GAPP - Government Affairs and Public Policy

The Government Affairs and Public Policy (GAPP) team advocates for ACA members and the counseling profession on a range of issues, including Medicare reimbursement, portability, and school counseling funding.

Adding your voice makes our message stronger. Join us by contacting your representatives on issues that matter to you using our Action Center resources.

We encourage you to email us with questions or comments at

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Counselors Are Voting in 2020

by BRIAN BANKS | Aug 26, 2020

Election Day 2020 will be here in the blink of an eye. Are you registered to vote? Does ACA support candidates? How will you vote during the pandemic?

Are You Registered to Vote?

All states, with the exception of North Dakota, require citizens to register to vote. The deadline for registering is mandated by the state or territory you reside in. Many deadlines are at least one month before the November 3rd election date.

Click the link to register to vote.

Please note that not every state will allow you to register online. Here is a list of states that allow you to register online. You can also download the National Mail Voter Registration form. Follow your state’s instructions on the page to register properly.

Check Your Voting Status

Check your registration status and ensure it is up-to-date and accurate. Check your status here.

Does ACA Support Candidates?

The American Counseling Association is registered as a 501(c)(3) organization. This means that ACA legally cannot endorse candidates. We also do not participate in campaign activity for or against political candidates.

ACA encourages you to visit this website where you can learn about who is running for office. You can review sample ballots from your state on the same site here.

How Will You Vote During the Pandemic?

How you vote depends on the options available in your state. Options vary depending on your state’s election guidelines. In some states everyone can vote by mail and ballots are automatically mailed to voters. Other states allow mail-in voting, but require you send an application to apply to vote by mail. Then there are others that allow vote by mail, but the application is not automatically mailed to voters. You must request it. Last, there are some states that you can only vote by mail in if you have a valid excuse, and unfortunately the pandemic does not count as a valid excuse. Those states are Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, Tennessee, and Texas.

Stay tuned -- because these rules may change. Follow your state’s Board of Elections for updates. When you vote by mail, please make sure you immediately complete your ballot and mail it back out the next day.

You can also vote in person. Most people are not in favor of this during the pandemic. However, there is an alternative option. Many states will allow you to complete your ballot at home and then drop it off at a designated Board of Elections site in your community. You can contact your Board of Elections to learn more about ballot drop-off points in eligible states.

How Does Voting Impact Counselors?

This year, all 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives are open. And in the United States Senate, 33 out of the 100 seats are contested. There are 13 states with Governors running for office, and countless officials running in your state and local elections. Some are for school board and others are for judgeships, sheriff, and all offices in-between. We encourage you to do your homework on each candidate and vote for the candidates you feel represent you, your family, community and the profession well. Refer back to the What Candidates Does ACA Support section of this blog to learn about the candidates.

Can Counselors Advocate?

Would you like to become an advocate and champion for the profession? It’s never too late. Go to the ACA Take Action page to learn more about current policy and legislation. Scroll to the bottom of the page to sign up for ACA Legislative Alerts. Thank you for you continued support of the counseling profession. Remember to register, choose a path for voting, and vote on November 3, 2020. If you have questions or comments, please e-mail


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