Organizations help people register to vote ahead of the election

SPOKANE, Wash. – Registering to vote is the first step toward making sure your voice is heard this November. People did that on Saturday at the Northeast Community Center.

With just 24 days before Election Day, now is the time to start making plans to cast your vote.

One organization is on a mission to eliminate some of the barriers that could prevent people from being part of the decisions that will impact many for years to come.

The “Voices, Votes and Protecting Our Democracy” event at the Northeast Community Center was a one stop shop for those living in that area. They were able to come register to vote and pick up boxes of food from local food banks.

Convenience is what brought Andrea Paulson to the community center Saturday. Registering to vote wasn’t the first thing on her mind when she drove by.

“I was driving by and saw a kid holding the sign that said food,” she said.

When she got to the parking lot of the community center, she found out she could register to vote. She still needed to do that after moving from Idaho about a year and a half ago.

It’s the goal of the League of Women Voters of the Spokane Area to reach communities that might not be able to do this otherwise. Not everyone has internet.

“Some people don’t have the ability to do that, so what we need to do is we need to meet the people at the most convenient way as possible,” said Sylvia Oliver, the co-president for the league.

So, they thought it was best to set up at the Northeast Community Center. They eventually had more nonprofits sign up to be there and educate people, too.

The Inland Northwest Farmers Market Association and World Relief Spokane were on site to hand out boxes of food to those in need.

The northeast community of Spokane is very diverse, hope to many people of other cultures. To help educate those where English isn’t their first language, Oliver said they had information in their native languages.

Refugee Connections Spokane and the Asian Pacific Islander Coalition Spokane were just a few other organizations on site to help people understand how to vote and how they can register.

“We need the voices of everybody in the community,” Oliver said.

For Sean Murphy, this election will be his first time voting.

“If I wouldn’t have this face mask on, you would see I have a big grin and smile on my face. It’s really nice, to keep it simple,” he told 4 News Now.

“If you don’t vote, you don’t have a say. And if you don’t have a say, I don’t want to hear your comments. That’s why I registered to vote, is to make my voice heard,” Paulson added.

People wanting to register to vote in Washington still have time. The deadline to register online or by mail is October 26. Registering in-person can happen up until Election Day.

READ: #4ThePeople: How to register to vote in Washington and Idaho 

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