Earth Action: Build Your Ballot

To honor Earth Day’s 52 years of environmental motion, Earth911 is presenting 52 Actions for the Earth. Each week via Earth Day 2023, we’ll share an motion you’ll be able to take to spend money on the Earth and make your individual life extra sustainable. Individual motion is critical to cease local weather change, however it isn’t sufficient. Industry and governments should get on board. Fortunately, particular person Americans can affect the federal government via the elections course of. This week, in preparation for the midterms, you’ll be able to spend money on the Earth by constructing your poll.

Action: Build Your Ballot

Voter Turnout

The 2020 presidential election had the best voter turnout up to now this century, with 66.8% of residents 18 years and older voting. It nonetheless wasn’t excessive in comparison with different democratic nations. The United States ranks 30 out of the 35 OECD international locations for voter turnout. We do even worse throughout midterm elections, when turnout drops by a couple of third.

There are many causes folks don’t vote, from voter suppression legal guidelines that cut back eligibility or that make registering tough to the logistical challenges of in-person voting. And sadly, many Americans don’t consider that their vote could make a distinction. As many as 15% of registered voters didn’t vote within the 2016 presidential election for that motive. But voting remains to be a strong instrument to drive change, and a single vote could make a distinction.

Midterms Matter

The president of the United States holds arguably crucial elected place on this planet. But that doesn’t imply midterm elections are unimportant, particularly for environmentally minded voters. Anyone who makes coverage has a possibility to assist the surroundings. Midterm elections fill many federal roles, whereas native races decide issues like colleges, zoning, tree ordinances, and different points with fast environmental impacts.

Build Your Ballot

Hopefully, you’re already registered to vote, however when you aren’t, it may not be too late.

This week, do a little analysis and planning forward of the election. Start by confirming that you’re registered to vote. Find your polling place and make a plan for getting there on election day. Some states can have lengthy traces, so clear your calendar now. You would possibly be capable of signal as much as vote by mail as a substitute. The web site Howto.vote can assist you determine the voting course of in your state.

Once you understand how to vote, you might want to determine what your vote might be. Voting unprepared might lead to casting your poll in favor of candidates who don’t align together with your civic and environmental values. Use the Skimm’s on-line instrument to see what might be in your poll. Before November 8, put aside a while to search for the candidates in your poll (even for “little” races like the varsity board). Google “inexperienced voter information” + your state or county to see if any environmental organizations have evaluated native candidates’ eco-credentials. Check out the League of Conservation Voters scorecard and endorsements for nationwide races. Taking time to construct your poll earlier than election day will make sure that you take advantage of your vote.

Feature picture courtesy of Edmond Dantès, Pexels