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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at PSU chapter.

Voting can be daunting, but as our civic duty and constitutional right it’s a November necessity.

Follow these steps to refresh yourself on the voting process and answer your voting questions.

cement your intent

Amidst midterms and Halloweekend, voting might seem like an unnecessary added stress. Paired with a bombardment of election texts and ads, you might be tempted to skip the election out of spite.

However, as young women living in a time of uncertainty, voting is more vital now than ever. Our reproductive rights, student debt provisions and environment are at stake.

As women, our ancestors fought for our voice to be heard. If not for the sake of our civic duty, we owe it to them as a nod to their hard work to take to the polls.

Even if you’ve never voted before or have no idea who is running, the resources are available to make the process easy.

Verify your regristration/Register

The first step in this process is registration:

Are you registered to vote?

If yes, verify your registration using this link. If not, register to vote using this link.

Struggling to pick a party affiliation? Try taking an online quiz to align your beliefs with an existing party.

Decide your method

For college students living away from home, it might be difficult to know which voting method is right for you.

The first step is to find your polling place. Use the following link to search for yours.

If you’re able to vote in person on election day — November 7th for Pennsylvania residents — make a plan to get to your polling place.

Don’t forget to bring a valid form of photo ID; this includes any of the following:

  • Pennsylvania driver’s license or PennDOT ID card
  • ID issued by any Commonwealth agency
  • ID issued by the U.S. Government
  • U.S. passport
  • U.S. Armed Forces ID
  • Student ID
  • Employee ID

If you’re unable to get to your polling place on election day, make a plan for early voting.

For Pennsylvania absentee voting, there are two available options: mail-in ballots or absentee ballots. Both need to be requested before October 31 to be valid for the upcoming election.

These methods are similar, their only difference being that absentee ballots require a reason for your absence from the registered municipality while mail in ballots don’t need a reason.

Both can be easily requested through the following application.

Once you complete the application, keep an eye out for updates in your email.

research Candidates

With so much information circulating online, deciding which representative is most qualified might seem impossible.

However, with a little bit of research, this daunting task transforms into an easy feat.

Websites like vote411.org create personalized voter guides based on your specific location to provide unbiased information on each candidate who appears on your ballot.

In preparation for casting a vote, reviewing a sample ballot is also helpful.

Check out Pennsylvania’s sample ballot here.

Your vote matters. Boost your confidence on election day by doing adequate research prior to the occasion.

Congratulations! Once you’ve completed the above steps, you’ve successfully contributed to America’s political state. With great power comes great responsibility.

It’s important to remember — and remind others — about the vitality of voting (they give you a cute sticker for a reason, wear it with pride on the seventh of November). Encourage others to conquer the polls and cast their vote this election season.

Hello! My name is Katherine Engleka and I'm a student at Penn State University. I work as a writing tutor at the writing center and I'm the non-fiction coordinator of Penn State's literary magazine Kalliope.