By Judith Mun, AACOM Director of Government Relations
It doesn’t take a policy wonk to know that 2020 is a major election year. From students to educators to physicians, we all have a duty to stay informed and vote on issues and candidates that will shape health care and higher education policies for years to come. Though November 2020 may seem far away, it’s never too early to prepare.
Mark Your Calendar
While the 2020 general election takes place on Tuesday, November 3, each state and district has its own election cycle and calendar. Be sure to check your election site for details on primary, general, and special elections. You can also find information on early voting, polling locations, and primary processes.
You can’t cast a vote if you aren’t registered. Take a couple of minutes to register online or mail in a registration form. Not sure if you’re already registered? Check (or double-check) your registration status in your state or district. Some states offer same-day registration, but you don’t want to get caught without a ballot on election day. You can also request an absentee ballot, change your party affiliation, and update your current address to make sure you’re voting in the right elections.
Know the Issues
The best way to become an informed voter? Educate yourself on the key issues. ED to MED is also committed to educating voters, candidates, and policymakers about Grad PLUS loans and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, both of which support students in the health professions. Make sure you have a strong understanding of these and other federal student financial aid and loan repayment programs that require elected officials’ support.
Contact Your Candidates
Do you know if the candidates on your ballot have taken a stance on key health care and higher education issues? If not, reach out and ask them if they’ll commit to protecting graduate students and the future health care workforce. Remember, these candidates could represent your community for years to come. It’s crucial to know where they stand on issues impacting the medical profession and patients.