Know Your Power

KNOW YOUR POWER

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.

There are many issues we care about.

WHY YOU VOTE IS THE ENGINE OF YOUR INTENTION.

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER

Your vote is your power. And it's more powerful than you know.

Every vote matters, especially yours. 

And if you get your friends to vote, our generation is unstoppable.

Words, Ben Sakoguchi

KNOWING WHY YOU VOTE IS POWER.

If you know what issues are important to you, and you take the time to learn about how your vote affects them, you will know that voting is the minimum step you can take to have an impact.

You don’t need to know everything, but looking for candidates who care about your issues, and getting as many people as possible to vote for them is power.

Take a moment to tell yourself – why do you vote?

#IVOTEFOR

CLAIM YOUR POWER. WHY DO YOU VOTE?

We #ClaimOurPower this Election Day.

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WHAT DO WE VOTE FOR?

CELINA AVALOS

LYNN WANG

MAXINE GUTTMANN

MANJU BANLALORE

D’Aunjillique Jackson

VOTING IS POWER

HERE’S WHAT THEY DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW.

If your vote isn't worth anything, then why are billions spent on every election?

Just one vote has power.

In the 2017 Virginia legislative race, Shelly Simmonds thought she won by one vote. But a judge ruled a ballot tossed out for her opponent had to be counted.

The tie had to be broken by placing both names in old film canisters and shuffling them in a clear bowl. Her opponent, David Yancey won.

One vote had the power to decide the election.

Freedom Summer Collection, Zoya Zeman

CIVICS 101

OUR GOVERNMENT WORKS FOR US. HERE’S HOW.

How does your vote affect an issue?

You don’t have to vote for every candidate, ballot measure or proposition, but the truth is that local and state elections sometimes have just as much or more power as federal elections.

Let’s take Climate Change as an example.

The Balance of Power

What do our votes actually do?

There are three branches of the Federal government: Executive, Legislative and Judicial. The branches are equal and are supposed to have “checks and balances” to keep any branch from becoming too powerful. This was mostly done to be sure we never had a new king - or dictator.

Our country is a Republic so the States have the power to determine many issues adding another layer of checks and balances. Under the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, all powers not granted to the federal government are reserved for the states and the people.
All state governments are modeled after the federal government and consist of three branches: Executive, legislative, and judicial. The Governor is the executive.

Then there are the local governments. Their power is granted by the state and generally include two tiers: Counties and Municipalities - towns, cities, boroughs, etc. Usually the mayor is the Executive of municipalities. The City Council and County Board of Supervisors are like the legislative branches and there local judges too, that elected,
unlike the federal judges.

The Electoral College

The founding fathers created a system that allowed Hillary Clinton to win the popular vote and Trump to win the election by winning the electoral college.

What is it?

We elect them to elect the candidate. With a few exceptions, the candidate who wins the state vote gets all the Electoral votes. Small margins in some states can overwhelm the larger margin of votes of other states.

It was one of the most hotly contested races and there was no winner for a month. Finally, the Supreme Court decided the outcome by denying a continued recount.

How to overcome that?

Apparently, the founding fathers didn’t think we, the people, could or should vote for ourselves. Rather delegates from the Electoral would vote for us… or not. Though rare, they are actually not required to vote the way we do.

In response, this initiative’s idea is based on the fact that the Constitution gives states the power to award their electoral votes as they choose and could award its electoral votes to whoever wins the national popular vote – not necessarily the candidate who wins that state. 

To do this, they need a total of 270 electoral votes. As of now they have 181. So the key to this is voting in a legislative majority
that will vote for the compact. Of course, the courts will be called in, but this seems to be the best answer for now.

Overcome Voter Suppression

Know what tactics to look for.

Gerrymandering

In many states, the districts are divided up by the majority party in the state legislature. Described as politicians choosing their voters.

Independent citizen committees. Or Flip the legislature Its puts your partying in charge.

Strict Voter ID Laws

Requiring IDs that many poor and elderly don’t have like Drivers Licences, requiring low income voters to pay for a birth certificate to get an ID.

Programs like Vote Rider helps people get IDs and pay for Birth Certificates. 

If you forget your ID at the polls, ask for a provisional ballot.

Voter Purges

Removing voters for minor technicalities, for not voting in the past 2 years, etc. 

Confirm you are registered before voter registration ends and again before you go to the polls. Demand a provisional ballot.

Limiting Access

Too few voting machines, too few polling places, polling places too far away….

 If you can vote by mail, you don’t have to wait. Fight to get a polling place in your neighborhood or campus.

Know your rights. The ACLU can help! Learn more about your voting rights.

Want to learn more about the issues?

ProCon.org is a non-partisan, non-profit resource for researching what you care about.

Decide for yourself where you stand on an issue you care about. Grab a friend and read through research and arguments for or against a wide breadth of controversial issues.

See what young activists vote for

In 2018, we filmed young activists from 12 organizations.

Each young activist talked about the issue they were voting for. Sometimes it’s one issue, sometimes many. Sometimes the issue affects them directly. Sometimes they vote for someone else.

They include people like Jammal Lemy, one of the founders of March for Our Lives. They are powerful people making a difference.

Share with Others

We have power in numbers. Help spread the word and let others know that you will claim your power on Election Day.
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