention to run for office in 2020 have begun the recruitment process for their campaigns. To see if a candidate you wish to support is looking for volunteers or workers, consider heading to their campaign website and checking out their "jobs" or "get involved" sections. If there's no information available on their website, consider emailing or calling their campaign office to get more information on how you can contribute your time and talents.
Volunteer For The DNC Or RNC
If you'd rather work to support a party instead of one particular candidate, consider signing up as a 2020 volunteer for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) or the Republican National Committee (RNC). You can sign up for either opportunity online (click here for the DNC's registration and here for the RNC's registration).
Host A Voter Registration Drive
It's never too early to make sure that people are registered to vote for the 2020 election. You can help contribute to this goal by hosting your own voter registration drive in your community. If you're interested in holding a voter registration event, you can sign up to receive a free voter registration tool kit from Rock the Vote.
Volunteer To Get Out The Vote
In addition to hosting a voter registration drive, you can also sign up to volunteer for a variety of get out the vote (GOTV) activities with Rock the Vote. Some of these activities include design work, research and writing, phone banking, and others. A sign up form is available on Rock the Vote's website.
Support Voter Information Organizations
Nonpartisan organizations like Vote Smart and Ballotpedia provide comprehensive voter education information in their online databases, including documenting candidate stances on issues and tracking votes and legislation associated with various candidates.
You can support each of these organizations through online donations (Ballotpedia's donation link is available here and Vote Smart's is available here). Moreover, Vote Smart notes that you can apply to volunteer at its office at Drake University or to serve as a Vote Smart ambassador who educates people in their own community about Vote Smart's database.
Ballotpedia indicates on its website that you can email its editorial account if you think you have the skills and expertise needed to volunteer to contribute to its Encyclopedia of American Politics.
Don't Forget About Local Races
In addition to volunteering for more widely-publicized national and state political races, don't forget that you can also pursue political volunteer opportunities in your own community. Races for city council, mayor, school boards, and beyond are taking place all across America in 2020 — and many of these candidates would likely love to have the help of more volunteers to canvass, phone bank, and more as they pursue their bids for office. If you'd like to get involved in local races, consider searching online for more information on how to volunteer for a specific candidate, heading to a local campaign office, or checking out local newspapers and advertisements.
Sign Up To Be A Poll Worker
While the 2020 election is still a ways away, many localities allow you sign up to be a poll worker well in advance. Poll workers work at polling places on Election Day, engaging in various tasks like counting ballots and assisting voters. If you're interested in signing up to work as a poll worker, check out the U.S. Election Assistance Commission's website. The website offers state-specific guidance on how to contact local election officials about poll work opportunities.
Promote Voting Rights
Ensuring that everyone who is eligible to vote can vote is also critically important in the lead-up to 2020. If you want to help promote and protect voting rights, there are many organizations to which you can dedicate your time.
For example, the NAACP is actively seeking volunteers to help stop voter suppression and to "get communities of color ready ahead of the critical 2020 elections." You can sign up for this volunteer opportunity via the organization's website.
Let America Vote is also working to promote voting rights in the lead-up to 2020. The organization works to help politicians who advocate for voting rights get elected. You can support Let America Vote in a variety of ways, including through hosting a voting rights party, canvassing, and even housing Let America Vote volunteers. You can see all of the organization's volunteer activities on its website.
Remember, these are just some of the many voting rights organizations that are seeking volunteers. You can also consider checking out this comprehensive list of voting rights organizations to explore additional opportunities.
If you're committed to upping your civic engagement, these opportunities represent some of the many ways you can get involved. And, you've been thinking about volunteering, don't hesitate — November 2020 will be here faster than you think, and many people and organizations could use your assistance.