5 Ways to Make 2024 Politically Powerful for Women
The last year was a complicated year for American women. Abortion bans and restrictions were passed in many states limiting women’s autonomy and reproductive health. Many issues important to women — like gun control, childcare and paid leave — remained stalled in political gridlock.
But it was also a year where women continued to show their power at the ballot box — voting to secure abortion rights in Ohio and sending pro-choice leaders to elected office.
The congressional and presidential elections of 2024 will be even more important, and women have an opportunity, as they have in every election since 1980, to show their power as the majority of voters. And while showing up at the polls is as urgent as ever, there is more women can do to continue securing their political power this year.
My organization, All In Together, trains women across America on the tools of political power. We have found that many women just don’t know how much even their small contributions of time and effort can make a difference. Even if you’re not able to run for office, there are lots of ways to exercise your influence and show your value in our democracy. Here are just a few:
Check Your Voter Registration Early!
While it may seem obvious if you are already registered to vote, it’s actually critical to check your voter registration status as soon as possible to avoid missing deadlines or dealing with a hassle at the polls.
If you have moved in the last few years, it’s especially essential to check that you are registered at your new address. Friends new to your area? Be sure to remind them to change their registration and to double-check the voter registration deadlines for your state. USA Voter Foundation and When We All Vote are great resources for both. You can enter your personal information to verify your status.
Schedule your vote and remind others to do the same
Americans will be reminded a million times this year that election day is Tuesday, November 5, 2024, and yet every state has different early voting dates and Primary Election days.
In some states like New York, the congressional and presidential primaries are not on the same day.
To make sure you remember to vote in the primaries and for the election, double-check the election dates in your state now and put them in your calendar with a reminder. You can also send a calendar invitation to five friends to remind them. And you can plan to go to the polls with friends and family.
There are many resources for checking voting and primary dates for your state but Ballotpedia is a good one. You should also double-check your State Board of Elections for details on early voting and any voter ID requirements.
Pick a candidate you believe in and help them
The balance of power in Washington and in dozens of states will be decided this year. Eleven states will elect their governor this year, and 44 states will have elections for their State Legislative chamber.
Most Americans don’t pay much attention but attending a meeting of your local community board, a town hall with you state or federal elected official, or for the political party you identify with can be an empowering experience.
Many Americans don’t appreciate how easy this is to do. Town and county government meeting schedules are always open to the public and posted on the local and state government websites. If you’re not sure who represents you in your state legislature or state senate, you can look them up here.
Get your kids involved
Children are our future and research shows that exposure to political participation by parents can help inspire a commitment to civic participation among young people.
Bringing school-aged children to political meetings, to the voting booth, talking with them about issues, and encouraging them to think about their values can help build the next generation of voters and engaged citizens.
Women’s political and civic participation is power and this year, make a plan to amplify your participation in whatever way resonates most for you. And when the stakes for women’s agency and power are so high, every action, every effort counts.