If you’ve never voted, it’s not too late to start. Many emphasize that it’s our civic duty to vote, and voting is easier than you may think.
Before you vote:
- Check Your Registration
If you’re not sure if you’re registered to vote, you can check here to see if you’re registered at your current address.
- Register to Vote
It takes two minutes to register to vote. Depending on your state’s voter registration rules, you can register online or download the National Mail Voter Registration Form. You can also register in person with your state or local election office and some nearby public facilities including the department of motor vehicles, armed forces recruitment centers, and state and county public assistance offices.
- Get Your Absentee Ballot
If you’re a military or overseas U.S. citizen, you can register to vote and request an absentee ballot. Be sure to submit your application as soon as possible so you can make sure you receive your absentee ballot in time.
When it’s time to vote:
- Check Voter ID Requirements
Many states require you to show a form of identification before you vote. Be sure to check your state’s laws before you go to the polls including if you’re required to have a photo or non-photo ID. While you’re looking at your ID, double check that your name and address matches your name and address on your vote registration. First time voters must also show identification if they did not register in person.
- Decide Who to Vote For
When deciding who to vote for it’s important to decide what you’re looking for in a leader. Smart Voter is a resource that allows you to find out more about candidates. You can also look at newspapers or put together your own collection of information based on press reports, candidates’ speeches and debates, and campaign literature. When selecting your candidate, evaluate their stands on issues and learn more about their leadership abilities. It can also be helpful to research how other people view the candidate such as their endorsements, campaign contributions, and opinion polls. More importantly, when sorting all of the information out, recognize distortion techniques so you’re well informed.
- Cast Your Vote
When it’s time to vote, go to your nearest polling place. If you prefer to vote outside of a polling station, you may vote by mail or take part in early voting if your state offers it.
Vote.org is a great resource that has online tools to engage other to vote, and you can sign up for election reminders. They’ll remind you of when and what you need to vote so you don’t miss an election. Improve your civic engagement now!