5 Steps To Becoming An Informed Voter
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

5 Steps To Becoming An Informed Voter

It's never too early.

5 Steps To Becoming An Informed Voter

We have a little over a year until the next election -- but it's not too early to start planning. For the first time in most college students' lives, we will get to vote in a presidential election. And it is time to get excited.

For first time voters, it's a little overwhelming. Here are five easy steps you can take today to prepare you for next November:

1. Register to vote.

Usually, you can do this online -- it's super easy. Twenty-three states currently allow voters to register online. If you can't register online in your state, many college campuses have voter registration throughout the year, primarily close to election seasons. You can also register to vote next time you update your license. If you're out-of-state, plan ahead! Contact your state election office to get an absentee ballot mailed to you.

2. Stay informed.

Staying informed in college is not a small feat. Luckily, there are many great, fast ways to stay informed. You don't have to actually sit down and read the New York Times to know what is going on in the world. I recommend listening to NPR while you're working out/walking to class/showering or watching a bit of CNN (or whatever channel you prefer) over breakfast or dinner. Consider subscribing to the "Skimm." All you have to do is provide your email -- and they do the rest. The "Skimm" covers all the news stories and summarizes them into a short, snappy newsletter that you can read during your 8 a.m.

3. Fact check.

Question everything. Use FactCheck.org. Use Google. Do not let candidates spoon-feed you facts and figures. When Carly Fiorina claims she viewed an undercover Planned Parenthood video of doctors harvesting a brain for a live fetus, make sure that video exists. When Bernie Sanders says making public colleges free will fix America, look into the implications of such a change. Also, beware of numbers. Sure, a candidate's numbers may technically be accurate -- but they may only represent one part of the story. Consider what a percentage actually represents.

4. Keep an open (and simultaneously critical) mind.

Thanks to bipartisan politics, we feel like we need to pick a side. We need to be on the left or the right and stay there. It's okay to agree with both sides on different issues. Remember: you're choosing a president. You want the best person for the job, not a person who is a member of a certain party. Take a political quiz to get an idea of the candidate you actually want. And remember: we have over a year until we have to vote, so your mind can change.


You get to participate in democracy! Even if your candidate doesn't win, your vote is your right to complain. You can spend the next four-eight years ranting to your friends about the president. Awesome! After you vote, screech like a bald eagle and cut a slice of apple pie -- you should feel very American and very proud.

Happy voting!

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Student Life

Top 10 Reasons My School Rocks!

Why I Chose a Small School Over a Big University.

man in black long sleeve shirt and black pants walking on white concrete pathway

I was asked so many times why I wanted to go to a small school when a big university is so much better. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure a big university is great but I absolutely love going to a small school. I know that I miss out on big sporting events and having people actually know where it is. I can't even count how many times I've been asked where it is and I know they won't know so I just say "somewhere in the middle of Wisconsin." But, I get to know most people at my school and I know my professors very well. Not to mention, being able to walk to the other side of campus in 5 minutes at a casual walking pace. I am so happy I made the decision to go to school where I did. I love my school and these are just a few reasons why.

Keep Reading...Show less
Lots of people sat on the cinema wearing 3D glasses

Ever wonder what your friend meant when they started babbling about you taking their stapler? Or how whenever you ask your friend for a favor they respond with "As You Wish?" Are you looking for new and creative ways to insult your friends?

Well, look no further. Here is a list of 70 of the most quotable movies of all time. Here you will find answers to your questions along with a multitude of other things such as; new insults for your friends, interesting characters, fantastic story lines, and of course quotes to log into your mind for future use.

Keep Reading...Show less
New Year Resolutions

It's 2024! You drank champagne, you wore funny glasses, and you watched the ball drop as you sang the night away with your best friends and family. What comes next you may ask? Sadly you will have to return to the real world full of work and school and paying bills. "Ah! But I have my New Year's Resolutions!"- you may say. But most of them are 100% complete cliches that you won't hold on to. Here is a list of those things you hear all around the world.

Keep Reading...Show less

The Ultimate Birthday: Unveiling the Perfect Day to Celebrate!

Let's be real, the day your birthday falls on could really make or break it.

​different color birthday candles on a cake
Blacksburg Children's Museum

You heard it here first: birthdays in college are some of the best days of your four years. For one day annually, you get to forget about your identity as a stressed, broke, and overworked student, and take the time to celebrate. You can throw your responsibilities for a day, use your one skip in that class you hate, receive kind cards and gifts from loved ones and just enjoy yourself.

Keep Reading...Show less

Unleash Inspiration: 15 Relatable Disney Lyrics!

Leave it to Disney to write lyrics that kids of all ages can relate to.

The 15 most inspiring Disney songs

Disney songs are some of the most relatable and inspiring songs not only because of the lovable characters who sing them, but also because of their well-written song lyrics. While some lyrics make more sense with knowledge of the movie's story line that they were written for, other Disney lyrics are very relatable and inspiring for any listener.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments