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Rock the Vote: Tips for the Upcoming Election

If you tuned into the Democratic National Convention last week, you may have heard ScarJo herself remark, “…we are the generation whose voices haven’t been heard. Vote so that your voice is heard.” (Watch the video below if you missed out!) Scarlett is right, it’s a shame that only half of young Americans are turning out to vote on the biggest issues facing our nation. Some of us Collegiettes might be eligible to vote for the first time this election, and figuring out the system can be tricky. Don’t let getting overwhelmed by forms and information prevent your voice from being heard.

Here are a few steps you’ll need to take ASAP if you haven’t already. (Most states have voter registration deadlines in early October for the November election.):

1. Run a web search for your home state’s department of state and download the voter registration form. Most states don’t allow online registration, but you can print out the form, fill in some standard information, and drop it off in the mail on your way to class!

2. The website will also have information on requesting an absentee ballot which can usually be done either online or over the phone. This makes voting a snap and is crucial unless you’re planning on being home on Election Day! Once you get your ballot in the mail, you can fill it out and mail it right back.

3. Because you’re a student in Georgia and a resident during the school year, you can register to vote in Georgia instead of your home state using the same steps.
This way, you’ll also be able to vote in local elections on issues impacting the Emory community as well, and you won’t have to request an absentee ballot. Though you can do that as well if transportation to the polls is an issue.

4. Check out Rockthevote.org for information, even easier voter registration, and more!

5. Get educated. Voting for your president for the next four years can seem daunting – there is so much conflicting information out there to sift through. Make sure you are voting for someone who cares about issues that matter to you and has plans to take some action. “I Side With” is an awesome quiz that will help you organize both your values and values of the candidates. 

6. Most importantly, get excited! In 1920, hard-working women won their fight for the right to vote in the US. That’s 92 years of making our voices heard. Keep it up!

Cassandra is a senior sociology major and sustainability minor at Emory University. She likes vegan cooking, yoga, bike rides, and photography.
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