Pole Dancers Power the Polls - How to vote in 2020!
Updated: Oct 17
Phew! 2020 brought us a whole new lexicon: droplet-blocking, social distancing, quarantine. We developed a whole new skill set: how to bake sourdough, how to zoom in a way that says “intently listening” while actually checking IG, and how to judge 6 ft. by sight. However you’ve spent 2020, the one thing we all must do now is VOTE! Overwhelmed by all the chaos surrounding this year’s election? Fear not, we’re here to help you make a voting plan that ensures your voice is heard!
Step 1: Make Sure You’re Registered to Vote!
Due to the pandemic, voting registration deadlines have been extended to October 24th, 2020.
Register online by visiting the MA Secretary of State voter registration website. To register online, you’ll need a valid RMV ID and a signature on file with the Secretary of State.
Register by mail by printing, filling out, and sending in a voter registration form. (Registration form in English, Español, or Zhongwen.) Somerville residents can call (617) 625-6600 x4200 during normal business hours and request that a registration form be mailed to them.
PS - We have voter registration forms at the studio - ask an instructor if you’d like one!
Step 2a: Voting by Mail / Drop Box
Voting by mail takes two steps in MA. First apply for a mail in ballot (by October 28th at 5pm!), then once you receive your ballot, complete and submit it!
Part 1: Applying for a vote by mail ballot:
Vote by mail applications have been sent to every registered voter in MA. If you haven’t received an application or just registered, find the application here. (We also have printed copies at the studio!)
To apply for a vote by mail ballot, fill out the application completely and return it to the Somerville Election Office or a ballot drop box. If you live in a different city, find where to mail your application here.
The Somerville Election Office’s address is: 93 Highland Avenue Somerville, MA 02143
Somerville Drop Boxes are located at:
93 Highland Avenue (City Hall concourse)
290 Washington Street (Front of the Argenziano School)
177 Powderhouse Blvd. (Outside West Somerville Neighborhood School)
115 Sycamore Street (Entrance to Winter Hill Community School)
167 Holland Street (Front of Tufts Administrative Building)
31 College Avenue (Front of Somerville Community Baptist Church)
269 Highland Avenue (Near Fire Engine 7)
Across from 66 Glen Street (Glen Street entrance to East Somerville Community School)
Near 351 Summer Street (Front of the Dilboy Post)
Near 182 Summer Street (Front of St. Catherine of Genoa Parish parking lot)
Use our map to find the location nearest you! Click on the orange polers to find information about each dropbox.
The city of Somerville must receive your application by Wednesday, October 28th at 5pm in order for you to receive a mail in ballot. If possible, it’s recommended that you apply by Wednesday, October 20th to ensure timely delivery of your ballot!
Part 2: Voting with your Mail in Ballot
Vote for the candidates or initiatives of your choice
Return your Vote by Mail Ballot to your city election office or local drop box - in Somerville, the locations are the same as where you’ll turn in your ballot application.
If you’re using a drop box, your ballot must be dropped off by November 3rd at 8pm. If you’re mailing in your ballot, it must be postmarked by November 3rd, and received by November 6th to be counted.
Part 3: Track your Ballot! Worried about your ballot on its journey from you to election officials? In MA you can track the progress of your ballot using the MA ballot tracker.
Step 2b: Early Voting
Avoid long lines and help reduce the number of folks that need to vote on Election Day! If you prefer to vote in person or didn’t apply for a Vote by Mail ballot in time, Early Voting is a great way to perform your civic duty!
In Somerville, Early Voting takes place at City Hall (93 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143). If you’re coming by the studio for a class, City Hall is only a 4 minute drive or 15 minute walk from Fly Together!
Vote early at the following dates and times:
Saturday, October 17, 2020 - 9am to 3pm
Sunday, October 18, 2020 - 9am to 3pm
Monday, October 19, 2020 - 8:30am to 4:30pm
Tuesday, October 20, 2020 - 8:30am to 4:30pm
Wednesday, October 21, 2020 - 8:30am to 4:30pm
Thursday, October 22, 2020 - 8:30am to 7:30pm
Friday, October 23, 2020 - 8:30am to 12:30pm
Saturday, October 24, 2020 - 2pm to 8pm
Sunday, October 25, 2020 - 9am to 3pm
Monday, October 26, 2020 - 8:30am to 4:30pm
Tuesday, October 27, 2020 - 8:30am to 4:30pm
Wednesday, October 28, 2020 - 8:30am to 4:30pm
Thursday, October 29, 2020 - 8:30am to 7:30pm
Friday, October 30, 2020 - 8:30am to 12:30pm
Not in Somerville? Find dates and times for early voting in your city here.
For both early voting and election day voting, you may be asked to show identification if it’s your first time voting in MA or you’re on the inactive voter list. Examples of identification include, “a current and valid driver’s license, photo identification card, current utility bill, bank statement, pay stub, government check, letter from your dormitory on school letterhead, or any other official and current document that shows your name and the address at which you are registered. You may present electronic identification to the poll worker, such as on a smart phone, if you do not have a hard copy.”
Step 2c: Voting on Election Day
Can’t resist the nostalgia of election day voting or can’t make it to the polls until November 3rd?
If you’re a Somerville resident, you can check our map of “Pole-ing” Polling locations here that has information on voting hours and locations. (Click on the polers in your precinct for location hours and other information)
MA residents can find their polling location and hours here.
Step 3: COVID Precautions for Voting In-Person
Now that you know where to go for voting, let’s talk about COVID safety. Making a plan for staying safe while voting in-person will help you feel cool, collected, and ready to make your voice be heard on election day!
First, prepare to suit up! Choose a mask that fits well and covers your mouth and nose. If you’re immunocompromised or in a high risk group, you may want to consider a mask with a higher degree of protection, like a KN95, which blocks >95% of particles less than 0.3 microns in size. (If you go this route, make sure the mask fits you well and does not leak. Some of our owners have had good luck sourcing these from HonestPPE.) For extra protection, wear glasses or safety glasses to cover your eyes or a face shield. (If you want to have fun with your face shield, check out ShieldPals for animal faces and more!)
On the day you vote, be sure to social distance from other voters in line and refrain from touching your eyes or face (face shields definitely help with this part!) The number of voters allowed inside polling locations may be limited to allow for distancing, so wear warm clothing and prepare for most of your wait in line to be outdoors. When voting, if you want to be extra careful, you can bring your own black pen for filling in your ballot. After handling your ballot and submitting it, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer to inactivate any virus you may have come into contact with.
Last, give yourself a high five for surviving pandemic voting and making your voice be heard!
Need more reasons to cast your ballot? 2020 is also the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. (It wasn’t until the Voting Rights Act in 1965, when it became illegal to disenfranchise voters based on race!) A few issues we’re thinking about when casting our votes are equal pay in the workforce (for every 100 men promoted to management, only 72 women were promoted, and that number is even lower for women of color!) and educational equity - education plays a major role in providing opportunities and, from an early age, boys and girls can be stereotyped by teachers and educated according to their gender-based attributes.
What are the issues that you feel passionate about? Who are the candidates/ ballot questions that support those issues and could make meaningful change if elected/passed?
Think about it and stay tuned for next week for a guide to the positions up for election and the candidates running for office!
We’re lucky to be based in a city with well-presented, clear information on how to vote. If you’re a Somerville resident and have any other questions, visit the Somerville voting information website.
If you’re a Massachusetts resident, visit the mass.gov voting website.
Want to show your voting pride AND support MassVOTE? Check out our Democracy Starts at the Polls merch - 15% of all sales are donated to MassVOTE. Grab yours here!