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2020 Election: Women's Health is On the Ballot

2020 is an election year, and women’s health is on the ballot. Engaging in the electoral process is one of the most critical ways to impact the health care your community receives, ensure your elected representatives work to support your practices and your patients, and hold politicians accountable to evidence-based policies.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020, which is right around the corner! The stakes just keep getting higher for our specialty and our patients. That’s why ACOG is leading the charge to ensure that the voices of the ob-gyn community are heard at the polls this year and that all of our members are inspired, informed, and ready to Get Out the Vote! 

In the coming weeks, we will continue to add voter information, social media content, physician stories, and more to help you make a voting plan, choose the candidates you support, and spread the word about the importance of voting. Check back regularly for new information and resources, and keep an eye on our social media channels for real-time updates.

What is at Stake: ACOG's Policy Priorities

These profiles will help you evaluate where the candidates on YOUR ballot stand on issues that are most important to you. 

Each issue features an overview of ACOG’s position and questions to ask as you research a candidate’s track record and platform. One place to start is a candidate’s campaign site, but you’ll want to also look for op-eds they’ve published, media statements they’ve made, and social media posts weighing in on topical issues; if they’re elected officials, check out positions they’ve taken on key issues in the past. You can also directly ask candidates questions by checking if they will be holding virtual town halls or other interactive opportunities. Email, Twitter, and Facebook are other ways to start a dialogue with candidates! 

This list is far from comprehensive! ACOG works daily on a wide breadth of issues of importance to ob-gyns and our patients. The topics profiled here are ones ACOG has identified as high-profile and consequential in the coming election, but we know there are many issues our members are passionate about that impact public health, women’s health, and obstetrician-gynecologists’ practices. If your issue is not on this list, check out our advocacy page for a broader menu of ACOG’s advocacy priorities, and let us know what issues you advocate for that affect your patients and your practices.  

 

ACOG’s Policy Priorities

Make Your Voting Plan

Research shows that planning the logistics of voting can improve the likelihood of voting.  In the middle of a pandemic, it’s especially important to start thinking through these factors early to give yourself, your election officials, and the postal service plenty of time.  It sounds simple, but having a detailed plan written out can make the difference between having your vote counted or missing your chance to be heard! 

To avoid large crowds during the COVID-19 pandemic, many states are making alternatives to Election-Day voting more available, and for clinicians with hectic schedules, taking advantage of these options can be especially useful.

Here are some considerations you’ll need to think through as you start making your plan to vote.  Once you know the answers to these questions, write down the specific details of your plan.

First things first:

  • Are you registered to vote? You can confirm your registration status at the following websites:
  • Even if you think you’re registered, double check to confirm!
  • When is your registration deadline? (Don’t wait! But you may want to be aware in case someone else asks.)
  • Can you vote early in your state, either in person or by mail?

Mailing in your ballot or early in-person voting may be a good option for physicians with busy schedules — or for anyone looking to limit potential COVID exposure by avoiding busy polling locations on Election Day. Each state has different laws about early voting and mail-in voting. You can learn more about the options in your state by finding your state: 

Voting by mail (sometimes called "absentee” voting)

  • Do you need to provide a reason to vote by mail, or are all residents eligible? Your state may have broadened this option due to COVID-19.
  • Do you need to request a ballot, or does your state automatically send ballots to all voters?
  • Confirm the process—once your ballot comes in the mail, will you mail it back, or is there an option to drop your ballot in a secure Mail Ballot Drop Box?
  • Start the process early!  The US Postal Service recommends mailing your ballot at least 7 days before Election Day, and requesting your ballot at least 15 days in advance - that's a minimum! Don't cut it close!
  • Follow instructions carefully!  Don’t let an accidental typo invalidate your ballot!

If you do plan to vote by mail, request your ballot today! You’ll want to make sure to mail in your ballot by early- to mid-October to ensure that it arrives in time. It’s also a good idea to follow up with a call in a week or two, to make sure your ballot has been received and processed without any issues.

Voting by mail? Download Graphics to spread the word: Twitter and LinkedIn | Facebook and Instagram

Voting early, in person:

  • Can you vote early at a polling place?
  • Where can you vote early? It may not be the same polling location you’re used to. 
  • Does your state have ID requirements? What are they?
  • Can you vote early by dropping your ballot in a secure Mail Ballot Drop Box?

Voting early, in person? Download Graphics to spread the word: Twitter and LinkedIn | Facebook and Instagram

Voting in person, on Election Day:

  • Does your state have ID requirements? What are they?
  • Where is your polling place? Is it your usual polling place, or has your city or county opened up new options because of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • When do polls open? When do they close?
  • Think through logistics: What time of day will you vote? Where will you be coming from? What is your plan in case of a delay, such as a long line?
  • Have you coordinated with your colleagues, your residency program, or your institution to ensure you and your colleagues have protected time?

Voting in person, on Election Day? Download Graphics to spread the word: Twitter and LinkedIn | Facebook and Instagram

What's on Your Ballot?

What’s on the ballot? While you’re looking up your voting options at https://www.usa.gov/election-office, you can also learn about what will be on your ballot this year. The Presidential election gets a lot of press, but even very local offices like school board can have a big impact on day to day life in your community! And while everyone will be voting on the next President, different states, counties, and cities have different governing structures and term lengths for many offices, so many of the federal, state, and local offices you’ll be voting on depend on where you live. 

For example, all of the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are up for election every two years, so everyone will vote on one House seat this year. However, the 100 seats of the U.S. Senate rotate in three separate classes, so only about a third of the U.S. Senate seats are up for election every two years. Will you be voting for a U.S. Senator this year?

Your state and local elections will also depend on your jurisdiction. Are you in one of the 11 states or two territories that will be electing a Governor this year? Will you be voting on state legislators, judges, sheriffs, or commissioners? You’ll want to start thinking about all of this before you head to the polls!

We’ll keep updating this page with more information about how and why to Get Out The Vote this year. Keep an eye out for emails and social media posts as well, and please help us spread the word by forwarding, sharing, and retweeting. We can’t let this opportunity pass us by – there’s too much at stake. Women’s health is on the ballot!