October is LGBTQ+ History Month. This month also begins early voting for one of the most important elections in our history, starting October 18th. This is a historic era for our rights and our safety, health, and dignity hangs in the balance. Celebrate LGBTQ+ history month by grabbing your loved ones and hitting the polls for the upcoming midterms.
Registration Closes Tomorrow!
The very best thing you can do to honor our history is to vote in local and state elections. We are already making history with all-time high numbers of LGBTQ+ voter participation. GLAAD’s 2020 Post-Election Poll revealed that 93% of registered LGBTQ+ voters participated in the last election, 25% of which were first-time voters. We need those numbers to be even stronger this year.
This November’s midterms could change the course of the House and Senate, which would have a devastating impact on our community. 2022 has been on track to surpass last year’s record-breaking number of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation at the statehouse level. More than 290 bills targeting the LGBTQ+ community were introduced over the past two years and 25 were enacted. This expansive legislation includes targeting trans student-athletes, restricting our rights to safely use the bathroom, limiting free speech around LGBTQ+ issues in classrooms, and permitting teachers to “out” students to their parents. And as many have long worried, our right to marriage could hang in the balance in coming terms, as the Senate vote on the Respect for Marriage Act is on hold until after the midterm elections. If this act is not passed, those federal protections could be threatened just like abortion access.
Information gathered from Jeremy Porr’s article on Thrillist, “Here’s What’s at Stake for LGBTQ+ People in the Midterm Elections”.
This election also has the chance to make history for LGBTQ+ folks in many meaningful ways with a number of LGBTQ+ candidates. Be sure to read up on the candidates you are voting for before you head to the polls. In addition to doing your own research, here are a number of resources that can help:
The Victory Fund
The Victory Fund is the only national organization dedicated to electing openly LGBTQ+ people who can further equality at all levels of government. Check out their list of endorsed candidates for the State of Tennessee here.
HRC's Congressional Scorecard
Look in-depth at how your elected officials have voted on issues of equality by browsing through the guide or downloading the Human Rights Campaign’s Congressional Scorecard for the 116th Congress.
Everything You Need to Vote
Register to vote. Check your registration status. Get your absentee ballot. Fast, free, easy, secure, nonpartisan.
Shelby County has new voting machines for this election! Our friends at the Shelby County Voter Alliance are hosting a virtual Lunch & Learn on Wednesday, October 12 from 12pm-1pm on Zoom all about the new machines, so that you know what to expect when you step into the voting booth! Don’t miss this in-depth walk-through of how to use the new machines at this year’s polls.