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Why voting is vital and what you need to know

The presidential primaries are coming up, which means that it’s almost time for us to pick which candidate we want to represent each party. But what else do we need to know? Learning about policy and candidates is a tall order, but it’s not impossible. In fact, people all over the world do it.


First of all, are you registered to vote?

This is the most important step. Monday, Feb. 3 was the last day for TN voters to register, but it might not be too late for you. You can look at this federal website to see about registering. Even if it is too late to vote in the primaries, you can vote in the general election. Go ahead and register now while it’s on your mind.


It’s important to know when you’re going to vote.

Iowa’s caucuses were Monday, Feb. 3. That starts all of the elections for the season. Primaries fall into line after that. You can visit this website for the full election calendar. Find your state and put the day in your calendar. You can also search for early voting periods. For example, Tennessee’s primary is on March 3, but we can vote anywhere from Wednesday, Feb. 12 to Tuesday, Feb. 25.


So now you know when you can vote, but where do you go?

On your voter registration card, you should be able to locate an address. That is where you’ll go to cast your ballot. If you choose to early vote, though, many states allow you to vote at any polling location. That’s more convenient for a lot of us. However, if you’re out of town during the voting window, make sure you go online to register for an absentee ballot. This way, you can vote in your local election out of town. I’ve had to do that for my local election since I’ve been in college.


But who should you vote for?

I have my own opinions about that, but that’s the fun part! You get to decide which candidate and which policies you believe in. You can check out Politico’s guide to the presidential primary to learn more about each candidate.


Voting is incredibly important. Who you vote for is up to you, but it is vital that you get in the voting booth. Sometimes it’s hard to feel that your vote counts, but it does matter.



I am a sophomore broadcast communications major and theatre minor at the University of Tennessee at Martin. When I’m not in class or participating in events on campus, I spend my time reading, doing yoga, working out, or petting my cats.
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