Voting and Elections
The Racial Justice and Public Policy Department is dedicated to providing information to educate all members of YWCA's community on the importance of voting, early learning, youth development and racial equity.
- YWCA Minneapolis is a nonpartisan organization; we support policies that help us fulfill our mission of "eliminating racism and empowering women, girls and youth." We do not endorse any one political party or candidate. YWCA, however, can support or oppose constitutional amendments.
- YWCA Minneapolis' top priorities are access to high-quality, affordable, early childhood education and afterschool youth programs for all Minnesota families, regardless of race, economics or culture.
Why Should You Vote?
- It's your constitutional right. Many people acted protested and advocated to get the right to vote, and some even lost their lives. To this day, there are still communities that can't vote. If you are a U.S. citizen, are at least 18 years old by Election Day, have been a Minnesota resident for 20 days, and have finished with all parts of any felony sentence, you can vote on Election day.
- A vote is a voice! Every vote matters, and voting helps provide just representation of the people. And remember, elections don’t just happen every four years when we elect a President. Local elections are held every year, and these elections have major impacts on our day-to-day lives, from the quality of our roads and transit systems to the schools or children attend.
- Voting is one of the easiest ways to advocate for what you believe in. Do you want something to change, stay the same, increase or decrease? Whatever it is, share it! You have a story that powerful and worthy of being heard. No one can speak your experience better than you, and your vote reflects that.
Before casting your vote, here's a voter engagement checklist to help you prepare.
- If you've never voted, if you’ve moved or changed your name since the last election or you haven't voted in five years, you need to register to vote or update your voter registration.
- Connect with your networks about voting. Encourage three people to register and pledge to vote, or get information about the upcoming election.
- Find your polling place. If you plan to vote in-person on Election Day, you’ll need to know where to go! Most polling places are open 7:00 am to 8:00 pm.
- See what's on your ballot. Before heading to the polls, use trusted sources to research the candidates and ballot issues you’ll be voting on. A few things to look for and ask yourself:
- Does the candidate have a website, Twitter account or Facebook page?
- Where do they stand on the issues that are important to you? Some issues to think about:
- Early Childhood Education/Pre-K
- K-12 Education
- Afterschool Funding and Youth Development
- Women Issues and Gender Equity
- Racial Equity and Civil Rights
- Local/Small Businesses
- Health Care
- Violence/Crime Prevention
- Voting Rights
- What are the candidate’s top priorities?
- What are your top priorities?
- Is the candidate endorsed by anyone, such as an organization or group? If so, who?
- Does the candidate have a voting record? If so, what have they voted for and against in the past?
These questions are important to ask so you feel confident in the vote you cast! Set aside 5-10 minutes each day to dig into the candidates and issues on your ballot. Take it a step further: attend an open house or candidate panel to hear directly from candidates about the issues facing your community.
Email us to keep posted on opportunities to volunteer with YWCA Minneapolis Voter Engagement events.