It is every adult’s constitutional right to vote as long as they have attained the legal age. This gives them the opportunity to choose leaders of their choice and oust the ones that are poor performers. In the event that one is not sure about the leaders, they can always do a quick research. The internet comes packed with invaluable information and also gives you the opportunity to see other people’s views in regards to the candidate. We are going to take a look at the steps that one should take before voting in the United States.
Register as a Voter
The very first step is to register to vote. The requirements might vary depending on the state that you’re in because the voter registration is not managed by the federal government. In most of the states, people are allowed to register online, in person or by filling a form as long as they are qualified and meet the registration deadline. In the event that a voter is not in the state that they registered in at the time of voting, they can complete a Federal Postcard Application so that they can vote in absentia.
Research Political Parties and Candidates
When selecting the right candidates or parties, it is always good to be informed so as not to make a mistake. This way, you won’t have to rely on political propaganda and media coverage to make your decision, since that isn’t always the best. It is good to be informed so as to make knowledgeable decisions.
Knowledgeable of Issues
The issues at stake are very important and you should know them. Whether it is a presidential or city council election, the visions of the leaders are usually the same in most cases, and can be found on their websites. It is important for new voters to review the information and compare it with their own beliefs on the functioning of the government.
Check State Rules and Regulations
On the voting day, most of the polling centers are open for at least 12 hours. This is flexible, allowing people with all sorts of schedules to vote. Although only 35 of the American states require voters to show a photo ID, first time voters that registered by mail are required to bring along a valid photo ID, utility bill, pay stub or a government document showing their names and current address.
Locate the Polling Place
In the event that you are not sure where to vote, you should contact your election office to find out. The State election office is the one that assigns the polling stations based on where the voters are based.
Electronic voting systems are being used, either optical scanning or touch screens, on election day. It is important for everyone to be knowledgeable of the voting system that their state is using. Voters may not have to vote for every office on the ballot, and are also allowed a write-in if the candidate of their choosing is not on the official ballot.
National Rights and Rules
- Age Requirements
All voters in national elections must be 18 at the time of the election. Some states allow individuals who are 17 to vote in the primaries, provided they will be 18 when the general election takes place.
- Disability Assistance
According to federal provisions, individuals who are visually impaired, unable to read or write, or affected by another disability are allowed to bring someone to provide assistance while casting their vote. A few states also provide curbside voting for voters who can’t easily leave their vehicles.
- Help for First-Time Voters, Others
Individuals may feel a bit nervous the first time they step into the polling station, but federal law allows poll workers to offer extra assistance to these voters. Voters are also allowed to ask for help if their polling station has installed new equipment since the last time they went to the polls.
With that said, there are various bodies that monitor the elections and one of them is Philadelphia 3.0.
Philadelphia 3.0 Agenda
- Hold candidates and elected officials accountable for the promises they make, the policies they pledge to implement and the duties they swear to perform.
- Report on important political news from City Hall and Harrisburg. Philly Set Go will make sure it is at every important political event, from mayoral debates to City Council meetings.
- Advocate for millennials in local and state government to make sure our interests are protected and advanced.
- Support millennial aged candidates that champion the issues we care about. These candidates need our support and millennial interests will not be fully represented until millennials win elections.
- Get out the vote. Voting is still the most powerful tool in a citizen’s arsenal.
With this information, you can better understand the voting process, going ahead and vote without the slightest worry. It is very important to choose your leaders wisely as they are the ones that will be charting the way forward for your cities.