With Election Day 2016 quickly approaching, I’ve been thinking a lot about how awesome it is that Americans have the right to vote in electing their leaders. Not every country’s citizens can say the same thing, and I’m thankful for my Constitutional rights (shoutout to the 19th Amendment, #amiriteladies?)
Whether it’s your first election as a registered voter or your fortieth, here are some useful resources you can engage with before November 8th to make the most of your Election Day.
If you don’t know who to vote for in the presidential race…look no further than www.WhoISideWith.com. This nifty website will poll you on your views on a variety of hot-button political issues and their importance to you and then let you know which presidential candidate aligns most with your political views. I really liked this tool because it affirmed my candidate choice but also helped me see which issues I may align more with other candidates.
If you haven’t requested your absentee ballot yet…head to www.vote.org. This your one stop shop to find out if you are registered to vote (and to register, if you’re not…athough in some states the deadline has already passed, fair warning) and to fill out all necessary paperwork to request your absentee ballot. They’ll even email or snail mail you a completed request form to make it even easier to get your democracy on.
If you don’t know where your polling location is…www.vote411.org is the place for you. This site, which is sponsored by the League of Women Voters, allows you to type in your street address to retrieve personalized voting information, including your poll location, and voter guides for your precinct.
If you forgot that the President isn’t the only thing on your ballot this year…many states have U.S. Represenatives and Senators up for reelection this year, so don’t forget how important your vote is for these offices are too! The men and women who make up Congress play a CRUCIAL role in the direction our national government will take in the years to come. I recommend checking out the aforementioned voter guides above to help you make an educated decision about your votes for representatives, senators, judges, attorney generals and other pivotal government roles. Voter guides can break down a candidate’s history, qualifications, education and community ties. You can also find out your political party of choice’s endorsements by Googling “____ Party endorsements ____ County” (or State, etc.). My state of residence, Ohio, has an awesome voter resource for judge candidates at the local and state level that compares candidates side by side. Whether you utilize partisan or non-partisan resources to do your research, just do some research! I like to use a combination before casting my vote so I feel like I’ve explored all sides of a candidate and the office.
And last, but certainly not least–if you run into issues on Election Day, there are several hotlines you can call to report problems:
1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español)
1-888-API-VOTE (Asian multilingual assistance)
I hope you will join me in rocking the vote on November 8th!