Is your band registered to vote? You ride in the van with these people, you probably know way more about them than you ever wanted to know, but do you know whether they are registered to vote?
You can find out what the rules are in your area on this website “Can I Vote?” (click here) The site is run by the National Association of Secretaries of State and it has a complete guide to every US state. Each state includes its voter registration website that will allow you to check in your home state to see if you (or your band) are registered already, and if you’re not, it will tell you how to get registered. You can also use the National Mail Voter Registration Form available through the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.
We really don’t care which party you favor, that’s not what this is about at all. We’re not partisan here at MTP. (And having been in those vans, I don’t advise you to get into your band mates political business, either.)
But what we do care about is just that you vote, and you can’t vote if you don’t register. And if you’re going to vote for a candidate, you should make sure that (1) you know what that candidate stands for, (2) the candidate knows that you’ll be in their district or state (their “constituent”), and (3) that the candidate knows what you stand for.
How do you let the candidate know what you stand for? This depends on how much time you have and how active you want to be. But you can sign up for mailing lists and get active.
At the end of the day though–you need to vote and you need to be registered by your state’s voter registration deadlines in order to vote in this November’s election and any other elections in your area before that. Those voter registration deadlines are coming up sooner than you think, so get it done now.
The next step after that is to get smart about your state’s absentee voter rules–these are special rules that allow you to vote from home and mail in your ballot if you’ll be on the road on election day. Your ballot will be counted just like everyone else. The voting function of state government is usually handled by the state “Secretary of State,” and that office keeps a website with this kind of information.
Try a search for “[YOUR STATE] absentee voter rules” and then look for the search result for “secretary of state” often abbreviated to “SOS”. If you lived in Texas, a search for “texas absentee voter rules” resulted in this link for the Texas Secretary of State Nandita Berry’s website and this link that tells you how to do it if you live in Texas. That page also has a link to an online absentee ballot application: http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/voter/reqabbm.shtml/ There are definitely rules for how far in advance of an election you can apply for an absentee ballot, so get smart about those deadlines if you want to go this route. Like everything else with voter registration–don’t wait, do it now.
After you get your band registered, you’ll be able to vote (in person or absentee), so check the election calendar for your state to see what elections are coming up.
Get your nation-wide election calendar here, or see it below.
And don’t forget–elections matter. If you find yourself represented by someone who opposes artist rights, you’ll feel extra pissed if you didn’t register and or if you registered but didn’t vote.
2014 Election Calendar
The calendar uses a set of codes to describe deadlines and elections and uses your state’s postal code abbreviation to identify the state where the entry applies. We’ve reproduced the calendars for April, May and June, but the full election calendar has every month this year