BUFFALO, N.Y. — Tuesday, September 22 is National Voter Registration Day. That means election day is less than fifty days away. Whether you are voting by mail or in-person, if you plan to vote in the 2020 election, you have until October 9 to register.
With time ticking, local organizations are stepping up to ensure that all voices are heard. Which means organizations, groups, and leaders are working collaboratively to get as many people registered to vote as possible.
Erie County Legislature Chairwoman April Baskin is doing her part to mobilize new voters with her "Chairwoman's Challenge." Her goal is to encourage organizations, block clubs, groups, churches, non-profits, etc. to mobilize voter registration the last 20 days that you can vote in New York State.
Baskin launched the challenge last weekend and within days 11 organizations have agreed to rise to the challenge. Twenty people in 20 days, she says. That is their challenge.
"We're in trying times and the only way to come out of this successfully is for people to exercise their civic duties," Baskin said.
The Buffalo-Niagara chapter of the National Action Network has already signed up to participate.
Kent Olden is the organization's PR Coordinator and says, members have stepped up in ways unlike ever before. From signing up to participate in the march on Washington back in August, to volunteering for their voter registration drives, members are motivated to educate others on voter rights and voter education.
"I think it is very important for the younger generation to understand just how much power they have in just showing up," Olden said.
When it comes to issues like criminal justice reform, police accountability, and voting rights, the National Action Network wants to ensure that everyone, especially the most marginalized, have the opportunity to make their voices heard. Furthermore, to understand why their voices have a huge impact on the results of this election.
Olden tells 2 On Your Side, "Anyone who has turned on the television at any point this year can understand how those three right there is what our efforts are all about come Election Day."
Saturday, September 26 the local chapter is hosting a Voter Registration and Census Submission Drive at Miracle Missions Full Gospel Church from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. While there, you can sign up to be a poll worker or monitor, register for a ride to the polls on Election Day, make a family plan, request an early voter or absentee ballot, complete the 2020 census, and learn how to sign up for the Chairwoman's Challenge.
2 On Your Side is also here to help. Our team has designed a Voter Guide and a Voter Access Team to help answer your questions throughout the process.