Perspectives on music education. Have a point of view? Let us know. You're amongst friends.
We believe democracy functions best when the governed are participants in the governance. That is, after all, what it’s all about. In 2020, the challenges of a hyper-polarized electorate and a global pandemic have exacerbated voter suppression efforts and unfounded claims of widespread fraud, creating doubts as to whether we can have a free and fair election. This effort to spread disinformation to discourage voting is contrary to our basic democratic values.
"For this Nation to remain true to its principles, we cannot allow any American's vote to be denied, diluted, or defiled. The right to vote is the crown jewel of American liberties, and we will not see its luster diminished."
~ President Ronald Reagan
The freedom to choose our leaders is fundamental to our political system, and voting should be easy and encouraged for all citizens. Restricting or complicating a person’s ability to vote is tantamount to seeking to take away their freedom. (If you’d like to learn more about your rights as a voter, visit vote.org here: vote.org/election-protection)
"We should be doing everything possible to make it easier for people to participate in the political process. If we believe in a vibrant democracy, we must have the highest voter turnout in the world."
~ Senator Bernie Sanders
You can help to overcome this threat to our democratic values in two simple ways: you can vote safely and legally right now, and you can encourage your friends and family to vote. First, look up your state’s rules and pick the safest, simplest means of voting available to you. As we are but a month away from Election Day, an early, in-person vote would help to alleviate any concerns about mail-in ballots arriving late, but if you do not feel safe voting in person, there is still time to get your ballot and vote by mail. In some states, you can even place your mail-in ballot directly in a secure ballot box.
Talking about voting can be intimidating since some people feel it’s very personal. HeadCount put together a great guide on how to talk to your friends who may not be voting: headcount.org/talk-about-voting. Be sure to be empathetic, and remember that your goal is to encourage them to vote, not to find out who they’re voting for.
Through the power of the polls, we can ensure that our rights are protected for generations to come. Make your voice heard. Voting empowers!