So many friends and family members have called me in the past few weeks to express how worried they are about the upcoming presidential election. I, too, am worried about the state of our nation.
By no means is either candidate perfect. However, in this election there should be no confusion or debate about the qualifications, temperament and intellect of Hillary Clinton over the race-baiting, Islamopobic, sexist, anti-immigrant DJT (I refuse to give him any more free press). I am sure not everyone agrees with me, and that is the beauty of living in a democracy—a system many of us are desperately trying to protect in this election. Regardless of how you feel, it is imperative you vote in this election. I truly believe this election is the most important election of our lifetime and its effects will guide where we move as a nation for decades to come. Will we roll back voting rights, civil rights, immigrant protections, a woman’s right to choose what is best for her own body, funding for cities and more? And those are just the domestic issues. To quote De La Soul, “Stakes is high.”
So what should you do to prepare for Election Day Nov. 8? First, you must have a voting plan. I mean a detailed plan that is airtight. What does your entire day look like Nov. 8? What is your contingency plan if you oversleep, wake up with a cold, experience extremely long lines at your polling center or have a family emergency? We must have systems in place to expect the unexpected on Election Day, so that we can ensure we cast our ballots.
Second, make sure your friends and family members also have voting plans. Unfortunately, in many states, if you aren’t registered by now you may not be able to vote in the election, but contact your election board to make sure you are registered and eligible. And make sure your friends and family do the same. If you have to use social pressure, then so be it. This election is too important to sit on the sidelines.
Third, if you have extra time and want to help a particular campaign, contact the campaign and see if they need you to call voters in swing states. That is, states that could go to either the Republican or Democratic candidate and are thus “up for grabs.” Many campaigns will assist you in downloading a call list of registered voters in states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida so you can call voters and remind them to vote for your candidate.
Last, if for some reason you cannot vote, you can still participate. Help pass out literature, make phone calls, explain to people why this election is worth one’s participation, convert folks if you must. Nov. 8 is around the corner and we must be vigilant in our efforts to work toward becoming a more inclusive (not exclusive) nation. And do not forget. Tuesday, Nov. 8, is Election Day.
Christina Greer, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Fordham University and the author of “Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream.” You can find her on Twitter @Dr_CMGreer.