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How to stay politically engaged even though the election is over

After months of phone banking, sharing info on social media and telling your parents to vote, the election is over. But that doesn't mean you should stop your efforts! Here are some *stellar* ways to keep showing up for a future you believe in, even though the election is over. 

Intern at your local politician's office 

Want to get up close and personal with politics? Keep your eyes out for an internship with your local mayor, city councilperson or even state senator. You'll probably start out answering phones, running errands or taking notes on meetings, but you'll learn a lot about network building, bureaucracy and how government works at a local and federal level. And if you're the type to aim for the stars, there are even internship programs at the White House (perfect for biding your time until you're sitting at the Oval Office!)

Volunteer at voter registration drives

You may have heard about Stacey Abrams, the *amazing* shero who organized and registered hundreds of thousands of voters. How cool would it be to have that kind of impact on the world? Voter registration drives are always looking for volunteers, and it could be as easy as making a plan to reach out to a few friends every week to encourage them to register.

Pre-register to vote so that you're ready when the time comes

Registering others to vote is totally awesome, but don't forget to register yourself! Make sure to check on the guidelines your state has—some, like New York and California, allow pre-registration at 16, and others, like Texas, have more specific rules.

Hold elected officials accountable

Just because they're in office doesn't mean the work is over. Continue to rally, sign petitions, phone bank and show up for important issues you care about to show politicians they matter. Make sure elected officials follow through on promises they made!

Use social media to digitally organize

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, organizers have begun using social media as a way to reimagine what activism looks like in a digital world. By building social media profiles, creating shareable media and engaging your followers, you can build a movement that will make effective change. Whether you prefer Instagram, TikTok, Twitter or Facebook, you can harness the power of social media to stay involved during *any* part of the politican process.

Phone bank for issues/politicians you support

Phone banking is one of the *best* ways to make a tangible impact on the candidates and policy proposals that you support. By directly speaking with constituents, you have the power to engage in conversations, sway people's opinions and organize in support of causes you believe in.

Help your friends become civically engaged

Sharing info about ways to stay civically engaged is *so* important, as people often want to get involved but don't know how to go about getting involved! People will often avoid talking about politics with their loved ones for fear that it will lead to uncomfortable, tense conversations, but political conversations are important as they help us gain perspective and understand different world views. When you are participating in a political activity, invite your friends to tag along—it's always better to have more people helping out.

Keep track of legislation

One of the *best* ways to stay politically engaged is by staying informed about legislation that is being debated both locally and nationally. Because politics is the basis of many decisions that affect our everyday lives, keeping track of lawmaker's decisions is incredibly important. Ballopedia is a great resource to track new legislation as well as candidate's voting record.

How are *you* going to stay politically engaged? Let us know on Twitter @girlslifemag

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by Elina Graham and Claire Hutto | 11/20/2020
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