voting impacts our lives, and many others’. our vote is a privilege. it is the freedom of choice, of voice. however, we want to be educated voters! we don't want to simply follow party lines. at this point, our personal beliefs and morals could outweigh groupthink in terms of importance. and is this not what democracy is for? educating ourselves and then following our own thoughts, our personal views, our own understanding of the world is not only in line with our individualist culture, but also embraces exactly what a vote is: a chance to express our personal selves, rather than following or being dragged along. still wondering if your vote matters? take a minute to watch this.
linked below are easy online resources to make your assessment as streamlined and efficient as possible:
- start by viewing your sample ballot via ballotpedia. this will be your roadmap. the ballot does link to info provided by ballotpedia; unfortunately, it's very clunky. just use this site to view your ballot, or to use the info in the sidebar, if you so desire.
- next, search the candidates via votesmart to view their bios, professional and political histories, votes, positions, ratings, speeches, and funding, as well as all contact and social information, if you need these.
- now's a good time to click through votesmart to the candidates' websites to view stances on issues. just a reminder; it's a good idea to keep an open mind + do research on all candidates involved. you may want to take note of spirit/tone and organizational skills/clarity.
- we're getting closer to the vote now! head over to vote411 for practical voting info, from registration status to polling locations (for both of these, use sidebar to enter address). a search by state or topic gives you more details on voting, like id's necessary or absentee ballots, specific to your location.
- once you have made your selections, ballotready can help you keep it straight while voting, ensuring a swift trip. simply enter your address and select your chosen candidates to stay organized. when you enter the polling station, simply pull up your selections on your phone and you're ready to copy in your selections. ballotready does give you minimal info on each candidate, so if you're in a hurry, this is the site for you.
- congrats! you're ready to vote! don't let transportation stop you from getting to a polling station. uber, lyft and carpool are offering free rides for voters. download the app, and a button for free rides to polling centers will appear on election day. otherwise use this coupon code or use this code for carpool.
- more info on voting laws by state can be found at rockthevote and electionary
- finally keep tabs on your democracy using fact checking such as politifact, factcheck, and politico. easily contact your elected officials via the contact links you found via votesmart, or try resistbot. Simply text resistbot at 50409, and it will allow you to type your message and send, all via text.
still need a little inspiration? this.