Created by two friends trying to do better for their cities.

Holding yourself and others accountable
This process is daunting and it’s easy to let yourself get overwhelmed and fall through the cracks. Here are tips for holding yourself and those around you accountable for making an informed vote and staying engaged even after the election.

Divide and conquer

Get a group of friends in the area together and assign each person to a few propositions and candidates on the ballot. Research them on your own, then schedule a date to come together and share your findings.

Share what you’re voting for

Yes, we know the right to vote confidentially is a bedrock to democracy, but if you’re comfortable sharing… why not? Your stances can serve as an educational resource for those who otherwise might not even know what’s on the ballot. Bonus points for explaining why you're voting a particular way and inviting further discussion.

Make a voting plan

Voter suppression is REAL and the government is not making it any easier for us to vote. So yes, scope out the steps to casting your ballot. Figure out if you are voting in person or by mail, if you are voting early or day-of, where your ballot box or polling place is, when you need to mail in your ballot by or how long you might have to wait at the polls. And then double check the latest news about how the deadline to mail in ballots is even EARLIER than we think1 and how your signature needs to be verified.2 And after ALL of that, check the status of your ballot to make sure it is accepted. Whew.

Normalize talking about politics

Talking about politics should not be inappropriate or unprofessional because surprise -- being apolitical is still political. Having these conversations can encourage us to think critically about our seemingly mundane day-to-day behaviors, demystify civic engagement, and create social networks to hold each other accountable.

For a little inspiration, here are some conversation starters:

  • How has your upbringing affected your political values?
  • How have your personal experiences influenced your politics?
  • How have your views changed over the last few years?
  • How do you learn about social/political issues?
  • Who do you talk about politics most and least with?
  • Do you talk about politics with your family?
  • Is there a particular person or reading that has significantly shaped your views?
  • What does political engagement look like to you?
  • Do you feel as engaged as you want to be?
  • Do you believe our government is effective?
  • What about politics do you want to learn more about?
  • Do you feel connected to your city/neighborhood?
  • What do you wish your city/neighborhood looked like?

Extra resources

References

1 It May Be Too Late To Mail Back Your Ballot. Election Officials Stress Other Options
2 ‘Ripe for error’: Ballot signature verification is flawed — and a big factor in the election

Small Victories