Get involved! Three ways to make a difference this election season

Published on October 14, 2020 in


Apple cider or pumpkin spice latte. Zoom or Google Hangouts. Absentee or in-person voting. There’s plenty to debate right now in America. But one thing we can all agree on? Voting is important. 

At United Way for Southeastern Michigan, we know that voting is an essential way to change our communities for the better, and to stay civically engaged. We work to ensure everyone can exercise their right to vote. 

You may be tired of hearing the constant reminders to “get out and vote” as we approach the Nov. 3 election. So after you do your research and fill out your own ballot, we’d like to share a few ways to help ensure that everyone has the information and the access needed to vote safely. 

Become a poll worker

This year, with many people staying home due to the pandemic, local clerks are struggling to find enough election workers to staff their polling places.

Signing up to be a poll worker is one of the most impactful things you can do to help keep polling places safe and efficient, ensuring that everyone can participate. 

As a volunteer poll worker, you’ll be paid while you help to provide free and fair elections for all. Any registered voter in Michigan can be a poll worker, and 16- and 17-year-olds are also eligible.  

Most cities have put extra precautions in place to help keep poll workers and voters safe, and provide personal protective equipment for all poll workers. Check with the city clerk’s office to see what precautions they’re taking and what they require from poll workers, like providing your own mask. 

Visit the website to sign up to be a poll worker.

You can also work as a nonpartisan poll watcher or challenger. Sign up with on our Volunteer Portal.

Get out the vote

You can stay safe and do your part to get more people to the polls this election season. It starts by making sure that your family, friends and people in your physical and virtual communities are all voting.

Sign up to remind people to vote through virtual phone banking with Voters Not Politicians; or help protect voting rights at the polls as a civil rights poll monitor with Michigan United.

Additionally, national nonprofit and United Way partner When We All Vote offers multiple easy ways to get involved, from sharing content on social media to starting your own “voting squad” to get people in your community registered and prepared to vote. 

“We can all make a difference in our democracy by inspiring more Americans to make their voices heard at the ballot box,” When We All Vote states on its website. “The work begins in our communities — neighbor to neighbor, friend to friend.”

Click here to find out more ways to educate voters in your community from When We All Vote. 

Spread the word

United Way shares important information for Southeastern Michigan voters on our social media—and you can help us get the word out! 

Follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter and retweet, share and regram our content leading up to the Nov. 3 election. We’ll share important deadlines, dos and don’ts for voting absentee, FAQs for voters and more. 

Bonus: Take a “velfie!” What’s a velfie, you ask? A voting selfie! Snap a photo with your absentee ballot, dropping off your ballot, or at the polls on Nov. 3 and post it to your social media. Tag @UnitedWaySEM so we can share it!