Sooner Rather than Later: Your Guide to Early Voting
Posted by Kenyetta Whitfield
October 20, 2016
The horse is dead. It has not only been beaten to death but rather beaten, revived, and then beaten again. And that horse is people telling you to vote. Yet, even though the horse no longer exists it leaves in its afterlife a new horse, early voting.
While the feeling of voting on the ever-exciting Election Day can perhaps never be replicated it is important to acknowledge the many downfalls to waiting until November 8th to vote. There are always the possible accidental flat tires or sick days which could prevent you from voting but there are also the possible restrictions imposed by nasty voter id laws that could impact you on the big day. Nothing would be more annoying and possibly devastating than standing in the huge lines at the polling location only to be asked, “are you registered?”
Early voting is a great tool for those who are weary about getting (their legal right to) time off from work to vote as well as those with busy schedules and young people in general. College can be busy and it voting early is a great way to combat busy schedules. So, here are 5 tips for getting ready for early voting:
1. Review your ballot
Websites like Ballotpedia, offer voters the opportunity to look up sample ballots in order to familiarize themselves before voting day. By looking over your sample ballot you are able to review your candidates, as well as look up any state or even local ballot initiatives.
2. Find your polling location
Voter registration cards sent, which are sent out on varying dates, have a lot of useful information on them. Of this important information is the location of you polling place. If for some reason, it seems your early voting location is different than that location a quick search of your county or city on your states website should tell you where to vote and spare you any really embarrassing moments.
3. Gather the necessary documents
Knowing what to bring to vote is difficult to say the least. This is why preparation before going to vote is key. Look on your state government’s website and identify what you need to vote. This is an especially important step for many college students. If you are registered away from your hometown or city you could need extra documents to provide proof of residence.
4. Familiarize yourself with local elections
It is important to remember that the presidential election affects all of us but that local elections impact you individually much quicker and many times more substantially than federal policy. So, rather than walking into your polling location decked out in Trump/Pence or Clinton/Kaine gear and ignoring all local and state elections be sure to know who will be representing you voice in your county or state
5. Go Vote
Go out there and get your vote on. It may be a dead horse but if you are going to participate in democracy do it right and be informed. Young people always have largely lower voter turnout than expected and early voting could be the way to combat that.