Your "Vote for Public Lands" Guide

We’re in the final countdown to Election Day. Are you ready? We’ve compiled a checklist for voting to get you—and your loved ones—prepped for Nov. 3. We’re a conservation organization and, like you, we care deeply about protecting our public lands. We know there are a lot of issues to consider when casting your vote, but please remember to vote with our wild places in mind. We don’t get a second chance when it comes to protecting our planet. 

❱ Register to vote. In Colorado, you can register to vote in-person through Election Day. That means if you aren’t registered, you can go to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 3, register and cast your ballot. Ahead of that, the deadline to register online and by mail is Oct. 26. If you live in a different state, you can use this helpful Washington Post vote planner to see when your deadlines may fall. 

❱ Check your registration. You can verify your voter registration in any state at the National Association of Secretaries of State site. Even if you think you’re registered, double-check. Then tell a friend to do the same. 

❱ Learn about the issues and candidates. So what are you actually voting for? Colorado Public Radio has a good rundown of the ballot initiatives. You can also brush up on the candidates, by checking voter guides. And then check in with your local news sources to learn about the races and issues closer to home. 

❱ Vote. Colorado mails a ballot to every voter in the state, but you have different options for returning it. If you’re voting by mail, return your ballot as soon as possible. (To see when it was sent to you, track it here.) It must be received by 7PM on Tuesday, Nov. 3, that means which means if you  plan on mailing it in, the Secretary of State recommends doing so by Oct. 26. You can also return your ballots at secure ballot boxes, and their locations can be found here. If you’re unsure that your ballot will be received in time, it’s recommended to drop it off at a secure ballot box. You can vote in-person too. If you don’t know where your polling station is, find it here. And again, if you live out of state, this Washington Post vote planner lays out all of your options.

❱ Track your vote. In Colorado, you can track your ballot using Ballottrax, which will send you alerts when you sign up here. This option isn’t available in every state, so check with your local county clerk for options closer to home if you’re not in Colorado.

❱ Encourage others to vote. In 2016, there were 100 million eligible voters who didn’t vote. Increasing turnout is key to the election. You can encourage more voting by phone banking with organizations like 350.org, You can encourage more people to vote through organizations like Protect Our Winters and Voces Unidas.

❱ Help make sure voting is safe and easy for everyone. There are lots of ways to make sure other people can easily and safely vote too. You can sign up to be a poll worker at Power to the Polls. If you have questions about your voting rights, or experience voter suppression, report it immediately to the ACLU. 

❱ Join “us” Election Night. We've partnered with Chef Mark Hardin to put together a to-go snack basket so that you can watch election results roll in and leave the cooking to someone else—plus proceeds will benefit Wilderness Workshop. Email emily@wildernessworkshop.org for details. Baskets must be ordered by Oct. 30

Thompson Divide by Jon Mullen Photography