July 4th is upon us and for most of our partners working in retail grocery stores, it means they’re working harder than ever during one of the busiest times of the year. All that business and hard work comes as the state and the country continue to feel the effects of COVID-19 as positive cases continue to spike in various hotspots, including one right here in Missouri.
With everything going on, it’s almost shocking to be reminded that in barely a month Missourians will be asked to cast votes in the 2020 statewide primary. There will be important races determined and a critical ballot measure to decide Amendment 2 - Medicaid expansion. It seems like every few years we hear folks say that this election is the “most important of our lifetime.”
You know what? In 2020, they are probably right.
Here in Missouri voters will decide whether or not to expand Medicaid, elect a governor and choose whether or not to protect Clean Missouri.
That’s just a few of the decisions Missourians will make, and it doesn’t even include the presidential race. If hard-working men and women don’t turn out to vote and actually cast votes for candidates and causes that have their best interests at heart, I’m worried what the future will hold for us.
We know what some politicians want for unions: to cripple them in service of their corporate donors and personal political interests.
We know what some politicians want for our elections: to keep the state gerrymandered along partisan lines to protect their power and to heap millions of anonymous dollars into their campaign accounts.
We know what some politicians want to do to protect public safety: as little as possible.
KNOW YOUR CANDIDATES
As we get closer to the election, this Union will be asking for your position on a number of issues before we endorse candidates and causes. We’ll be talking in detail about certain candidates that may or may not actually be fighting for you.
We’re a big union family, and some of our partners won’t agree with us, and that’s fine. We’re not here to engage in senseless partisan shouting, but we are here to draw clear contrasts and provide good information.
Empowering our partners to improve their lives is at the core of what we do, and that includes making sure they know how the people running for office vote on issues that affect their job.
In Missouri, a few things have changed in 2020, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
BE PREPARED TO VOTE BY MAIL
For the first time ever, all Missourians will have the chance to vote by mail if they choose.
Of course, in-person voting remains an option for anyone who prefers it, but since we can’t be sure what this pandemic will look like in November, requesting a mail-in ballot may be the most viable way to vote for many Missourians, especially elderly voters or those with health conditions.
But you have to request these ballots as soon as possible, not only to meet the appropriate deadlines, but also to make sure you are able to have your ballot notarized (if necessary) in time.
The majority of Missourians who choose to vote by mail will need to have their ballot notarized. There are a number of places where notaries are available, including most major banks.
It’s not enough to know who to vote for or against, we must make sure Missourians are actually voting. More accessible voting means more of our voices are heard, and our government will better reflect the will of the people.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be providing information about how to cast your ballot, whether it’s by mail or in person. In the meantime, you can learn more about voting at the Missouri Secretary of State website (sos.mo.gov) or by contacting your local election authority, or visiting vote.org.