We are less than a week away from Tuesday November 4: Election Day 2014.
The election this fall is a very exciting and important time for voters across the country to make their voices heard, with numerous opportunities to weigh in on races for the House and Senate, state legislature, state executive positions, and mayoral and city council races. In addition, 40 states will also be voting on 139 ballot measures, such as Massachusetts’ Ballot Question 4 on Paid Sick Days and Nebraska’s Initiative 425 on raising the minimum wage. Four states will be voting on minimum wage ballot measures this election day. There are also important ballot initiatives happening in other states: Washington State’s Ballot Initiative I-594 which would require universal background checks for all gun purchases, California’s Proposition 47, which would dramatically change California’s criminal justice system, and Tennessee’s Amendment One, which would undo language in the state’s constitution saying that the right to choose is a fundamental right. It is crucial that individuals get to the polls to make their voices heard on these important policy areas!
In some states, it still is not too late to register to vote, as Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and the District of Columbia all have same day Election Day registration. This means that if you have not yet registered to vote and live in those places, then there is still time for you to go to the polls or to the Board of Elections office to register, but in most states, the voter registration deadline has already passed.
We are excited to promote voter advocacy efforts and encourage individuals to go to the polls and vote.. The RAC also has a special guide to Get Out the Vote, a Do’s and Don’ts Guide for Non-Profits for the election season, and materials aimed specifically for first time voters. We also have graphics made to share on Twitter or to make your Facebook profile picture and Facebook cover photo.
As heirs to a tradition of civic engagement, American Jews must participate in elections to ensure that our country’s policies at the local, state, and national levels reflect our commitment to social justice. Our tradition teaches us that we are collectively responsible to choose our elected leaders, and in this week’s Torah portion, we learn that “God said to Abram, ‘go forth,’” or “lech lecha” (Genesis 12:1). On Tuesday, November 4, make sure that you go forth to the polls and let your voice be heard.