There are officially 39 days left before this year's presidential election, and L.A.'s polling places are already gearing up to help Angelenos exercise our right to vote. Regardless of political leanings, we can all admit that election years are stressful, and 2020 is certainly no exception.
With the pandemic still in full swing, many voters are choosing to forgo the polls and safely vote by mail. Although Voter Registration Day was earlier this week, you can still register online or via mail through Oct. 19, or in person through Nov. 3 (that means you can register and vote on Election Day at a local polling place). Luckily for those of us in L.A., all registered voters in California will receive a ballot in the mail, whether you requested one or not.
Keep an eye out for mail-in ballots in early October, and try to get your completed ballot in the mail by Oct. 20; the U.S. Postal Service recommends allowing a full two weeks for delivery — just to be sure.
While you wait for your ballot to arrive, you can always wear your democratic rights on your sleeve. Check out these L.A.-based brands and designers who are offering helpful resources for voters and spreading voter awareness with trendy t-shirts, masks, fine jewelry, and even…underwear.
We can't resist a good mug—especially when said mug combines our passions for democratic processes and coffee. Snatch up one of these Alfred x i am a voter. mugs ($15) or matching t-shirts ($30; featuring the cutest Alfred "A") before they sell out. Now through Oct. 15, Alfred will donate 25% of all proceeds to I Am a Voter., a nonprofit that encourages voter turnout and civic engagement. You can also visit Alfred Coffee in person (with a mask, of course) in one of its many locations including Melrose Place, Beverly Hills, or Brentwood.
You might know For Days as the 100% recyclable, zero-waste clothing brand made in L.A., but the company is also in the business of voter turnout. For Days' vote mask — as seen on Jimmy Kimmel at this year's virtual Emmy Awards — comes in a two-pack and will run you $25. All proceeds will go to When We All Vote, a nonprofit organization launched by Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and a few other celebrities to increase participation in elections. Once you're done with your masks, you can swap them in for another product, and For Days will recycle the used items.
If you're into dainty gold chains, this Jennifer Meyer vote necklace is the perfect, subtle statement. Made in L.A., the 18-karat chain comes with a hefty price tag ($650), but 20% of the proceeds will be donated to I Am a Voter. through Nov. 3. The necklace is also sold at the Pacific Palisades boutique.
Designed in L.A., Nation Ltd. created a limited edition, cozy vote t-shirt in three different colors and styles ($69-$88). The clothing brand will donate 10% of the proceeds from the t-shirt sales to I Am a Voter., and is offering some helpful voting resources to ensure all eligible voters are registered ahead of the election.
While Cos does not currently offer voter-specific products, the brand has made donations to both I Am a Voter. and the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) in support of their voter registration tools. You can text COS to 26797 to see if you're registered to vote and to stay updated on local elections and polling places. Most importantly, on election day, Cos stores will open late to allow their staff paid time off to vote. You can also stop by any of Cos' L.A. locations to snag a voter badge while supplies last.
Black-owned jewelry brand Bychari is designed and produced in L.A., but the company went viral after Michelle Obama wore the vote necklace ($295 to $1,210) during her Democratic national convention speech. The made-to-order chain comes in gold, rose gold, or white gold, and can be customized with small, large, or diamond letters. Your purchase won't include a charity donation, but sometimes, matching with the former First Lady is enough.
The Giving Keys
Headquartered in L.A., The Giving Keys employs individuals transitioning out of homelessness. In honor of this year's election, the social enterprise has designed a limited edition matte black vote key ($42). Each key is hand-stamped and one-of-a-kind, and each purchase helps to create job opportunities for L.A.'s homeless community.
L.A.-based jewelry designer Maya Brenner has teamed up with the founder of Nyakio Beauty, Nyakio Grieco, for a Maya x Kio collaboration. The line includes unity pendants (starting at $395), vote earrings (starting at $230), and a variety of necklaces including phrases like "vote," "justice," and "rise up." The duo will donate 50% of proceeds to I Am a Voter., Color of Change, and Girls Inc.
Danzy Design Studio
Danzy, known for its colorful tie-dye sets and sporty streetwear, has teamed up with When We All Vote to produce 50 sets, sold on L.A.-based Revolve. Made in South Tulsa, 100% of proceeds will benefit Michelle Obama's nonprofit aimed at increased voter activity across demographics. Grab the biker shorts ($85; only sizes XS and S are available) and matching bra tank ($68; sizes L and XL are still available) before they sell out for good.
San Francisco-headquartered Levi's recently dropped a powerful voting PSA featuring Hailey Bieber, Oge Egbuonu, and a handful of L.A. activists and organizers. The video was part of a larger partnership with Rock the Vote to register a record number of voters this year. The legacy denim brand also has an entire vote collection available for purchase for women and men, including hoodies, t-shirts, and totes (starting at $25).
One of the biggest charity commitments we've seen so far comes from Madewell: The denim brand promised to donate a minimum of $750,000 to the ACLU to protect the right to vote for all. All proceeds from Madewell's unisex vote t-shirt ($39.50) will go towards the cause. Plus, if you're a Madewell Insider, shipping is free. Make sure to check the reviews, however, as we're hearing the shirt runs small.
Clare V also collaborated with When We All Vote to offer a limited edition canvas tote ($25) and an original fit tee ($99), and 10% of your purchase will benefit WWAV. Earlier this year, the luxury handbag brand also released a crossbody voter strap ($95; out of stock, but you can join the waitlist), with $10 benefiting I Am a Voter.
Dover Street Market L.A.
Dover Street Market is also working with When We All Vote to incorporate "voter registration bar codes" into physical stores, as well as across the brand's online presence. Limited edition vote products in collaboration with 25 different brands and designers will be dropping in-store at its Downtown L.A. outpost and online this weekend on Saturday, Sept. 26. All of the proceeds will be donated to WWAV.
We saved you a treat for last: Canava is offering these incredible Kamala and Cuomo briefs ($22), as well as a limited edition vote tee ($42). An undisclosed portion of the proceeds will benefit ACLU. Happy voting!
Photo: Nation Ltd.