Do some research, pick up your favorite black pen, scribble in those bubbles and turn in that ballot—Election Day is November 3rd, and now more than ever, it’s crucial to amplify your voice and get your vote in.
Most are aware that the big seat that’s up for grabs next Tuesday is that of the president, but there are many more that you’re able to vote for that can make a significant difference. State and federal representative seats, a senate seat, state supreme court seats, country commissioner seats and more are all up for the taking. There are also new proposals as well. All of this being said, voting can feel overwhelming for those who are still deciding who they are voting for, or want to know more about the candidates in general. However, there are amazing resources out there that give you a comprehensive, unbiased look at each candidate, like Ballotpedia, that can help you make an informed decision.
Already voted? Great! As a citizen of the United States, you have done a major part in fulfilling your duties as a citizen. If you haven’t voted yet, that’s okay too. The most important part is to have a plan, and we’ve highlighted some important parts in solidifying yours.
The first step is making sure you’re registered to vote. You can check if you are here, and if you’re not yet, it’s not too late! Though the deadline has passed to register online, you can register in person at your city clerk’s office up until 8 p.m. on Election Day.
If you are already registered to vote, it’s important to decide whether you plan on going to your designated polling site on Election Day (between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.) or if you plan on voting by mail. The former is a bit more straightforward, but the latter is still very doable, secure, and safe!
You can request your absentee ballot online here. It’s important to know that the request must be received by your city clerk no later than 5 p.m. the Friday before Election Day, so make sure to do this as soon as possible. Once your request is received, you should get your absentee ballot in the mail fairly quickly. After you fill it out, you can mail it back to your city clerk’s office, or drop it off at your ballot drop box location (this way is probably more efficient, as there have been severe USPS delays).
At the end of the day on November 3rd, all that matters is that you got your vote in. Vote for those who are disenfranchised. Vote for immigrants. Vote for everyone who can’t vote, for whatever reason that may be. Many things are at stake, from the quality of our lives to the empathy of our government. What we vote for now affects the futures of our children, parents, friends, and both selfishly and importantly— ourselves.
— Autumn Miller, Undergraduate Intern