— Find out how to vote early in your state

Now that early voting registration is over in most states, it’s time to think about actually voting!

I think of elections in 3 ways:

  1. Voter Registration Done. (Everyone is registered, right?)
  2. Voter Education
  3. Election Protection

Voter Education means making sure people know the rules & laws of voting in their state so that they can exercise their right to vote in the way that is legal and most convenient for them. Brandon’s list of MI Voting Rights is a great education tool, and something similar exists for each state. Election protection is the process of making sure that every vote that is cast is correctly counted. We’ll get to this one shortly…

Vote Early or Absentee if you can

Here’s why you should vote early:

  1. If there are issues or problems with your registration, you can have them addressed long before election day.
  2. Voting earlier means your vote is counted earlier, which means that there’s less of a chance of your vote magically changing on election night.
  3. It just makes your life easier. Take a look at this great blog post on Early Voting at Daily Kos.

Know How To Vote -- Early & Absentee Voting info for every stateIn the spirit of Voter Education & encouraging voters to vote smart and vote early, I created a site called Know How To Vote ( Know How To Vote will tell you how to vote early in your state (if it’s possible), and how to vote absentee in your state. You can find the info in 2 ways:

  1. From your cell phone:
    Text HOWTOVOTE & your state’s 2-letter abbreviation (e.g. MI for Michigan) to 41411.This will let you know if you can vote early in your state and if voting absentee in your state requires an excuse. It will also give you a website URL that you can go to for more detailed information.
  2. From the web @
    Go to the site and type in your state’s 2-letter abbreviation to see detailed early & absentee voting info for any state, including whether you can vote early at all, in person, or by mail, and how to submit your reason/excuse for early/absentee voting according to state law

Find out quickly how to vote early in your state, wherever you are. If you’re talking about voting with your friends at work and on the bus, show them on the spot how to vote early by sending a text message.

In this election season, using technology to help the electoral process is not only easier than ever, it’s more important than ever. Sending text messages is already fun; let’s make it meaningful.

One Love. One II.

P.S. Yes, this was a personal plug :-).


Tags: ,

About Garlin Gilchrist II

I am the City of Detroit's first ever Deputy Technology Director for Civic Community Engagement. My job is to open up the city's public data and information for the consumption and benefit of all Detroiters. I currently live in Detroit, my hometown, with my beautiful wife Ellen and our twins Garlin III and Emily Grace. I'm from Detroit. I created Detroit Diaspora, and was formerly the National Campaign Director at I also co-hosted The #WinReport on "The Good Fight," a an award winning, nationally syndicated radio show that was one of Apple's Best of 2013. After graduating with degrees in Computer Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Michigan, I became a Software Engineer at Microsoft. By day, I helped build SharePoint into the fastest growth product in the company's history. On my personal time, I sought out opportunities to connect my technical skills with community building efforts across the country. This led to my co-founding The SuperSpade: Black Thought at the Highest Level, a leading Black political blog. I served as Social Media Manager for the 2008 Obama campaign in Washington, and then became Director of New Media at the Center for Community Change. I spent two years creating and implementing a strategy for the Center to take it's 40 years of community organizing experience into the digital age. I speak before diverse audiences on effective & responsive government, empowerment in revolutionary new organizing spaces, increasing civic engagement & participation through emerging technologies and protecting civil rights in the age of the Internet. Full bio here.

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Know How to Vote + NAACP = Empowered Voters : The SuperSpade - October 24, 2008

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: