Labor Day is Monday. That's usually the beginning of the most intense part of the presidential campaign, around two months until the election. The conventions are over, the debates will happen, and in a normal year — when there is no pandemic and no authoritarian president actively trying to steal re-election and fucking with the post office and telling his people to vote twice to prove mail-in ballots are bad and no concerted effort to false flag blame another country for attacking the election for the other guy to distract from the nation actually attacking the election for the incumbent — we usually think about getting the voting going sometime mid-October-ish. At least most of us.

This year, though? Everything is different. And as it happens we are exactly two months from the election today.

If you are like us, and you watch MSNBC obsessively at least one hour per day (Maddow) before flipping back to HGTV or a movie, you might have seen their new "Plan Your Vote" commercials. Because this year, YOU HAVE TO plan your vote. You need to know with 100 percent certainty the fastest and best way to get your vote into the hands of the people who count the votes without it getting stuffed in a trash bin at the post office or FedEx-ed to Vladimir Putin with a scratch 'n' sniff card attached that says "LOL."

Those of you reading this probably have made your plan, or you're going to. You're engaged. You give a shit. This isn't your first voting rodeo. But you know people who haven't. People in your church and your grocery store and your cattle-husbandry class and your yoga pants gym and everywhere else. You know people who not only have not planned their vote, they might not even be registered.

Wouldn't it be nice if there was a one-stop shop for all of the information you need, so when you find somebody who needs help, you can make it happen for them right then and there? Turns out there is! Maybe there's more than one! But we're going to tell you about the one from NBC News, which is called "Plan Your Vote," just like the commercials!


Here is what happens when we, sitting in the state of Tennessee, go to the website. It shows us a map of America, color-coded, to answer a question: "Can I vote by mail without an excuse?"

Now, it turns out orange means FUCK YOU. However, below that, it tells us some special info for Tennessee, which is that if you have a medical condition that "makes you vulnerable," you can indeed vote by mail and COVID-19 can be why you do that. But not if you're a healthy college student with no conditions. See? That is useful information to tell your Tennessee neighbor!

There are three other questions at the top:

  • Can you register and vote on the same day? (Tennessee FUCK YOU.)
  • What about early voting? (Tennessee good on that, at least for in-person early voting!)
  • Once you have voted, can you track that ballot and make sure Donald Trump does not eat it on a Big Mac and it ends up in his bottom? (Tennessee also good on this!)

That is not how NBC News phrased all that, precisely, but you get the idea.

Now, here is the reveal. It has all the information for all of the US American states! You can click it, and find it!

Below that, it goes into even more detail for your state, or whatever state you click on, like if you are helping your Aunt Mabel in Boca who is not aware of all internet traditions. It's got registration deadlines, deadlines for getting your ballot, the helpful link for HOW to track your ballot, and all the rest.

It is insane that we are having to go through hoops like these, but sorry, dears, we don't live in a country that guarantees free and fair elections. Indeed, we never did, at least not for all of us. But it's more stark than ever, and we are for real choosing in November between being a country that is somewhat free and striving to make it better, and literal actual fascism.

Yes, it's like that.

Here is your homework, yes, you have homework on a holiday weekend, deal with it:

1) MAKE SURE YOUR OWN VOTE IS PLANNED. Important: This may necessarily include making sure YOUR registration is still there and hasn't been the victim of some godforsaken fascist GOP voter roll purge. We cannot have any readers of this website getting to Election Day and saying "DOY, HEY THERE, my name is Darrell the Dingus, and I done fucked it all up!"

This is kind of like the thing when the plane is crashing and you make sure your mask is on and working before you try to help anybody else. Because y'all, the plane, it is crashing.

2) TRY TO THINK OF FIVE (5) PEOPLE YOU KNOW WHO MIGHT NEED HELP PLANNING THEIR VOTE IN SOME WAY. Maybe they're not registered. Maybe they are old and in a nursing home. Maybe they're college students suddenly colleging from home this year because of the pandemic. Maybe they are just Darrell the Dingus about things like this, and you've had this conversation with them before about past elections. Whatever. If the first five come to mind easy, think of more!

3) Don't just hang that list on the Frigidaire, get in touch with them! This weekend! And be prepared to follow up. Jesus, it's five people, you can follow up with five people between now and November. Aunt Mabel would like to hear from you more anyway, though she still doesn't approve of your new hairstyle.

4) Get this in front of all the other people you know who generally can find their ass with both hands, so they can make sure THEY plan their vote, and encourage THEM to make THEIR list of five people. Do it like a chain letter, and give them the same instructions! Can you imagine if you have five under you and they each have five under them and all them have five under them and so forth times infinity?

5) Ha ha, we just taught you multi-level marketing.

6) TAKE YOUR MUTHAFUCKIN' COUNTRY BACK.

Thank you for coming to our Ted Talk, and thank you to NBC News for making this Handy Dan little webpage.

Two months, y'all. Two months.

Now go forth and OPEN THREAD.

[Plan Your Vote.]

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the senior editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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