During one of the most raucous national election seasons in American history, I am trying to do my part by volunteering to write letters for the  Vote Forward organization. With voter intimidation and harassment aimed at people of color, incorrect information being disseminated on widespread voter fraud (which evidence shows is nearly nonexistent), and a pandemic ravaging the country, everyone deserves the opportunity to participate in our democracy.

Vote Forward works like this: Registered voters sign up to adopt fellow voters and write them letters reminding them of the importance of their vote on November 3. You can adopt as few as five voters to contact, or up to dozens. How much you choose to participate is up to you. So far I have adopted 20 voters. The Vote Forward organization provides the names, addresses, and a letter template. Voters are encouraged to handwrite a short paragraph about what voting means to them. Once you are finished (including addressing and stamping envelopes), those letters are checked off as completed. Then on Saturday, October 17 (known as “The Big Send”) you mail out your letters.

I admit I am one of the slowest writers ever (probably because my handwriting is printed rather than cursive) but even I can complete five letters in 20 minutes. That’s a small time investment to remind people to exercise a privilege others in different parts of the world die trying to obtain. There are other ways to help get out the vote in 2020 that go beyond the 17th. I picked Vote Forward because it’s an online platform that is easy to use while also empowering grassroots volunteers to assist registering voters from under-represented demographics while encouraging them to vote. I also believe strongly that the survival of our democracy depends on the participation of everyone. I hope you will join me.

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