How to Get Informed About Politics Before Voting

We’ve all heard how important it is to vote. But with so many complex issues to consider, how can we learn about these important issues before voting in a few days? Here are 5 easy ways to start learning about politics and expand your knowledge of the world.  

1. Sign up for a daily news update. 

We all have a spare five minutes during the day to learn a little bit about the world.  Try subscribing to a daily news update.  Most major news outlets produce a bullet-pointed summary of important events that can be emailed to you every morning.  It’s a great place to start, and if an event seems interesting, you can always do more of your own research.  My personal favorite is The Daily Skimm, which has unbiased (and often funny) summaries of current events.  

2. Try different news sources.

Maybe the idea of examining a newspaper with tiny font sounds boring. That’s okay - there are plenty of engaging ways to learn about politics! TV shows, video clips, and podcasts are all engaging ways to stay informed. There are also Snapchat stories that cover current events. Try listening to a podcast while walking to class or working out at the gym.  

3. Politics don’t have to be boring. 

It may sound crazy, but late-night comedy shows can also be a great way to familiarize yourself with issues. The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah may joke about candidates and current events, but he also includes video clips and facts. Similarly, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver describes issues like the opioid crisis or Brexit in-depth, with plenty of jokes and entertaining stunts. There are many other similar programs, such as Saturday Night Live. Try a few and find one or two you enjoy. There’s nothing better than staying informed while laughing.  

4. Go straight to the source. 

The most unbiased way to learn about the world is to look at direct sources yourself. Watching political debates is a great way to learn about candidates and interpret their responses for yourself. Read the reports. Watch the speeches. By going straight to the source, you’ll learn how to analyze information and make your own judgments.  

5. Talk to other people. 

If you have informed friends, they can be a great resource for learning more about the world.  For example, ask them about a candidate they support and why, or for their opinion on a recent event. Getting a fresh perspective from a regular person rather than a news expert can be very enlightening. Of course, always be respectful of others’ beliefs and only discuss politics with people you feel comfortable with.  

Politics can be confusing. It’s easy to feel powerless when thinking about the many issues facing the world, but nothing is more powerful than an informed opinion. If you take a little time each day to learn about the news, you’ll feel much more knowledgeable about politics in no time and you'll be ready to cast your ballot on March 3rd!  

All images are courtesy of the Her Campus Media Library.