New Year, New Elections: Ways to Prepare for the 2024 Elections

Judy Beard

January 8, 2024

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As we ring in the new year, many of us make promises of personal positive life changes that we call resolutions. This year, I hope you make one more resolution: to become an active voter! While voter turnout in presidential elections is higher than midterm and off-year elections, approximately one-third of those eligible to vote in 2020 chose not to exercise their right to vote. According to the U.S. Elections Project, just over 66 percent of the voting-eligible population cast a ballot in the last presidential election. Although this is the highest turnout since 1900, and in-line with high turnout levels in the 1950s and 1960s, many other countries around the globe experience higher turnout.

The work must start now to ensure that everyone who can vote does, and understands how voting impacts their lives. I’m asking our members to confirm you are registered to vote in 2024. Go to and click “Check Your Registration” – it takes less than a minute to check your registration status! Due to recent voter roll purges, it is crucial that you always check your registration status, which is also a good starting point for those who are not registered.

My second ask of you is to make a plan to vote in both your primary election or caucus and the Nov. 5, 2024, presidential election. The elections before November shape who and what gets on the ballot, and it is crucial that you have a say in the process.

Lastly, I ask that you contact three people and ask them to check their voter registration status as well. Share the resource and explain that voting is the key to making positive changes at all levels of government: local, state, and federal. Casting your ballot is essential to making your voice heard and helping to hold our elected officials accountable.

Vote Down the Ballot!

The title of this article says elections, not election, because 2024 is more than just a presidential election. Governors, state legislatures, city councils, school boards, local judges, police chiefs, and more, all shape the policies that govern you and your family’s lives. Some states and localities have various ballot initiatives and referenda to vote on, giving constituents a direct say in policies that can affect you and your family.

Although many workers do not have the time to attend all of their community meetings, such as city councils, school boards, or town halls, try to attend some and study your ballot ahead of voting. Research the candidates in your region so that you can make an educated decision as to who you believe will best represent you and your loved ones.

One easy method of ensuring you have the time to adequately research each candidate on your ballot is through vote-by-mail! What better way is there to research candidates and referenda than at your leisure in your own home?

To find out how vote-at-home friendly your state is, visit the Vote at Home Institute’s website at and check to see if you can receive your next ballot at home, and check your state’s Vote-by-Mail requirements.

Being an active voter can mean participating in phone banking or door knocking with your state and local AFLCIO, or by simply continuing to keep conversations going with those around you about how we can make progress to improve our lives by voting. The key to getting out the vote is to help others register to vote, and know when, how, and where to vote. The right to vote was hard-fought and should be fulfilled each and every election cycle! Staying silent is simply not an option when our democracy is on the line. ■

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