In response to the September newsletter survey, our readers asked for actions they can take, for positive news, and for ways to stay hopeful.

I’m delighted to be talking about something that addresses all of these requests: GOTV or Get Out The Vote!

There are only 4 weeks left until election day. Be sure to check your mailbox because mail-in ballots will arrive within the next few days. Mail-in ballots will need to be returned asap to make sure the Post Office gets them back to the polling place in time and to ensure that your vote gets counted. If you can, drop them in a polling box yourself rather than mailing them. Visit to find a VSPC (Voter Service and Polling Center) or drop-off location in your county and to verify its hours.

It’s a sad fact that U.S. citizens aren’t exactly enthusiastic voters. In the last 50 years, the highest percentage of voting-eligible folks actually casting their vote was 57%. Compare that with 82% in Sweden and 87% in Denmark. Is it just coincidence that the Danes also rank as the happiest people on earth?

If we put our minds and bodies to it, we can do better than the past 50 years.

Here are 7 actions YOU can take to help Get Out The Vote to advance climate efforts:

#1. Vote!

2, Join phone banking and text banking efforts. Calling or texting potential voters is a very effective way to remind and persuade people to vote! and are partnering with the Environmental Voter Project to contact 130,000 Colorado voters.

We are looking for volunteers to call and text potential voters three nights a week until election day (sign up here). After participating in an online training and getting acquainted with our evidence-based, suggested language, you can join virtual phone banking parties for shared energy and umph or you can make calls on your own time, at your own pace! For phone-phobic people like myself, The Environmental Voter Project can set you up to support in text banking efforts instead.

3. Multiply your vote by making sure all your friends, relatives, partners and colleagues are registered to vote and remind them to actually do it! Try to find two or three non-voters among your peers and persuade them to vote. Hold them accountable come election day, perhaps by holding a virtual party where their “I VOTED” sticker is their “ticket” in.

One often cited reason for the dreadfully low voter turn-out is that many young people feel that there is no real choice between the candidates. Well, that’s certainly not the case this year! Young folks, including under voting-age youth activists, are turning up to fight for their future. Make sure you talk to all the young people (18+) around you and help them register to vote if they aren’t. Remind them that their future is at stake.

4. Register new voters. Colorado’s registering process is all online, quick and easy. Even if you’ve voted before, double-check on the website that you are indeed registered and that your personal info is up-to-date (name, address, party affiliation). Signing up a new voter takes about 2 minutes and Colorado allows same-day registration on election days!

If you want to get more involved, you can volunteer with  New Era Colorado, the “leading voice for young people in Colorado politics.” They send volunteers out with clipboard and voter registration forms (for voters who prefer the old-fashioned way of signing up) as well as their cellphones (for those who prefer signing up quickly and electronically). Please don’t forget to wear your mask if you decide to register voters in person.

5. Send letters. Several local and national organizations are currently running letter writing campaigns. You can choose to work with a campaign that targets all voters or one that specifically targets climate voters.

Vote Forward volunteers send “heartfelt handwritten letters to unregistered and low-propensity voters encouraging them to participate in our democracy.” The message you are asked to send is simple, regardless of what candidate or issue they support, “go VOTE!”

Sierra Club Independent Action specifically writes to voters who support environmental and climate justice and climate change solutions. They will provide you with PDFs of 10 letters at a time. You print them out, add your personal note(s), address the envelope (and decorate it if you like), and mail your letters out on the specified date. You can do this independently at your own pace, one letter (or three dozen!) at a time, or you can do it as a group. You can join a virtual letter writing party or you can organize your own group of friends and host your own virtual or socially-distanced letter writing party. 

6. Other creative ways to get out the vote:

  • Put up hand-painted yard signs that say VOTE
  • Brighten up with your sidewalk with chalk messages reminding people to VOTE
  • Turn your car into a message board by printing VOTE signs and taping them into side windows; or use special car window markers from any office supply store, or basic acrylic paint, to write a beautiful red/white/and blue VOTE in your rear window
  • Wear a T-shirt or a mask that says VOTE (Etsy offers a variety of masks and T-shirts) or a VOTE necklace like Michelle Obama did at her most recent speech (also available at Etsy).
  • Post photos and videos on social media leading up to and on election day. Consider using hashtags to increase visibility such as #vote, #vote2020, #yourvotematters, or #climatevoter. Many states, counties, and districts have localized hashtags such as #denvervotes.
  • Add a “please vote” by-line to your e-mail signature.

7. Help out on election day, Tuesday, November 3, as a poll worker or as a driver (talk to a local senior center if they need help, offer a ride to neighbors on Next Door, etc.). A great no-contact way to support the cause on election day is to send out text messages to all of your contacts reminding them that this is the day they get to have a say in fighting the climate crisis and shaping their future.

Action indeed is the antidote to depression. Thanks for all you do!

Help us get out the vote! You can help us reach our goal of contacting 130K Colorado voters by making a donation to help fund the time and efforts of our organizers! Click here to donate.