Voting is vital for clean energy, climate justice, and democracy

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“I Voted” stickers. Photo/Pioneer Press, Liam James Doyle.

Election day is drawing near on November 8, 2022! We at Fresh Energy encourage all who can to vote and engage in the democratic process for the November 2022 General Election.

Fresh Energy is a 501c3 nonprofit, meaning that the organization cannot and does not endorse or oppose candidates running for office. However, that doesn’t mean that we cannot engage in meaningful ways to ensure that political and governmental structures are upheld for the good of our society—and we are committed to doing our part.

As an organization, Fresh Energy provides all staff eight hours of paid time off on election day each major election year. We do this to ensure everyone has time to vote and can serve as an election judge or conduct “get out the vote” efforts if they wish.

With the COVID-19 pandemic still a concern for many, it is incredibly important that all people can vote safely via the voting method they choose. Early and remote voting options are critical tools in ensuring everyone can engage in the democratic process in a way that makes the best sense for them.

In Minnesota, early voting can be done either in-person or by mail. The best and only “official” source of information for voting procedures and process in Minnesota, is the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office. For the November 2022 General Election, voters can vote by mail or in person September 23 through November 7, 2022.

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In Minnesota, you can vote early with an absentee ballot starting 46 days before Election Day and up through November 7, 2022, for this General Election. You can request an absentee ballot online for federal, state, and county elections. If you have requested an absentee ballot, the Minnesota Secretary of State typically advises that, as it gets closer to Election Day, you drop off your completed ballot by hand to an election office or official drop box rather than using the mail to return your absentee ballot. If you already mailed your completed absentee ballot, you can track its status or confirm that it was received back and accepted without problem.

It’s key that every Minnesotan makes their voting plan—and don’t forget to talk to your loved ones and neighbors about making their plan too. Conversations between friends, family, and neighbors are the backbone of systemic change and one of the most effective ways to ensure that people will turn out to vote. This year, commit to asking five people you know about their plan to vote, and share a vision for what we can accomplish when we cast our ballots. Every vote must count!

The right to vote is fundamental to hold our government and elected officials accountable. It is also vital to achieving policy goals, like the historic legislation passed this year that will result in 1 billion metric tons of annual emissions reductions by 2030, and ushering in more clean, abundant, reliable, and affordable renewable energy, environmental justice, and social equity. We must do our part to ensure we will build on this progress and demand a more just, healthy, and livable planet.

Vote on or by November 8, 2022, for the Minnesota General Election this year, and continue to use your voice for climate, clean energy, and justice.

Free and fair elections are a measure of a healthy democracy. That fact is something we talked about this July in our summer webinar series, Energy PLUS; Fresh Energy’s Senior Lead, Public Affairs and Advocacy Justin Fay led the discussion alongside special guests U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, Carolina Ortiz of COPAL, Dr. Gabe Chan of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and Dominic McQuerry of The McKnight Foundation. Watch or listen to the recording of the discussion, titled “Energy + Democracy.”

Watch the recording of “Energy + Democracy” or listen to the audio-only version.