The American voting process excites many citizens, giving them a chance to express control over their representation and the issues in their district or state.
But the process can also be incredibly confusing and complex, making the task of voting tedious. Not everyone can get to a polling station on election day, so here are some guidelines on how to make your vote count.
To make the voting process as efficient as possible, it is important to know the date of the election and who is nominated. This includes primary elections and general elections. Primary elections usually occur a few months before the general elections and allow voters to pick the representatives of their particular party.
The voters should come prepared for both elections with the proper identification, depending on their state. If somebody is unregistered, the registration can be done on the day of the election or right now. It is possible to register for early and absentee ballots at this page or find the nearest polling place at this site. The Huffington Post has a super helpful guide on how to vote in every state.
Too Young to Vote?
It’s never too early to get involved in politics. For those who aren’t 18 yet, there is an option to work at a poll station on election day, talk to family and friends, donate time and money, contact the representatives and attend protest and rallies for causes of interest, like thousands of kids did in the March for Our Lives. Some states allow young people to pre-register to vote at 16, or vote if the person is on the cusp of 18. For a guide to this, there is always this state-by-state guide.
Do the Research!
Before filling out the ballot, the voter should make sure to have all the information on the candidates. The decisions should be based on the values held and the voter should choose the candidate that represents his or her beliefs in the best way possible.
Looking at multiple sources is key for a holistic understanding of who the person is voting for. Check out the current news and unbiased reports about the candidate in addition to the official campaign platform. Even in non-election years, practice media literacy and keep up on the news. By staying up to date on the representatives the person can determine what the conversation will be at election time.
Contact the Representatives
After the election, it is possible to still make your vote count by contacting the representatives at a local, state and national level. These people want to have the support of the voters behind them, and by expressing their opinion, the voters make sure that the things they voted for are represented. This can also help the voter to advocate in non-election years. Emailing and calling Congress is incredibly easy with helpful tools like those provided by The Borgen Project. To find out who the representatives check out this site.
Get Involved and Make Your Vote Count
Politics start at a local level. Whether working for a campaign or just addressing an important issue in an election, the person can leverage its vote and voice to help others. From canvassing to attending town halls and asking questions, there are thousands of ways to get involved in both partisan and nonpartisan ways.
Additionally, the voter should be aware of local election processes and demand clean elections that truly protect and make your vote count.
Elections are held across the United States every year and serve as a hallmark of the American experience. The right to vote has been fought for by countless groups and is treasured by many.
With votes, individuals can create change and express their opinion. Today’s enhanced communication creates thousands of ways to get people involved and to make your vote count.
– Grace Gay