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GOTV

A core component of organizing is organizing the vote. A primary initiative of VOICE has been voter engagement, which includes civic education and voter mobilization. When our community is engaged in the democratic process, leaders that are representative of our interests will be elected and we will be able to hold those representatives accountable to the needs of the community who elected them.

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Why Vote?

The most visible way to exercise power in a representative democracy is to run for office or to vote for a representative running for office. Our representatives are actively and directly involved in democracy because they create and vote on laws, policies, and other matters of government on our behalf. Yet, today, after generations of activists have fought and been killed to protect and expand the right to vote, voter access and turnout remain a challenge, particularly for marginalized communities. Political scientists have conclusively shown that the wealthier a person is, the more likely they are to vote. This pattern continues to have downstream effects on unequal representation in government – reinforcing patterns that favor public policy towards the wealthy, while Black and Brown communities become targets for misinformation and false promises.

Important Dates

PRIMARY ELECTION

June 27th, 2023

  • Early Voting: June 17 - June 25

  • Voter Registration Deadline - the last day applications must be received by the Board of Elections: June 17

  • Change of address must be received by: June 17

ABSENTEE VOTING

  • Last day for the board of elections to RECEIVE applications by mail or online for absentee ballot: June 12

  • Last day to apply in person for absentee ballot: June 26

  • Last day to postmark absentee ballot. Must be received by the county board no later than July 4th

  • Last day to deliver ballot in person to the county board or poll site, by close of polls: June 27

GENERAL ELECTION

November 7th, 2023

  • Early Voting: October 28 - November 5

  • Voter Registration Deadline - the last day applications must be received by the Board of Elections: October 28

  • Change of address must be received by: October 28

 

ABSENTEE VOTING

  • Last day for the board of elections to RECEIVE applications by mail or online for absentee ballot: October 23

  • Last day to apply in person for absentee ballot: November 6

  • Last day to postmark absentee ballot. Must be received by the county board no later than November 7th

  • Last day to deliver ballot in person to the county board or poll site, by close of polls: November 7

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Voting is a Moral Obligation

As people of faith, we cannot afford to stay home during an election. In fact, not voting has become increasingly dangerous to the economic and spiritual vitality of our communities. By voting, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, lower prescription drug costs, Community Violence Intervention Programs, criminal justice reform, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/Food Stamps), and other financial stability programs are sustained. By voting, we have the power to vote for leaders who will support life-sustaining programs and fundamental human rights.


This battle is far too big for any one racial, ethnic, or faith group to fight alone. Our democracy and the sacred right to vote are under a severe attack. Nearly 400 voter restriction measures in 49 states have been proposed or passed, making it even harder for people of color, the elderly, people who have disabilities, people, and the poor to vote.


The Black Church must band together with other allies in the interfaith voter protection campaign. VOICE Buffalo calls on faith leaders to commit to partnering in the effort to Get Out The Vote. This is our moral obligation. Lives are at stake. Our communities are at stake. 

Reclaiming Our Power

"Nothing about us without us,” was a slogan coined by the disability community to communicate the position that no policy should be decided by any representative without the full and direct participation of all the members of those affected. Black and brown communities have always fought for their right to be heard. VOICE will continue its work to increase voter turnout, reclaim our shared power, and elect an informed government of, by, and for the people. Voting is only one piece of democratic participation. The work continues as we hold elected officials accountable to the needs of our community and then continue to actively participate in shaping and overseeing the policies that directly impact our lives.

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