3 Things to Know about Election Season

It's almost that time! Time to pack up your ID and carpool with your friends to the nearest polling station and stand in line to make decisions about people making decisions. Voting is a hot topic now, with the polarized nature of United States politics and mass incarceration stripping thousands of people of their right to vote. Strong women of the past fought diligently for the right to vote, and it is our duty to uphold what those women fought for. We're taught many things in history the twelve plus years we're in school. Unfortunately, none of it prepared me to deal with the election process. So here are some quick things to remember when acting upon your inalienable rights!

1. Find your polling place and know the hours.

Polling places vary in the area in which you live. There can be multiple polling places, and most schools and universities are polling places. Different states have different voting hours, but most polling places are open from seven to seven. https://www.usa.gov/register-to-vote is a website you can use to check your voter registration status (which is required to vote) and find where your polling place is located and the hours of operation for that polling place. When you show up to vote, please remember to bring your ID, but if you don't have an ID, you can always fill out an absentee ballot. There's no excuse not to vote guys!

2. Know the candidates and their past and present opinions on hot topics.

Not many politicians are one-hundred percent trustworthy. No matter which political party they belong to, politicians lie, and they do damage control. They must learn to save face and spin a situation into a positive despite how bad it may be. Be sure to do your research, ensuring that you make an educated decision when you vote. Following public consensus can lead you to vote for a candidate you don't believe in. Hot topic issues that politicians speak about are abortion, gun control, drugs, prison reform, the healthcare system, the economy, immigration and public education. Some phrases are code words for underlying meanings, and it's important to be able to decipher these messages when said. "A call for law and order" means a heavier police presence and militarization, the "war on drugs" is a cover for harassing and jailing poor communities for marijuana and crack charges. Politicians are trained to be in the public eye, so as a member of the public, you must be able to read between the lines and discover their true intent. You can use this website (https://www.ontheissues.org/default.htm) to look at a candidate's current views, and with a bit of YouTube snooping you can find out what they said in the past as well.

(I don't endorse Biden, see his poor vs. white kids comment)

3. Participate in local elections.

Everyone wants to vote for the president, but at that point, the electoral college is more involved than you are. Local elections are just as important as national elections and have more of a direct effect on you. If you make sure you vote for someone who represents you locally, they will vote the way you want them to on a larger scale. The way voting works in America operates on numbers and relevance. If you can make sure people go out for local elections and get the candidate that's promising all the good stuff for the little guy, they'll vote for a president who supports the little guy. Everything starts on a local level, and that goes for running in politics as well.


Vote Wisely friends.