Your handy mini-guide on how to talk to your friends, family, and loved ones about the elections these next 12 days.

Take a deep breath. No, really — if you are able to — put one palm on your chest, the other on the nape of your neck, and take a long deep breath in. And then a long deep breath out. We have made it this far and it has been four looooooooong years.

Now the moment we’ve been waiting for is here it’s the last two weeks before the election. Less than 14 days to make sure that everyone we know mails in their ballots, turns in their ballots, votes early, or turns out to the polls on November 3. We know these next few days are not going to be easy. You’re likely to get those last-minute questions from your friends and family about who they should vote for and why. Maybe even how to vote safely during a pandemic or explain this moment that happened in the last debate. That’s why we put this mini-guide together — so when these questions come your way, you know exactly what to say.

The #1 thing we need you to repeat over and over again: what’s your voting plan?

Is your friend or family member voting early? Remind them to turn in their ballot on time! Not sure when their ballots are due for drop-off or mail-in? Check here on I Will Vote.

Voting in person instead? Review your plan to vote with them — and this part is key — have them share and repeat back their plan to you. Make a plan with each other to hold one another accountable. Maybe you’ll text each other a selfie at the polls or with your “I voted!” sticker. Whatever will remind you to check in with each other on the day of.

Here’s a helpful graphic that we love that you can save and share from TalkTheVote.org about how to start some of these difficult conversations.

Want to go above and beyond? Make a plan with your friends and family to reach out to your respective networks to triple your votes here.

Ok — your voting plan is set. Now, let’s go over some frequently asked questions that might come in handy.

Say you’re in a group chat with your family or friends while watching the final debate. Someone asks, “Joe Biden mentions all of these plans, but I’m not sure I’ve seen them. Where can I find them and how can I know they’re better than Trump’s plans?”

This is a great opportunity to open up a conversation around Joe Biden’s many plans for our futures! And to highlight the severe lack of plans both in the past and for the future from the Trump administration.

Now say a close friend or family member mentions QAnon and fake news.

And this is a tricky one because you don’t want to dig yourself into a conversation that will alienate them. Instead, take these steps to “debunk” QAnon.

  • So, what is it? QAnon is a debunked conspiracy theory that has quickly caught on among Trump supporters and has led to a number of violent acts. The theory claims that there’s a massive Satanic child-trafficking and child-murdering cult made up of America’s elites, including high-profile Democrats. It uses false statistics, internet rumors, and incorrectly perceived symbolism to back up this idea. They also believe that Trump is their sole savior from this cult and that he is working to take it down.

The final debate: what to highlight and how to talk about it

Say it’s the day after the debate and your friend or family member posts on Facebook, “Still not sure who WON the debate. Biden made good points but I don’t think he can stand up to Trump.” Here are some key points that you can reiterate with them to open up a conversation:

  1. Joe Biden is committed to fighting for you and your family. On COVID-19, on climate, on injustice, and more — Joe will fight, and he has a plan to win. He recognizes the reality of our circumstances and doesn’t hide from the facts. As president, he will work with scientists, progressive leaders, and vulnerable communities to make sure we aren’t just surviving, but moving forward.

And our all-time favorite question — when will we get the results?

Just kidding, this is the equivalent of the road trip question, “are we there yet?” Yes, chances are your close friends or family will know how involved you’ve been with this election and will look to you for all the answers.

Between record-breaking mail-in voting numbers and the unprecedented turn out that we’re expecting, the reality is that Election Day will not just be one day. Start normalizing use of the phrase “Election Week.” We can’t tell right now if we’ll have immediate results, if Trump will accept the results, or if any results will be contested and go into a recount. Start using “Election Week” now and set expectations early.

And if you’re a super-achiever, make sure to find an event (or host one!) near you to Protect the Results on November 4. Our fight doesn’t end after the election and it’ll take all of us to make sure that we’re ready to mobilize if Trump refuses to accept the results.

We hope this mini-guide gives you some guidance for the next two weeks. Think we missed something important? Comment below with more questions you’re getting from family and friends or tweet at us @IndivisibleTeam with your questions and we’ll reply to as many as we can!

Indivisible is a locally-led, nationally coordinated movement-building progressive power in every state.