There are many ways to get involved with democracy. Themester interns partnered with PACE staff and students to compile this checklist of possibillities. Due to the upcoming U.S. presidential election, some of following items on this list are U.S.-centric, but most suggestions can be applied to engaging with political processes around the world.
- Follow elected representatives on social media. In the U.S., you can find your representatives at usa.gov.
- Interested in a particular issue? Follow the relevant experts or prominent activists and advocates on social media.
- Read articles regarding local, national, and international issues. Try out a new source of information for a different perspective.
- Subscribe to your local newspaper or check out the Indiana Daily Student (IDS).
- Write a letter to the editor of a newspaper or other legitimate news source.
- This fall, attend a Themester 2020 Democracy event or activity (see calendar).
- Watch a documentary about issues surrounding local or national political issues. Start with IU Libraries’ online service Kanopy, your local library’s online resources, or your favorite streaming service for no- or low-cost options.
- Sign up for PACE’s one-credit, one-day Issue Forum, PACE-C 200 "Partisan Politics: Challenges and Opportunities for Democracy in Trying Times."
- Contact your representatives(In the U.S.: www.usa.gov/elected-officials/) about an issue important to you.
- Sign up to work the polls for the U.S. election. Check out each state’s requirements. In Bloomington (Monroe County), you need to be a registered voter of the county.
- Watch a U.S. presidential debate (schedule and more information)
- Attend your hometown’s city or county council meeting online.
- Start or sign a petition In the U.S., one source for petitions is petitions.whitehouse.gov/.
- Register to vote. This year’s U.S. presidential election is Nov. 3. Find world-wide election dates at www.ndi.org/elections-calendar/. Depending on your state, your deadline to register could be as much as a month before the election. The deadline in Indiana is Oct. 5. More info at www.usa.gov/register-to-vote/.
- Find out how you can vote and make a plan. Can you vote early? Can you vote by mail?
- Help an older friend or relative sign up to vote by mail (Indiana allows people older than 65 to vote by mail.)
- Research the candidates before you vote. In the U.S., start with www.usa.gov/voter-research/.
- If you are a U.S. citizen and otherwise qualify, vote on or before Election Day, Nov. 3.
Learn more about electoral engagement for students, faculty, and staff in the areas of voter registration, non-partisan voter education, and voter turnout at Indiana University’s Big 10 Voting Challenge.