September 23rd is National Voter Registration Day! You can find events going on in your area here. We at The Emily Program Foundation are pleased to be working with volunteers to reach out to folks currently getting treatment for an eating disorder by helping them register to vote. It is important that registration and participation are accessible to all, so that everyone’s voice can be heard. We know that people in treatment can face unique challenges to access their right to vote and we’re here as a resource to help overcome those barriers!
- You may not know whether or not you will be in a residential facility on Election Day. That’s okay! In Minnesota, you can vote absentee if you are unsure you’ll be able to get to the polls for any reason. You can even request a ballot online, and you don’t have to disclose that you are in treatment. In case you end up staying in a residential treatment facility on Election Day, and you weren’t able to plan ahead, you can still vote! Staff can assist you at the polling place nearest the facility. More information to help staff do this can be found here.
- You may not know that it is important for you to vote. It is! Elected officials impact our daily lives and represent our communities. Therefore, it is important that we, as a people, nominate individuals that have sound, positive, productive agendas on the issues that matter to us and our communities. Elected officials also pay attention to what groups of people turn out at the polls and will be more sensitive to issues that affect them. We want to show that folks in the mental health, and specifically eating disorder, community VOTE! Our voices are important.
For anyone in our community, whether or not they are struggling, voting is important. Check out mnvotes.org– a great one stop shop for any of your voting related questions. You can register to vote, request an absentee ballot, find your polling place, or view a sample ballot.
Together we can make a difference!