It’s more important than ever to register to vote and turn up to the polls during the 2018 midterms. Here’s everything you need to know about registering, the voting process, how to find your polling location, and more!
Are you registered to vote? If you’re 18 and over, and you’re not, now’s the time to change that. After a disastrously low number of millennials turned out to the polls during the 2016 election (just 50% of people aged 18-29), the need for the young vote is more vital than ever for the 2018 midterms. Don’t like who’s in office federally, statewide, or locally? This is your opportunity to change that — or at least try your best to. Millennials and Gen Z, listen up!
We know that the midterm elections aren’t until November 2018, but registering to vote is needlessly complicated. Much like finals, it’s better to start early and feel silly about being overly cautious, than to be unprepared and miss the deadline! First things first: find out when your state’s midterm election is being held. Texas just held an early midterm. This site is a great resource for finding out the various dates and deadlines for your state’s elections. Here’s New York, for example: to vote in the New York primary election, which is held on September 13, 2018, you must be registered to vote by August 17, 2018. For the general election on November 6, 2018, you need to be registered by October 12, 2018. There’s more information included for how to vote via absentee ballot!
Now that you’ve figured out when to vote, here’s the skinny on how to vote. Thanks to Article I and Article II of the Constitution, federal and state elections in the United States are run by the states themselves! That means the specifics of how to vote, and how to register to vote, can vary from state to state. It’s important to contact your state of local election office for the exact specifics for your area.
In 37 states plus DC, you can register to vote online. Elsewhere, and addition to these states, you can register through the mail (download the form HERE), or in person. Head to your local election office, the DMV, armed services recruiting centers, or sometimes, state and county public assistance offices. Enter your state HERE and it will tell you what you need to do. If your state allows online registration, you can do that immediately!
Now that you’re registered to vote, keep deadlines in mind and research your candidates! An easy way to do that is by using the Town Hall feature on Facebook. Go to the features tab on the left side bay on the home page. Scroll down, and you’ll see Town Hall. Click that, and Facebook will show you all of the officials representing you based on where you live. You can find out who they are and what they represent, and even contact them. You can also register to receive reminders about voting deadlines, and find out where to vote.
You can also easily register to vote on either of these two websites: HeadCount.org and RockTheVote.com.
Now, good luck, get out there, and vote in November!
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