In each and every election, it's your rights, it's your freedoms, it's your interests that are on the ballot. — Todd Young
How much thought do you put into Election Day?
If you are guilty of waiting until you are in the voting booth to review the candidates, bond referenda and constitutional amendments, consider following these easy tips to be prepared and make the biggest impact on Election Day. Take your vote seriously...our freedom is on the line.
Evaluate your personal vision for your community.
Over time, issues change, your priorities evolve, your family grows and your job and housing changes. One of the main purposes of an election is for you to express your voice - for yourself, your family and your community - and to determine which candidates come closest to being able to implement that vision. Take a few moments to think about what matters to you, and what you like and dislike about your community, our nation and our world.
Find a sample ballot.
There are often more than candidates on the ballot. You can generally find a sample ballot at your state Department of Elections website. Your local political parties may also have sample ballots on their websites which explain their positions on the initiatives. Note that your ballot may or may not identify the candidates by political party.
Watch a candidate forum or debate.
Spend an evening attending a candidate forum or meet and greet, or find a video online or television replay of a forum or debate from earlier this year.
Make a decision.
How you decide to vote is personal, but I encourage you to consider their ideas, past skills and experiences, and if they can effectively advocate for your community. Remember that no one is perfect and that any thinking person’s worldview evolves. Don’t rely solely on others’ opinions of a candidate, use your voice wisely.
Volunteer for a campaign or make a political contribution.
In addition to voting for a candidate, you can support their campaign. Visit the candidate website and contact their campaign about writing postcards, making phone calls, knocking on doors, making a contribution or volunteering on Election Day. Consider bringing a child or a mentee with you to educate them about the process.
Talk to your friends about voting.
In these final days before the election, reach out to a few friends and family members and encourage them to vote--especially those you know who have not been consistent voters. Be prepared to do some convincing...check out my recent blog post on voter persuasion.
Create a plan to vote.
Will you be in town on Election Day? You may have a few days left to request an absentee ballot by mail, or your locality may allow in person absentee voting. If you do plan to be in town, decide now what time you will vote, and request time off of work if needed. Include enough time for inclement weather and traffic. Consider bringing a child or mentee with you. No excuses!
Watch the election returns.
Election Day can be exciting. Plan to get together with a few friends to discuss the results.