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Voting should be safe, simple, and exercised by every citizen. But, what happens when it is not?

Pop quiz! When is the 2020 US election?

If you said, Tuesday, November 3rd, ding, ding, ding, you’re right.

I would have also accepted the answer, today, September 18, or any day between September 18 and November 3. Let me explain.

In most states, you can request an absentee ballot today. When your absentee ballot arrives, you can go ahead and vote.

In Minnesota, early, in-person voting starts September 18. You can vote in person at your county election office.

And, some cities and towns offer in-person absentee voting. Check with your city clerk’s office for more information.

So, important question, what’s your plan to vote? When will you vote? How will you vote? How will you get there? Who else will you take with you?

Voter Suppression is Alive and Well

The 15th Amendment was passed in 1870. It says simply that “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”

When combined with the 19th Amendment recognizing women’s right to vote, it should be clear that every citizen has the right to vote.

Seems simple, right? But it has never been that simple. After the passage of the 15th Amendment, states put up new barriers to voting from literacy tests to poll taxes.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 authorized the federal government to enforce the right to vote, but it did not end voter suppression.

For example, voter ID laws disproportionately affect black and brown voters. Nationally, around 25% of Black citizens of voting age lack government-issued photo ID, compared to only 8% of Whites.

Laws that ban ex-felons from voting disproportionately impact Black and Brown voters. One out of every 13 Black votes lost their right to vote because of a felony conviction, compared to one out of every 56 non-Black voters.

How do we protect our right to vote? What steps do we need to take to make sure our vote is counted? What do we do if we encounter problems when we are trying to cast our vote?

Today’s conversation is with Jorge Vasquez, the Director, Power and Democracy Program at Advancement Project National Office. Advancement Project is a next generation, multi-racial civil rights organization.

Learn More About Jorge Vasquez, Advancement Project:

MN Secretary of State, Elections and Voting:

Advancement Project:

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About the Author
Tony Loyd is a leadership development expert. He is a best-selling author, keynote speaker, and coach. He helps purpose-driven business leaders to thrive so that they can connect with others and contribute to the world. Find out more at

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