LOS ANGELES — As the November election nears, Helenann Hirsch – an avid voter and VoteRiders Helpline volunteer – wants to make sure every potential voter hoping to cast their ballot has what they need to vote.
What You Need To Know
- 3,200 volunteers assist voters through VoteRiders, a non-partisan organization
- Voter ID laws can confuse, intimidate about 10 percent of registered voters, according to Kathleen Unger
- Non-partisan helpline answers vote ID requirements, state law, registration questions voters might have
- VoteRider Helpline can be reached at 1-844-338-8743
“Voting for me is like exercising democracy, and it’s just like my father always said: ‘Voting is your voice, and your voice matters.’ For me, it is just an expression. It is a way of saying I am here, I matter," Hirsch said.
Hirsch has volunteered in presidential elections since she was 11 years old. This year, she – along with 3,200 other volunteers – is helping voters across party lines by answering voters’ questions about mail-in ballots, voting, being registered, and voter identification requirements to clear up any confusion through the VoteRiders helpline.
In California, individuals have until October 19 to register to vote for this year’s November election.
“Voter suppression or intimidation of any sort is unbelievably undemocratic. It makes me really sad. I think it really festers, and I think it really hurts everyone,” Hirsch said.
In California, most registered voters are not required to show an identification to vote at the polls. Kathleen Unger, who is the president of VoteRiders Helpline, said it is important for any potential voter to be informed on their state’s voter identification requirements, so that no one can convince another person not to vote.
“About 10 percent of registered voters are so confused and intimidated by voter ID laws that they won’t vote even though they have a valid ID. This translates into a huge number. You have between 25 and 40 million voting age Americans who do not have a government-issued photo id,” Unger said.
Registered voters in California will receive mail-in ballots for the November election. Voters can also vote in-person at a nearby voting center.
Hirsch wants to make sure voters she comes across know what he or she need to vote or where they can go to drop off their ballot.
“In the short amount of time I’ve answered these calls, it has been amazingly rewarding to help people to help them understand, regardless of party,” Hirsch said.
Voting is a way to have Hirsch’s voice heard.
When it comes time for her to send off her ballot, Hirsch will know she did everything she could to get everyone out to vote.
Voters who need assistance in obtaining documents required to register to vote or would like to have questions about this year’s voting procedures answered, can contact the VoteRiders Helpline at 1-844-338-8743.