Voting Resources

8 Resources To Help You Vote During Election Season

Do they still give out those "I Voted" stickers?

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With the current administration in power and elections coming up, it is vital to ensure that your voice is heard. Voting is a powerful tool and everyone that can access a voting site or absentee ballot should do so, but once elections are over it is important to keep talking. It can often feel like you are being silenced. The booming sound of greedy political agenda can be deafening.

Fortunately, there are several ways to rise above the noise. The following resources are free to use and accessible to anyone with a mobile phone or an Internet connection

1. Check your voting status

Before the midterm election sneaks up on you, make sure that you have registered to vote or check your registration status here. You can register to vote either online or in person. Each state has different deadlines for voting registration and they an be checked via your state or local election office site. Reminder: you can register to vote before you turn 18 if you will be 18 by election day!

2. Vote411

Vote411 gives you all the information you need about the candidates and issues you will see on your ballot. All you have to do is enter your general location.

3. ResistBot

ResistBot allows you to write to your representatives in Congress. By texting "RESIST" to 50409 (or using Facebook Messenger) you can contact your representatives via fax to let them know how you would like them to vote on various policies. It is free and accessible to anyone with a mobile phone or Messenger app.

4. Call Your Rep

Call Your Rep simply requires you to enter your address in the search bar and it then pulls up a list of your House representatives and state senators. The list includes their office addresses, phone numbers, and fax numbers. It is also free to use.

5. Countable

Countable is a website that gives you the opportunity to email your representatives or even send them a video message. The site informs you of political/social justice issues that you can choose to take action on directly. It does require you to set up an account to access its features, though.

6. Demand Progress

Demand Progress is another site with information about multiple campaigns they are running to tackle certain issues. By entering your email to join, you can receive emails about particular events to participate in, as well as petitions to sign. It is optional to donate to the site but otherwise free to use.

7. Government contact

This government website has a comprehensive list of ways to contact your public officials on various levels, including federal, state, and local. Depending on which officials you are looking to contact, all that is required is your state or town. It is free to access and easy to use.

8. Capital Switchboard

Additionally, simply calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 will allow you to connect with a representative directly.

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An Open Letter To Democrats From A Millennial Republican

Why being a Republican doesn't mean I'm inhuman.
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Dear Democrats,

I have a few things to say to you — all of you.

You probably don't know me. But you think you do. Because I am a Republican.

Gasp. Shock. Horror. The usual. I know it all. I hear it every time I come out of the conservative closet here at my liberal arts university.

SEE ALSO: What I Mean When I Say I'm A Young Republican

“You're a Republican?" people ask, saying the word in the same tone that Draco Malfoy says “Mudblood."

I know that not all Democrats feel about Republicans this way. Honestly, I can't even say for certain that most of them do. But in my experience, saying you're a Republican on a liberal college campus has the same effect as telling someone you're a child molester.

You see, in this day and age, with leaders of the Republican Party standing up and spouting unfortunately ridiculous phrases like “build a wall," and standing next to Kim Davis in Kentucky after her release, we Republicans are given an extreme stereotype. If you're a Republican, you're a bigot. You don't believe in marriage equality. You don't believe in racial equality. You don't believe in a woman's right to choose. You're extremely religious and want to impose it on everyone else.

Unfortunately, stereotypes are rooted in truth. There are some people out there who really do think these things and feel this way. And it makes me mad. The far right is so far right that they make the rest of us look bad. They make sure we aren't heard. Plenty of us are fed up with their theatrics and extremism.

For those of us brave enough to wear the title “Republican" in this day and age, as millennials, it's different. Many of us don't agree with these brash ideas. I'd even go as far as to say that most of us don't feel this way.

For me personally, being a Republican doesn't even mean that I automatically vote red.

When people ask me to describe my political views, I usually put it pretty simply. “Conservative, but with liberal social views."

“Oh," they say, “so you're a libertarian."

“Sure," I say. But that's the thing. I'm not really a libertarian.

Here's what I believe:

I believe in marriage equality. I believe in feminism. I believe in racial equality. I don't want to defund Planned Parenthood. I believe in birth control. I believe in a woman's right to choose. I believe in welfare. I believe more funds should be allocated to the public school system.

Then what's the problem? Obviously, I'm a Democrat then, right?

Wrong. Because I have other beliefs too.

Yes, I believe in the right to choose — but I'd always hope that unless a pregnancy would result in the bodily harm of the woman, that she would choose life. I believe in welfare, but I also believe that our current system is broken — there are people who don't need it receiving it, and others who need it that cannot access it.

I believe in capitalism. I believe in the right to keep and bear arms, because I believe we have a people crisis on our hands, not a gun crisis. Contrary to popular opinion, I do believe in science. I don't believe in charter schools. I believe in privatizing as many things as possible. I don't believe in Obamacare.

Obviously, there are other topics on the table. But, generally speaking, these are the types of things we millennial Republicans get flack for. And while it is OK to disagree on political beliefs, and even healthy, it is NOT OK to make snap judgments about me as a person. Identifying as a Republican does not mean I am the same as Donald Trump.

Just because I am a Republican, does not mean you know everything about me. That does not give you the right to make assumptions about who I am as a person. It is not OK for you to group me with my stereotype or condemn me for what I feel and believe. And for a party that prides itself on being so open-minded, it shocks me that many of you would be so judgmental.

So I ask you to please, please, please reexamine how you view Republicans. Chances are, you're missing some extremely important details. If you only hang out with people who belong to your own party, chances are you're missing out on great people. Because, despite what everyone believes, we are not our stereotype.

Sincerely,

A millennial Republican

Cover Image Credit: NEWSWORK.ORG

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2020 Democrats Need To Stick Together If They Don't Want A Repeat Of 2016

Democrats have to be willing to swallow their pride if they want the executive branch to turn blue.

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With a sufficient amount of democratic hopefuls, one of the largest problems in the party is actually choosing one. In the 2016 election, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton were two household names that circled about. However, even after it became statistically improbably for Sanders to win the Democratic primary, he did not back down. He continued to campaign, which led to divisions in the party and might have been the reason to why the Democrats lost the election. Obviously, we have to learn from the past with the upcoming 2020 election.

Parties do better when they stick together.

When there is a division within the party, the votes get divided ultimately giving the win to the competing party. In the 2016 election, Democrats were strongly divided to a point that they were willing to vote for the Republican candidate rather than the other Democratic candidate (which did happen). Some Sanders supporters were unwilling to vote for Clinton just because it was her. They ended up voting for Trump since he wasn't Hillary. We know how that all worked out.

Democrats have to stick together and not become a hindrance to each other.

Although the candidate you were rooting for didn't win the primaries, they still share more ideals than the opposing party does. Elections are becoming more candidate-centric than party-centric which is quite concerning. Candidates have personal interests in mind and could change them on a whim. Parties have an established party platform that does change but only changes every four years.

Democrats don't want to relive what happened in the 2016 elections again.

With the high number of candidates running for the Democratic ballot, the fear of 2016 occurring again is high. Many of the candidates are extremely qualified and have dedicated voters that might put the candidate before the party. Democrats have to be willing to swallow their pride if they want the executive branch to turn blue.

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