Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky and Texas Its Your Last Day to Register to Vote!

If you are in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky or Texas, today is the very last day to register in order to be eligible to vote in the November election. I won’t give you the speech or the spiel. I won’t even grant you the Spielberg.  You know that this election is important and that your voice should be heard. I don’t care what party you are affiliated with. I want you all to get out and vote. Exercise those rights that so many fought long and hard for!

Here are a few links for your reference:

Arizona General Election Voter Information

Colorado Elections and Voting Information

Florida Division of Elections General Voting Information

Indiana Voter Registration Information

 Kentucky Election Information

Texas Elections and Voter Information

Status of your voter registration here. You will also be given links to your precinct and your absentee ballot status. You can still get absentee ballots. As a general reminder, please remember that with absentee ballots you can mail it in or drop it off during early voting.

Here’s a bit more specific information for those of you who live in Orange County, FL. If you need additional info, Google it ;-). Or, just ask below and I’ll try my best to help you out.

If you register to vote today or have registered to vote after reading my previous posts, feel free to leave me a comment below. I’d love to hear from you.

Previous posts:

 

Mami Votes: Etiquette and the Election

I did not get to vote in an election until 2000. At that time I had the privilege of being in an office respectful of where I stood. Most of my superiors and a majority in my office where not of the same mindset as I was. In that office, I was given a false sense of security. We didn’t talk much about politics but when we did, it was friendly banter. I respected where they stood and vice-versa. Regardless of how we felt about the candidates, it was clear that we were on the same page where we stood with one another.

So, when I walked away from that office, I was hit hard with the very real feeling that not only did people NOT think like me but, they didn’t much care for my thoughts and opinions. Now, I’m used to being a minority on multiple levels especially as it has related to my professional life: usually the youngest (though sadly, I don’t think this would be the case today), the only female in a team, the only minority (and that last one has always been funny because a great deal of times, people have no idea which box to put me under but, that’s another blog for another day).

What I wasn’t prepared for was the feeling of fear that would grip me when I heard folks talking, using their words violently, about the choices I made. I learned to keep my mouth shut. I would always think about those men and women that came before me. The ones that were beaten, hosed and killed for having similar beliefs as mine and for fighting for their right to vote. I can’t say I know exactly what they felt but I will be very honest, I have been afraid, on more than one occasion, to broach the subject of politics in certain circles. Perhaps it's because I have had several reminders that I do indeed live in the south & that not everything is well and good as we'd like it to be.

I would politely walk away or share a very neutral opinion. See, I still believe that we can disagree without being distasteful. That just because we don’t see eye to eye doesn’t mean that we have to be disrespectful. But I am keenly aware that again, I’m in the minority with this frame of thinking.

Except that during the last election, I woke up the day after and pulled out my black pencil skirt, my black blazer and black pumps. And then, I pulled out my pink and green Obama shirt. I didn’t speak much that day. I didn’t gloat or fist-pump. I went about my business as I did every single day. Put in my 9+ hours of work all the while very aware of the eyes on me.

It was the very first time my entire family had voted. Both of my parents US Citizens by then. Both studying their ballots and asking questions. I loved that and was so proud of them because they took their jobs so seriously. It hurt me to think of what someone might say to them if they ever voiced their opinions.

So, I wore my shirt and it was my silent tribute to those who came before me. But since then, I haven’t gotten much better about speaking out, up until about a month ago. I was afraid I would lose some of you, afraid that I would encounter some of the hateful comments I have read on other blogs or on my Twitter stream. This time it was different though. See, I have a little girl now. I don’t want her to feel the need to hide her thoughts and ideas.

That’s when I decided to do the interview with Café Moms and begin this series. As a dialogue but also as a haven. I meant it when I said that I didn’t care how you voted so long as you did. I can respect your thoughts and opinions because it is my hope that you do the same for me.

Is it possible to start a dialogue in this very charged and polarized nation? Once again, I think it’s up to us Mamis to do the work. Here’s what’s important to me:

  1. That we respect one another
  2. That we REGISTER to vote and if we are that we
  3. Confirm that we are REGISTERED to vote & know what you have to bring to the polls
  4. That we drive an elderly friend or neighbor to the polls (and take a chair so they can sit and wait while the line is moving)
  5. That on November 7th we can still talk because it’s going to take each and every one of us to get the country moving forward. No matter who your candidate is

What's important to you?

Mami Votes

We Decide (The Latino Vote in 2012)

Recently, I was interviewed by Lindsay Ferrier from The Stir. The segment is titled Florida's Unpredictable Latina Vote. One of the things that impacted me the most was to hear someone in that interview state that they might not vote at all.  It reminded me of some of the points I made in my previous post about voting.

So imagine how excited I was to learn that nuvoTV is having the first ever Latino town hall special called We Decide: Speak up & Make a Difference.  I think that everyone needs to watch this, not just Latinos.

I recently heard that a great number of people (not just Latinos) don't know who our government representatives are. Yet, we are expecting these same people to turn out and vote come November! It looks like we are going to have to do some cramming.  We can't complain about the state of the union if we don't know who is involved in making decisions and we certainly can't make educated voting decisions if we don't even know who is in the race.  It's so much more than just the presidential election.  If you are unsure as to who represents you, go to Who Is My Representative and find out! Then get to know them and what they stand for.

It is shocking to me to see these numbers:

  • Eligible Whites who votes – 66%
  • Eligible African Americans who voted – 65%
  • Eligible Latinos who voted – 50%

With so many people in the world still fighting (and dying) to be able to speak freely and vote, it is difficult to swallow these numbers. Granted, a lot of people say that it is also their right not to vote. I don't necessarily agree. This is a democracy and we each have a responsibility to contribute to the running of our government. How else are we going to do it if we don't take part in the vote? I guess not voting is a way to do it but, is that really doing any good?

The important topics for me are those that a lot in the community are discussing: education, jobs and healthcare.  With 4.4 million African American and 6.1 million Latino children living in poverty, I can't think of a more important subject. Except maybe education (which for me, directly impacts the poverty level).  Forty one percent of Latinos and 23% of African Americans over 20 have no high school diploma.  These issues need to be addressed.

I can write about them day in and day out but if we don't ensure that we are voting in November then it's not going to change. Like I said, this isn't just about the presidential election. Be mindful about the local races as well. School districts, state senate, etc.  These are all important roles and we need to have a voice in who is in office.

I will be tuning in to this premier tomorrow. I'm at a point where I want to know what I can do to mobilize more of you out there who either are undecided or have perhaps decided not to vote in this election.  It is so important. It's not just about you or I.

My little girl will be affected by this vote and when I think about it from that perspective, it ignites me into wanting to spread the word or do anything that is within my grasp to ensure that voter turn out is its highest this coming November.

Tell me, are you voting? What topics are important to you and what can you do to ensure others around you vote as well?

A little about We Decide: Premiering on nuvoTV on Aug. 19 at 8PM, the We Decide Latino town hall special will be moderated by award-winning journalist Natalie Morales and will feature a panel of high-profile experts who will engage with a live audience and other virtual participants connecting through social media platforms. The hour-long program will explore how the presidential candidates are addressing issues specific to America's Latinos, including unemployment, healthcare and education.

Disclosure: Disclose that your post is compensated and in collaboration with Latina Bloggers Connect and nuvoTV. All thoughts and opinions are my own.