With less than 50 days between us and the most important election of our lifetimes, we’re kicking into high gear at Equality North Carolina (ENC). On Sept. 9, we launched a “30 Days of Action” campaign called #OutToVote that will provide unique and innovative ways for North Carolinians to plug into our work supporting our 147 pro-equality candidates across the state.

From Town Halls to phone banking to recording videos about the importance of voting, we’re uplifting a call to action for the ENC community every day and invite you to add your voice to the chorus. #OutToVote will lead into a special weekend of activities over National Coming Out Day — the weekend before Early Voting begins on Oct. 15.

We’ve also set up a texting code for you to stay up-to-date on all things election 2020. To opt-in, just text “OutToVote” to 79606, and we’ll be in touch!

With so many crucial areas of focus right now, we’d like to provide you with an overview of what we’re putting the most energy into in the months ahead. We hope you’ll join us.

Census 2020: Be Counted

Thanks to the Trump administration shortening the deadline, there are only a few short days before you and your loved ones can no longer fill out the census. The deadline for self-response is Sept. 30!

At the time this column was written, North Carolina ranks 37th out the 50 states when it comes to census completion. This is abysmal and could have a longstanding impact on vulnerable North Carolina communities for the next 10 years.

Millions of Black, Brown, LGBTQ and resource-poor people are relying on a complete count to make sure that their communities receive necessary funding for vital services and infrastructure. We also depend on the census to ensure that our communities get their fair share of representatives in Congress. Communities that are under-counted will be under-resourced and underrepresented for the next 10 years.

We know that the chaos of this time may have made the census seem like less of a priority. But, in reality, it is one of a small number of powerful tools we have to shape the future of our lives on a local level. If you’ve already completed the census — that’s wonderful! Today, we challenge you to ask five people in your life if they’ve also filled it out.

It’s on all of us to make sure that our communities are counted and to leverage every tool we have to make this country a more equitable and compassionate place to live.

Can You Serve As A Poll Worker?

Do you have a few hours to help ensure that our polls are fully staffed and functional this election season?
Equality NC is encouraging LGBTQ folks, especially those who are young and healthy, to become official poll workers with the Board of Elections. Currently, we are experiencing poll worker shortages in almost every county across the state.

This is going to be ESSENTIAL to a smooth and fair election as, historically, poll workers tend to be older, retired individuals who are currently at greater risk during the pandemic. We’ve already seen this administration lay the groundwork for voter suppression through the USPS. Now, we must ensure that the voting process at the polls is as smooth and cohesive as possible.

ENC will also provide education for workers on the difficulties faced by LGBTQ folks at the polls, especially transgender and GNC (gender non-conforming) folks. To get started, please fill out this form, and we will forward your name to your county party for consideration.

From all of us at ENC, thank you for doing your part to ensure a fair and equitable election process. It’s on all of us.

Election 2020

ENC — and our endorsed candidates — need your support in the weeks ahead. It’s going to be a brutal and draining march to Nov. 3, and none of us are going to make it there alone. Do you have an hour a week to volunteer to support our work? Sign up on our website, and we’ll plug you in wherever you feel comfortable. Are you registered to vote? Do you know your early voting location? Do you know how to request an absentee ballot online? We’ve built out answers to all these questions and more on our voter FAQ. Check it out and make sure that you and your loved ones have a plan to vote. Decide what day. Figure out your childcare situation now. Don’t wait until October to map out your plan.

We also have a number of ways to get engaged already outlined on our #OutToVote campaign page. This is a living campaign, and new opportunities will be added as they come up, so, please, assess your capacity and keep checking back for new ways to get involved.

The future of our country depends on people who care deciding to step up over the next several weeks. We’re stepping up — and we hope that we can count on you to join us in this fight to build a more just and compassionate world for us all.