One of the most important duties of every citizen in a democracy is to vote! This year feels especially important with the myriad of things happening in our world right now, but we should always be this amped up and passionate about our part in making sure our leaders represent our values and rights.
1. The first step is making sure you're registered to vote. If you're qualified to vote, are you registered? Here are some places you can check. If you have moved or made any changes to your address or location recently, this is extra important to make sure your information is correct:
2. If you are not registered, the second step is to register! It varies by state, so do your research and get registered.
3. The third step is to get informed! Everyone knows about the big election that occurs every 4 years (this November being one of them). But there are senate races, city and county races, propositions and ballot measures. These things directly affect you and your family. So find out what's going on, read up on both sides of the issue, and then make an informed decision. And if you're confused, ask for clarification. It's ok to admit that we don't understand something and get educated and informed by people or resources who do. While we're at it, let's also normalize being informed voters that know and care about the issues. Here are some resources:
And finally, make a plan and VOTE! Each state has different opportunities and rules for voting. In some states, you can request an absentee ballot, request to vote by mail, vote early, or go to your local polling place on November 3rd. The only wrong way to do it is to not vote if you're qualified to! :) There is also some misinformation out there that you can vote by mail, and then go to your local polling place to vote. This is not correct. You cannot vote more than once!
If you're all set and ready to vote, then encourage your friends, family, neighbors, and anyone else you know to vote. Democracy only works and represents the voice of the people when all the people contribute their voice. We can do this!