The local elections are shaping people up to be extraordinary in several ways. Students and youth face challenges as a result of political division, climate change, the pandemic, and the economic woes connected to the pandemic.
They face mounting debt and a weak job market upon leaving college. In order to respond to those challenges, the political system needs students in the electorate to uncover those collective problems, so that democracy could respond as it is intended.
This is only a part of how elections shape the people. It will also be a driving factor for issues concerning labor, equality, justice, agriculture, industries, and many more. And so, it is not only your right but your duty to vote as a member of your nation. Here are some tips to make sure it goes smoothly for you:
Make Sure You Are Registered
If you’ve moved recently, or you aren’t sure whether you’re registered, it’s best to check. There are also existing policies that will lead to the removal of your voter credentials in your local area. This circumstance happens when you missed several elections or had some changes in your personal documents.
Make sure that you are registered in your local area before the election day to make sure that the process will go smoothly and stress-free for you.
See Your Sample Ballot Prior To Voting
Make sure there are no surprises on Election Day by checking out your ballot ahead of time. Sample ballots simply show you the elections and candidates and any ballot measures that will be on your real ballot. They won’t provide information about the candidates like voter guides do. Your state may mail you a sample ballot or let you download one from its election site. The sample ballot may look exactly like the real one will.
Some non-profit organizations produce unofficial sample ballots. These ballots may not look the same as what you’ll see when you vote but will provide the same information.
Read On The Candidates
As you familiarize yourself with the names, read on your national, state, and local candidates, as well as any relevant ballot measures. It also provides some background on the candidates to help start your research. Believe it or not, some voters still aren’t sure of whom they want to vote for; after all, it’s been one whirlwind of an election season.
To get to know the stance each candidate takes on the issues that matter to you, the previous practice ballot link has the web addresses of candidates for various elected positions, which you can use to continue your research.
Research On Your Local Voter Guides
Pro tip: You’re allowed to bring notes, voter guides, or a sample ballot with you into the voting booth, so no need to memorize all your chosen candidates! (Just make sure you have paper copies because some polling places restrict cell phone use.)
Take note of the basics:
- Find the address of your polling place. Typically, your polling place will be a public building like a school, fire station, or courthouse. Find yours here, and be sure to check their hours too!
- Decide how you’re getting to the polls and who you’re going with. Whether you’re taking public transportation or driving yourself, make your plan ahead of time. Encourage your friends and family to vote with you and offer to coordinate travel with them.
- Learn what your state requires you to bring to the polls. Each place has unique voter ID laws, so find out what specific forms of ID your polling place will accept here (if it’s required at all!).
- Take COVID-19 precautions. In general, you should wear a mask, practice safe hand hygiene, and try to avoid the polls at peak hours when they’re more likely to be crowded. Here’s a full page of voting-related guidance from the CDC.
Participating in elections is one of the key freedoms of a society’s life. Many people in countries around the world do not have the same freedom, nor did many nations in centuries past. No matter what you believe or whom you support, it is important to exercise your rights.