In a time of pandemic and national turmoil, many Americans feel anxiety over the upcoming general election. Will they be able to vote safely? If they are receiving a ballot by mail, can they depend on the USPS to return it in time?
In a new grass-roots effort, a small team came up with a new idea, and quickly brought it to life: the #VotercadeChallenge. Registered voters who are voting by mail can plan a Votercade — a trip to their county elections office or nearby dropoff location — with patriotic clothing and décor encouraged. As “Votercaders” submit their ballots, they can add a #DropoffDance or #BallotBump, then upload a picture or video to their favorite social media platform and tag 5 friends to a #VotercadeChallenge of their own.
“My friend Bob Globerman initially asked the question, how can we make it fun for voters to fill out their ballots at home and drop them off in person?” asked Stacy Stern, one of the project founders. “I shared this conversation with Erica Nataren, who was introduced to me by a mutual friend, and we landed on the #VotercadeChallenge idea. The three of us met and decided to launch the project, and Erica went to work creating the website.”
The new site, https://www.VotercadeChallenge.com, gives voters all the info they need to plan their own #VotercadeChallenge.
“A couple of things were really important to us,” explains Nataren. “First, while we do have our own political opinions, we wanted this to be a 100% non-partisan effort so that everyone feels comfortable sharing and participating.
“We also wanted it to be something that individuals can do on their own or virtually. We want to encourage participation with neighbors, but sometimes a solo trip is just easier.”
This year, when Americans are sharply divided, all three hope to offer something everyone can agree on: that voting can and should be something to look forward to doing — together.