Over 1,000 Polling Locations Have Closed Since 2012. So We’re Doing Something About It
The clock is ticking down to the presidential election on November 3, 2020 — do you know who you’re tapping as your +1 to your local polling place? Another, equally important question: Do you know where your polling place is?
Chances are, you do: According to a recent poll conducted by YouGov and MTV News, 80 percent of Gen Z respondents and 91 percent of millennial respondents said it was relatively easy to find their polling place in a recent election. They also said it wasn’t difficult to find time to vote, and only 8 percent of Gen Zers and 10 percent of millennials said they have skipped voting in a primary or general election for which they were eligible to cast their ballot. All of this is super encouraging; after all, those two generations comprise the largest bloc of eligible voters. And if every young person who can vote shows up to the polls later this year, they’ll be able to influence history. That is, if their polling locations are still around.
Polling places across the country are disappearing. A September 2019 study by the Leadership Conference Education Fund found that hundreds of locations nationwide had closed since 2012. Such closures have an outsized impact on people of color and other marginalized folks, many of whom struggle with getting the time off from their jobs, accessing proper ID, and even catching a ride to their polling location. But it shouldn’t be work to make your voice heard.
Enter +1 The Polls, a joint effort between MTV and the Campus Vote Project, the Alliance for Youth Organizing, and the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition that is working to establish new polling sites on college campuses and in local communities. We’ve locked in four new locations: Look for us at the College of Canyons in Santa Clarita, California; East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina; and Texas A&M University and Texas State University in Galveston and San Marcos, Texas. We’re also supplying toolkits and plenty of info so, by the time November rolls around, you and your +1 have your vote on lock.
Want to get involved? Head to polls.plus1thevote.com for more info — and mark your calendars: Election Day is 257 days away.
Over 4 million people will turn 18 between now and the 2020 election. MTV’s +1thevote is encouraging all potential first-time voters to register and vote this November. It’s time to make voting easier to do, and part of the milestones already happening in your life, from prom to graduation to birthdays. It’s a year-long party and +1thevote is inviting you to help us shape the future. Who’s your +1?
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