Fragmented thinking is common amid a crisis. While many physically healthy adults are now working from home, they notice that it’s hard to get much of anything “productive” done — for work, family, or home. Living in a quagmire of reactions to the outside world while trying to keep some semblance of order for basic self-care and family interactions, many adults are feeling ineffective in big and small ways.
While we can’t fix all that, we can help you feel like an effective adult in less than ten minutes right there in your home. No conversations, no research required.
STEP 1. Apply for an Absentee Ballot TODAY.
- Voting by mail is a multi-step process — you apply first, then receive a ballot by mail (which then needs to be completed and postmarked by a certain date). You can download and print the application or can call or go online to request a copy from your county Board of Elections.
- The next step is to complete the form correctly. See the marked sample provided by Mobilize the Vote to make sure you avoid common mistakes. Mail the application to your Board of Elections Note, there is NO DROPOFF for applications — just mail. We recommend mailing by April 5 to ensure you have time to receive the ballot (and that you can pursue a remedy if you have not received it), allowing you to complete and mail your ballot with correct postage.
- Complete your ballot upon arrival and pop it in the mail. Double-check for correct postage. We recommend mailing by April 24 to ensure you have the required postmark by April 27. (You can also drop directly at your Board of Elections.)
Apply for an Absentee Ballot by mail TODAY. Voting by mail is a two-step process–you apply first, then receive a ballot by mail. While you wait, you can research candidates and issues so that you’re ready to vote when the ballot arrives.
STEP 2. Go online today, and complete your household’s census form. For a family of three, it takes about 5 minutes to complete. Finished? Woo hoo! Celebrate your successful moment of clear-headed adulting!
STEP 3: Now, encourage three other people to do the same. Ask them to text you when they’re done so you can send them a congratulatory GIF. It’s fun AND good for society.
Okay, now we’re used up our ten minutes. So let’s take our at-home involvement to the next level. If you have kids at home, talk about engaged citizenship as a family. Talk about why voting is important to you and how you decide who/what to vote for. Talk about the census and how it protects your community’s access to emergency services.
Think about other opportunities for engaged constituency available to us as we stay at home:
- Tune in daily to the Ohio Channel for the governor’s 2:00 p.m. press briefings. The State House and Senate also broadcast sessions. The content is generally appropriate for middle schoolers and up. (Use your own judgment about what is best for your child in terms of frequency of watching press briefings.)
- Identify your state legislators. With your child, communicate with your senators and representatives about your top values and concerns.
We’re all concerned about the dangers of the pandemic, the well-being of community members, and the impacts of top-down decisions, but let’s remember that we still have power. Let’s remember the importance of voting, census participation, and being in touch with elected officials. This crisis highlights the importance of these three prongs of citizen engagement in ensuring that we have an appropriate safety net.
Thanks to the internet, while we can’t go to work, school, or public gatherings right now, we can still be engaged citizens right from our homes. So let’s wash our hands, and keep making our voices heard.