Voting impacts everyone’s future. Now more than ever, you can see your political officials direct influence on current events. With all work to keep their constituents safe and healthy during this Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the political process is in full force.
Other large changes have been seen in the past year. This can be seen with changes proposed surrounding abortion health care in several states. As abortion clinics in these states face threats of closure, health facilities in surrounding areas prepare for what that may mean for them.
At our Southwestern Women’s Options clinic in Albuquerque, NM we prepare for increased support that patients may need through possibility of restricted access and the Coronavirus pandemic. As an essential health care provider, our abortion clinics will stay open and available to all who need care.
Limited abortion access in other states may cause a large increase of need for funding support from out of state patients. This patient increase may also cause great impact on small and independent abortion providers with their limited capacity.
Southwestern Women’s facilities could also see these demands of more equipment, staff, extended hours, and need for more space. At Southwestern Women’s Options in Albuquerque, NM we are confident that abortion will remain under our state’s law. However, Southwestern Women’s Surgery Center in Dallas, TX faces much more threat from state and federal law changes.
Reproductive health care has been facing serious threats of major limitation due to policies that are being made by politicians, influenced by their personal beliefs, not for the welfare of their constituents. Unfortunately, abortion policy has a history of being based upon religious beliefs, rather than un-biased, scientific fact as all health care should be.
With the upcoming political season this 2020, we have the ability to influence these potential changes. It is important that your voice is heard. It is also important that you stay safe while voting during the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are some steps to get you ready for voting in the upcoming elections.
Register to vote.
If you aren’t registered to vote, you can visit Vote.gov. On this site can select your resident state and it will tell you the requirements specifically for your state. If you would Like to register in person, you can go to your local Department of Motor Vehicles or Armed Forces Recruitment Center.
Update your voter registration.
If you are unsure if you are registered, would like to check your registration status, or update your registration status, your Election Office can help you with these following questions.
- Am I registered?
- What is the status of my registration?
- What political party am I registered with?
- What if I need to update my information?
- Where is my polling station?
To know that you are registered, and what political party you are registered with can help with knowing what primary elections you can vote in. You can also verify your information is correct and find your polling location. Your local Election Office can be contacted to help you through this process. To find your Election Office visit usa.gov/election-office and choose your state or territory.
Know Voter ID requirements before you go.
Each state has different requirements surrounding what is acceptable identification. Find your state’s voter ID laws by visiting Ballotpedia.org and getting up to date information.
Learn about early voting or absentee voting if you are worried about getting to the polls on election day.
Reducing your exposure to the Coronavirus is important to slowing the overall rate of people getting sick at the same time. Going to early voting off of peak hours will allow you to keep your distance from others. Bring your own pen, sanitize it after use and wash your hands immediately after voting. To start navigating how to vote early visit usa.gov and follow their suggested steps.
It is equally important to avoid going out at all if you are in a high-risk category. High-risk means that you have a chronic medical condition like lung disease, heart disease, or if you are an older adult. Absentee voting would be the way to keep you at home, yet still be able to vote. To find how to sign up for absentee voting, and the time limit to do so, visit usa.gov and follow their suggested steps.
Decide who to vote for.
The League of Women Voters (LWV) is a great place to start to get up to date information about elections and politicians. The LWV provides nonpartisan (not bias towards any specific group) nationwide and state specific information. The year 2020 marks their 100th year of activism towards maintaining democracy in the United States.
It is important to vote for political officials that hold your same beliefs and values. But remember, your health and safety is of utmost importance.