A Guide on Being Politically Informed

While the year has gone by fast, we are only a few months away from the year 2020 ⁠— when the next presidential elections will be taking place ⁠— and 134 days until the first votes are cast for the Democratic presidential nominee. Given the current climate of politics and the sheer amount of Democratic candidates running for president, it’s normal to feel frustrated with, or overwhelmed by, the government. However, making informed choices about voting will give you peace of mind and allow you to trust in someone you can believe in within your local government. Plus, being politically informed gives you an opportunity to show off your political knowledge to your friends and family. Here's what you can do to keep up with the political race in 2020.

  1. 1. Keep up with the news.

    This is the easiest step! News has become integrated with social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and even Snapchat. Publications like the New York Times, WaPo, CNN, and The Boston Globe have their own social media accounts that you can follow to keep up with the news. You can add reading daily briefings that are readily available on your phone into your morning routine of social media scrolling and email checking. However, you’ll want to diversify your news sources to avoid biases and inaccuracies. There are so many online news publications and apps so it’s best to consult the reputable ones to get the real story.

  2. 2. Watch the debates.

    The 3rd Democratic Debates on September 12th, 2019 were 3 hours long. While longer than an HBO special, watching just half of these debates are beneficial if you don’t know what candidate you’re supporting and would like to learn more about each of them. Some of the more detailed information about each candidate's policies and stances on issues won’t be readily available to you; it’s your job as an informed voter to go on their website or look up their voting record to see if they’re the right leader for you.

  3. 3. Volunteer.

    Getting involved in political campaigns or community organizations is a great way to be informed because you’re working directly with the people. You will find out what pressing issues your city or state is facing and have the chance to meet new people and make valuable connections. Volunteering is the foundation for public service, it's the best way to start a career in government and to make a name for yourself.

  4. 4. VOTE!

    If you don’t have time to volunteer, one of the biggest ways to make a change in your community or in your state is to VOTE. Your vote matters. There are lots of elections, especially municipally that are decided by less than 1,000 votes. Not voting is consenting to the status quo and silencing those who are less privileged or unable to use their civic power. Don’t know if you’re registered or how to register to vote? Check out https://vote.gov for instructions how, including casting an absentee ballot, if you’re away at school.

Now, you’re on your way to being a good citizen!

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