Without overstating the case, it’s fair to say that the past few years have shown us what happens when we don’t bother to vote.

While the Grammy Awards are nowhere near as important as a national, state-wide or local election, it’s certainly one of the most important votes in the music community. And the Grammy Awards’ dramatic changes to the voting process earlier this year — most notably the elimination of the “secret” nominating committees, which makes the Recording Academy membership’s individual votes more important than they’ve been in decades — won’t amount to much if people don’t vote.

The Recording Academy has posted several get-out-the-vote messages from prominent members — singer Monica’s is exceptionally to-the-point: “Voting for the GRAMMY Awards is not just important to me because I’m an artist; it’s important to me because I’m a writer and composer,” she says. Cellist Deborah Pae, a Governor of the Recording Academy’s Chicago Chapter, says, “Voting allows us to make our voices heard, so this is our chance to advocate for artists that we feel are doing incredible work and are bringing something unique and important to the table.”

However, the information below and in the accompanying videos is more important.

First Round Grammy voting, which determines the nominees for the awards — i.e. the artists and recordings that will be nominated to win awards — ends tomorrow: Friday, Nov. 5, 2021.

The Recording Academy has created a video — watch it here  — explaining this year’s online ballot changes as well as a guide to educate voters, members and the larger music community on the recent updates and details as the voting period continues.

A second video includes additional details like key dates, information on the several updates to the Grammy voting ballot and more — watch it here.

The Recording Academy has been criticized for years over its nominating process — culminating in the Weeknd’s shocking exclusive from all nominations last year — and they’ve apparently heard that criticism and moved to change the process by eliminating the “secret” committees that previously curated the final nominee lists in nearly every category. Now, almost all of those committees are gone, and the decision ostensibly rests entirely with the 12,000-strong general voting body.

In other words, your vote counts.

Here are some other key dates:

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Courtesy Recording Academy

Nominations will be announced on Tuesday, Nov. 23, and the 64th Grammy Awards will air on Monday, Jan. 31, 2022, live on the CBS Television Network and available to stream live and on-demand on Paramount+.