Voting can be a very confusing process, especially if it's your first time. So here are a few things you should know before hitting the polls.
1. Register to vote!
Your vote matters. Complete the voter registration form and send it in. If you haven't sent it in yet, you will not be able to vote in the primaries considering you are required to register 30 days prior. But, you will definitely be able to vote in the general election so do it!
2. Look up your personalized ballot.
Look up a personalized ballot by simply inputting your address. The ballot will show you the candidates in your district. Often times it will also separate them by party. Primaries are not just about voting for a governor. Do not walk into a ballot randomly circling things.
3. Research your candidates.
Advertisements are not research. They are done in favor of the candidate and are completely bias. Look up the candidates on your own and choose the one you believe fits more with your beliefs. Dig deep. Don't just believe what the candidate tells you but rather what they have done. Actions speak louder than words.
4. Have a plan B.
Unfortunately, our candidates don't always win in the primary elections but that's okay because we still have general elections. Do not have your heart set on one individual and then decide not to vote if they lose. Your vote matters.
5. Don't shut the door on canvassers!
Canvassers are people that will go through the streets knocking on your doors, looking to talk to you about politics. Dont shut the door. Listen to what they have to say. If you dont agree then simply let them know you are not interested.
6. Find your polling station.
Everyone has a specific polling station. Make sure to look yours up prior to the election day. Once you know where it is look up the rules and times.
7. Take snacks!
Make sure to take snacks. You never truly know how long the line is gonna be until you get there.
8. Engage with the crowd.
There are many volunteers that set up stations by the polls. Engage with the people around you. Don't be afraid to talk to others. Get to know the people in your community.
9. Don't take your vote for granted!
Voting is our right but we should not take it for granted. Our vote makes a difference so we need to make sure that we understand what our vision is before we walk into a polling station.
10. Always (ALWAYS) vote!
Voting is not just a once in a lifetime opportunity. Please keep yourself updated on any elections coming up. Local and federal voting may have a different value of importance to you but at the end of the day, every vote counts. So get out there and let your voice be heard!
Congratulations on finally having a voice in our democracy. There are many ways to be heard and voting is definitely at the top of the list.