When you think of Election Day journal prompts, you may only think of writing exercises for kids.
But a chat with Tyra Robinson of Good People Vote helped me realize that adults should do some journaling in preparation for Election Day too.
Good People Vote is a Birmingham-based organization dedicated to celebrating active voters and providing relevant information on every aspect of electoral processes, both locally and nationally. Their goal is to spark conversations and self-reflection to encourage communities to take ownership of the civic process.
Read on to learn more about Good People Vote and for Election Day journal prompts for kids and adults.
Q&A with Tyra Robinson of Good People Vote
When did you start Good People Vote, and what inspired you?
During 2020, I felt overwhelmed by the pandemic after learning about many voter suppression tactics in the South. I reflected on how confusing the process was and wondered if this was intentional. As a somewhat engaged voter, it was a wake-up call for me. I realized how much was at risk if we remained stagnant in our understanding of how the civic process works. With my background in graphic design, I wanted to test out the idea of shifting the way we think about voter education using new tactics. In response, I created Good People Vote.
What are some things Good People Vote does to encourage voting and civic engagement?
We aim to make voter education as understandable as possible and connect with the community through art. We were able to experiment a bit more, thanks to funding from Women Donors Network. This year, we teamed up and decoded the amendments and created scorecards for voters to take with them on election day. We’ve collaborated with community leaders and organizations, used augmented reality, hosted Speak For Magic City for the second time, and held conversation sessions with local candidates. We also collaborated with comedian Roy Wood Jr. for a state election PSA spot. Because we are new on the scene, we want to stress the importance of growing our base organically through the community to build a relationship with every person we connect with through our platform.
What would you say to people who say voting doesn’t make a difference?
That’s a significant statement that, at times, I’ve considered too. After seeing all the injustice and political issues and knowing our history here, I don’t blame people for being skeptical. However, the stagnation that comes along with it is a different story. Answering this required some reflection on the past and the present. My biggest questions are: How did we get to where we are today? And if it isn’t valuable, why are people trying so hard to take our vote away now? Let’s suppose it’s true. There was a time when our vote didn’t matter, and what did we do? We made it matter. It is important to note that we also did more than just vote, which is why it was so effective. So voting is the foundation, and we build on top of that.
“There was a time when our vote didn’t matter, and what did we do? We made it matter. “Tyra Robinson, founder of Good People Vote
Can you speak about the importance of being an informed voter?
Voting is a process that is not overnight. We have to learn how to keep up and build gradually. It is a process, and if avoided, it can create a spiral of confusion in which you will not know who’s negatively affecting your life.
For folks in Alabama, what are some of the best ways to get educated about the upcoming election?
Staying up-to-date on election dates on your local government site is a start. I believe the main thing to realize is there is no such thing as a “stupid question” when it comes to voting. Most of the time, your question is the same as someone else’s. The fantastic thing is that there are so many great organizations around us, including Good People Vote. So always feel free to reach out. If we don’t know, we will find the answer together.
Questions to Consider Before Election Day
Before you head to the polls, grab your journal and do some research and reflection.
As you consider each candidate, Tyra says, ask yourself these questions:
- What do they stand for?
- What have they accomplished?
- Who has endorsed them?
- Are they active in the community (and not that candid stuff)
- Do they listen and make an effort to act on the needs of the community?
- If they are incumbent, have they said “no” to anything that would have benefited the community?
To help with your research, check out the Non-Partisan Guide to Candidates & Amendments by Greater Birmingham Ministries and the Voter Scorecard by Good People Vote.
But remember to take the time to do some self-reflection too.
7 Election Day Journal Prompts for Adults
- What are my values?
- What are the needs of my community?
- Am I voting from a place of fear or hate?
- Does my choice have a collective benefit or only for certain groups?
- Why is voting important to me?
- What can I do to make my vote matter?
- What can I do beyond voting to help my community?
7 Election Day Journal Prompts for Kids
Teachers can use Election Day writing prompts to get students thinking about the importance of voting and to help them learn more about civics and the US political system. Parents could also use these prompts at home.
- Would you ever run for office?
- What issues are most important to you?
- Who would you vote for this Election Day if you were old enough to vote?
- Who is your favorite politician and why?
- Why is it important for people to vote?
- How do you feel about living in America?
- What changes would you make in our country if you were president?
How do you prepare for Election Day? Do you use writing to prepare for heading to the polls?