Why Credit Karma wants to empower you to vote in 2020

Illustration depicting ease of voting registration with Credit Karma Image: Illustration depicting ease of voting registration with Credit Karma

In a Nutshell

At Credit Karma, we’re working to make financial progress possible for everyone. And we believe participating in the civic process can help empower financial growth. That’s why we’re teaming up with VoteAmerica to help you register to vote in the November 2020 election.

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At Credit Karma, we’re working to help everyone make real, meaningful financial progress. Empowering our members to vote is the next step in that mission.

Your vote is a powerful tool in helping to shape the policies that affect your wallet and community. Casting your vote may not feel as financially impactful as paying off your credit card bill, but both can help determine your financial outlook.

That’s why we’ve teamed up with the nonprofit voting advocacy organization VoteAmerica to present Credit Karma’s Voter Roadmap. In the Voter Roadmap, you’ll find the tools and information you need to register and vote in the 2020 election.

Read on to learn more about why we’re embarking on this effort, and look out for the launch of the Voter Roadmap so you can take the next steps to complete your voter registration.


Why Credit Karma wants to make voting registration easier in 2020


We believe every vote matters

Small actions can make a big difference when added up. We know this is true when it comes to building your credit, but it’s also true of voting. At every level of government, there have been elections in which the victor was decided by a small number of votes.

Voting as such is not a partisan issue; it’s a right that all eligible American citizens can exercise to help create a better and more just society. Given the stakes, we believe everyone who’s eligible to vote should be able to register to vote ­— quickly, easily and accurately.

We believe financial progress is connected to civic progress

The government’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is a powerful recent example of why voting matters to financial progress. With millions of Americans struggling financially, many have relied on U.S., state and local relief measures to stay afloat.  

The extent of relief in those measures depends, in many cases, on the elected officials tasked with passing them into law. These same elected officials can influence tax policy, fight for or against consumer protections and make other policy decisions that may affect your financial outlook.

You can use your vote to help elect representatives who you believe will act in your best interest when making decisions that can affect you, your finances and your community.

We’re committed to fair and inclusive technology

At Credit Karma, we believe that everyone deserves the same opportunities to make progress. We’ve built our tools and educational resources with this in mind, and it’s why these tools will always be free for everyone to use.

In VoteAmerica, we’ve found an organization that shares our commitment to fair and inclusive technology. VoteAmerica focuses its efforts on the millions of voters typically neglected by partisan groups — voters who may feel excluded or discouraged by the barriers to political participation.

How Credit Karma’s Voter Roadmap makes voting easier

As you navigate through the Voter Roadmap, you’ll be able to …

  • Check your registration status
  • See information on registration deadlines in your state
  • Connect with your local voting office
  • Use the name and address information you’ve already shared with us to make it easier to complete some of your online registration

We want to help remove obstacles to voting in America

Obstacles to voting in America are numerous and varied.

Some challenges are practical. Maybe you lack transportation to reach a polling place, or you simply can’t afford time off from work to stand in line for hours (as the case may sometimes be).

Deadlines can also pose a challenge. You may have missed your opportunity to register to vote or request a mail-in ballot because you were unaware of the cutoff date.

Other obstacles may be driven by misguided political considerations. For example, the American Bar Association (ABA) notes that certain states have begun to “aggressively purge otherwise eligible voters from their voting rolls” in an effort that’s meant to ensure accuracy but can lead to the opposite outcome.

The NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund offers some examples of “purge programs” that have led to the disqualification of eligible voters. For instance, attempts to determine whether someone is registered to vote in more than one location may identify ineligible voters based solely on criteria such as first and last names or birthdays. But those criteria don’t necessarily account for coincidences or overlapping information.  

The ABA cites another example, in which Georgia’s Secretary of State attempted to purge voters whose names didn’t exactly match other governmental records. This could have disproportionately affected people whose names have unconventional spellings that led to typos, or people whose names don’t conform to the naming format on some governmental forms. 

Voting in 2020 will likely pose unique challenges

By any measure, 2020 is no ordinary year. And the 2020 elections will almost certainly be more problematic than usual, for at least two significant reasons.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

Two-thirds of Americans (67%) say it’s “very or somewhat likely” that the COVID-19 pandemic will disrupt the presidential election in November, according to a recent national survey by Pew Research Center. It’s difficult to say for sure that they’re right, but there are real causes for concern.

Many states have implemented social-distancing measures that may still be in place come November, such as limiting the size of public gatherings and requiring physical distance between people in public places. The pandemic has also led to the closing or consolidation of polling places, as well as a shortage of poll workers in some locations.

Of course, concern about catching the virus could discourage some people from in-person polling altogether — and has played a role in efforts to increase the accessibility of mail-in voting.

Voting disinformation is rampant

One person posts on social media that mail-in voting is fraught with fraud. Another responds with a meme encouraging readers to boycott Election Day to show their support for anti-vote-by-mail candidates.

Both of these people are engaging in disinformation, which UNESCO defines as “information that is false and deliberately created to harm a person, social group, organization or country.” This concept has drawn a lot of attention lately, and there are already reports of an avalanche of disinformation targeting potential voters in the November 2020 election.

Credit Karma’s Voter Roadmap aims to help you rise above the noise by providing an easy, direct and straightforward way to register to vote with your state’s official election commission.


Next steps: Register to vote today

We hope we’ve helped you better connect the dots between voting and Credit Karma’s mission of financial progress. If you’re ready to take the next step and learn more about how to vote in your state, we encourage you to explore Credit Karma’s Voter Roadmap when it launches.

In the meantime, you can head over to VoteAmerica to get started on your voter-registration journey.


About the author: Evelyn Pimplaskar is Credit Karma’s tax editor. With nearly 30 years of experience in media, marketing, public relations and journalism, Evelyn’s written about everything — from newspaper accounts of salacious capital… Read more.