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Please register and vote! Here’s how

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You probably have read or heard that the general election on Tuesday, November 3 is one of the most important elections ever held in this country. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, African Leadership Group cannot and does not take positions on issues or endorse candidates.

We do agree, however, that this is an election with unusually high stakes for immigrants. We urge everyone reading this who is a U.S. citizen to register to vote and to cast your ballot on time for it to be counted on November 3.

As leader of  an organization of and for immigrants, I want to stress the importance of exercising your right to vote. As immigrants, we often lack access to power and influence. One of our greatest powers is the power of our vote. So please, vote! 

Everyone is probably aware that leading the 2020 ballot is the presidential election pitting incumbent Republican President Donald J. Trump against the challenger, Democrat Joseph R. Biden.

In Colorado, there is also a statewide race for the U.S. Senate between incumbent Republican Cory Gardner and Democratic challenger John Hickenlooper, who served both as Colorado’s governor and Denver’s mayor.

Depending on what city or county you live in, there are many initiatives and issues on the ballot as well. We will provide below some links to websites where you can learn more.

If you are not registered to vote in Colorado, here is some basic information on how to register. It is a simple, quick process.

To register in Colorado you must:

  • be a citizen of the United States
  • be a resident of Colorado for at least 22 days immediately before the election in which you intend to vote
  • be at least 16 years old, but you must be at least 17 and turning 18 on or before the date of the next general election to be eligible to vote in a primary election, and at least 18 to be eligible to vote in any other election
  • not be serving a sentence of detention or confinement for a felony conviction

You can register to vote here.

The deadline to register online to vote is Monday, October 26, 2020. If you miss this deadline, you will not receive a ballot by mail, but you can still vote in person at a voter service and polling center.

Ballots must be received by Nov 3 at 7 pm. I urge you to place your ballot in a ballot drop-off box, of which there are many across Colorado. This website includes a map showing the location and address of every ballot drop-of box in the state. It also shows where you can vote in-person if you so choose.

You can also place your ballot in the mail, but because of slow delivery, you should mail it NO LATER than 10 days before the election. You must put your own postage on the ballot if you choose to mail it.

You should also know that, in addition to the presidential election and Senate race, there are several statewide issues on the ballot. You can read about all of these state ballot issues in the blue book produced by the state legislature. You should receive one in the mall, but you also can download it here and read it online.

Finally, different counties and cities often have their own ballot issues as well. This means the ballot in Denver, for example, is different from an Aurora ballot. You will soon be able to find information on Denver-specific ballot issues here, and information on Aurora is available here.

ALG plans to hold weekly Facebook Live events beginning soon to provide information about voting, and also to motivate our members to cast their ballots. 

I also want to remind all ALG members to complete your U.S. Census form. The deadline is Sept. 30.The data provided by the census is critical. For the next 10 years, lawmakers, business owners, community leaders and many others will rely on it to provide daily services, products, and support for you and your community. The census determines how hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and other much-needed resources are funded.

Census data is confidential and secure. You do not need to worry that by filling it out, you open yourself to investigation of any kind. So please, for the sake of your community, complete your census form today.

Papa Dia
Papa Dia
Papa Dia is Founder and President of the African Leadership Group. A native of Senegal, Papa immigrated to Denver in 1998. He used his first job, stocking books, to teach himself how to read, write, and speak English. Beginning with an entry-level position in a local bank, over the next 17 years, Papa ultimately climbed the ranks to become a regional vice president. In 2017, Papa left his banking career to focus his full attention on running and growing ALG.

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