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

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware that 2020 is a United States election year. Now you’re probably wondering: who are the candidates and what do they stand for? Who do I vote for? How do I vote? What happens next? Keep reading to learn a crash course on everything to know ahead of voting on November 3rd, 2020!


What are the Main Parties and Who are the Candidates?

There are 2 major political parties in the United States, the Democrats and the Republicans, as well as lesser known third parties. For the Democrats, there’s Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and a few others. For the Republicans, Donald Trump will be running for his second term. Compared to the 2016 election, this is a much smaller pool of candidates. 


What Do Each of the Candidates Stand For?

To have a better understanding for what each candidate stands for, I highly recommend doing your own research to better understand who you most align with. Here are quick summaries for what each candidate stands for:

  1. Bernie Sanders – promotes welcoming refuges and those seeking asylum, creating a Medicare for all health insurance programs to provide everyone in America with health care coverage, to transform our energy system to 100% renewable energy, to guarantee debt-free public college and so much more. Go visit his website to see what else he stands for at berniesanders.com
  2. Joe Biden – to rebuild the middle class by making home ownership, college affordability, and equality for all more accessible, recommitting to allies and reconstructing military power, protecting the right to vote and more. More information can be found at joebiden.com 
  3. Elizabeth Warren – to end corruption in Washington, tax wealthy Americans and companies like Amazon, build a green economy, Medicare for all, raising wages and creating a fair work week for part-time workers, building financial security and more. Learn more about what Warren stands for by visiting her website at elizabethwarren.com
  4. Pete Buttigieg – to creating equal justice for all, strengthening the middle class, building a safer America, improving health care by making medicine more affordable and health equity, channeling a national climate change project and more. More of his plans are on his website at peteforamerica.com 
  5. Donald Trump – to increase take-home pay for working Americans, enforcing immigration laws to increase safety, promoting fair trade, confronting rogue nations and more. As Donald Trump will be running for his second term, he will be running on a platform of the promises he’s kept since his campaign in 2016. Find out more at donaldjtrump.com



Not Sure Who to Vote for or What Party You Are?

It is common to get confused in all the policies and issues surrounding the 2020 election. A fair and equal test to find out which political party you mainly side with is to take the Political Compass Test. The test will ask you a series of questions relating to a wide variety of issues and then point you to where you land on the Political Compass. Follow this link to take your test today: politicalcompass.org


How Do I Vote?

Whether you stayed in-state or traveled out-of-state for college, you’re still able to vote in the election on November 3rd. In federal elections in the United States, you can’t vote online so you’ll either have to travel to your polling place or cast an absentee ballot. If you live outside of your polling place, fill out an absentee ballot or fill out the form through WINGS when the time gets closer to vote on campus. As election day approaches, the university will send out more information on specific details as to how to do this, so keep your eyes peeled for more information as the day gets closer. 


What Happens Next?

Primary elections are now underway for every state government to determine who the official presidential nominees are. Super Tuesday is March 3rd and it’s the day when the most states and territories hold their primary elections or caucuses. July 13th-16th will be the Democratic National Convention where the party will name its nominees for President and Vice-President. The vote for President and Vice President will take place on November 3rd. I encourage everyone that is reading this to look into the different candidates and what they stand for, as well as the events that will be taking place this year as we approach the election day. Don’t forget, every vote matters! 



Hi, My name is Morgan Hose and I am a first year UWL student! I am double majoring in Political Science and Communications on the Pre-Law track. In my free time, I love to binge watch criminal minds, run, and spend time with friends!