We want to CU at the polls!
Campaign season is officially upon us, which means you are likely seeing information about the upcoming General Election everywhere you turn. Whether it be yard signs, campaign literature in your mailbox, or commercials on TV, the overload of information can feel daunting.
As a credit union, we want to empower our communities to feel prepared to vote on their own terms. As a bipartisan movement, credit unions are dedicated to ensuring our voices are heard on issues that impact our members; however, we will never favor any political party. That sounds pretty refreshing, right?
If you want help learning about the upcoming candidates and issues that you will get a chance to vote for on November 8th, visit https://creditunionsvote.com.
Why is voting important to credit unions?
Our industry has a vested interest in the democratic process; it’s how our organizations are formed! We hold annual elections for our volunteer board of directors, voted on by our member owners.
As locally owned and led cooperatives, we support the individual voices that are rooted in our communities. We believe that advocacy is most effective when coming from a grassroots level, which means from you! Credit unions have a long history of utilizing bipartisan advocacy in order to accomplish outcomes to better serve our members.
Credit union advocacy at work!
Throughout the credit union movement’s history, our advocacy efforts have been successful due to cooperation within our industry. Credit unions often team up to work together for the greater good for our communities.
While there are countless examples of successful credit union advocacy throughout history, here are some that fundamentally changed the landscape for credit unions (and really all financial institutions!) moving forward:
- Credit unions advocated for the right for women to open savings accounts, loans, and other financial products on their own, without a male counterpart as a cosigner. In fact a credit union provided the first loans to women in 1974.
- Prior to the year 1980, credit unions did not have the ability to open checking accounts, or as we call them, share drafts. After several visits with letters written to legislators from credit union employees and members, regulations were created in order to allow credit unions to better serve their members with checking accounts.
- Credit unions have continuously banded together to oppose payday lending expansions. Our industry is passionate about helping our community members achieve financial wellness in a fair and safe manner. Within recent years, legislation has been proposed to allow payday lenders to increase their interest rates, which we believe would be extremely harmful and trap people in a cycle of debt. So far, credit union opposition to the expansion of predatory payday lending has been successful.
We are here to help you <3
Whether you vote by mail or in-person at the polls, we hope that we have provided you some inspiration for the upcoming elections! Whether this will be your first time coming out to vote or you have been voting for decades, we included some helpful tips below that you may find helpful.
- Online and mail requests for an absent voter ballot must be received by your township or city clerk no later than 5 p.m. the Friday before the election. If you’re already registered at your current address, you can request an absent voter ballot in person at your clerk’s office anytime up to 4 p.m. on the day prior to the election.
- You can bring notes or a sample ballot with you if you want to remember how you want to vote the ballots can be long.
- If you are seeing impaired, you can request a poll worker reads the ballot to you or you can bring someone to assist you.
- Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time. You have the right to vote if you are in line by 8 p.m.
- The poll workers are volunteers! They work LONG hours, don’t forget to thank them!
- Are you anticipating a long line at your polling place? That’s a great time to catch up on the fun news at your credit union!
Thank you for being an engaged member of our community! We hope to see you at the polls or in a Members First branch location soon.
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