Hey y’all! I am sooo excited for this post. I haven’t been this massively pumped for one in a while! Voting and politics are another passion of mine aside from blogging. I have always been so excited to get involved! This post is going to share literally every single thing you need to know in order to vote, all my tips for voting, and important deadlines you need to know for the upcoming election!
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Why Voting Matters to Me
I wanted to briefly share why I’m so passionate about voting before I start this post. I’ve said it before on my Instagram, but I was more excited to turn 18 so I could vote than I was to turn 21 so I could drink! I believe it’s a freedom that is one of the most important women (and men too obvi) have. My grandmother fought for the right for Black women and men to be able to have the same freedoms that their white counterparts had in the 60’s.
Because…let’s be real, only white women gained the right to vote in 1920! I feel as if not voting and not making my voice heard is an insult to everything she worked for. She worked at polling locations growing up, and now I’ve signed up to do the same this year! I feel like I’m upholding her legacy (and the legacy of all women who fought for equal rights under the law) when I vote. That sounds dramatic, but it’s so true!
I also admire so many strong women in politics. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was one of the women I have looked up to for YEARS now. Her passing last week hit me very hard and just inspired me even more to write this post. I also love Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Ayanna Pressley too! These women have been a FORCE and it makes someone like me, in their early twenties, want to help impact change too.
How to Register to Vote & Take On the Polls
Okay, so the most important part of this post, is HOW TO REGISTER TO VOTE! This is honestly so easy and I feel like it’s the most daunting aspect of this whole process. Let me be honest, it takes maybe 5 minutes to register online. It’s quicker than taking a shower! I’m going to list out all the steps you need below to register to vote and take on the polls:
- Register to Vote: All you have to do is head to https://www.vote.org/register-to-vote/, enter in some info, and you’re all set!
- Find Your Precinct: Georgia has made this super easy, but I feel like other states have something similar! For Georgia you just have to go to (this website) and it’ll tell you ALL your voting info! You’ll find your Polling Place, Your Elected Officials, Absentee Ballot Request Information, Your Personal Voting Info, and anything else you need to know!
- Research Candidates: Let’s be real, the two party system is massively backwards. For that reason, I think it’s super important for you to research ALL CANDIDATES ON EVERY SIDE OF THE FENCE! Do you really want to be ~that person~ who voted for a certain party JUST because it’s that certain party? It’s especially hard to do that in southern states where a majority of the smaller candidates are all Republican.
- Research Referendums and Initiatives: Elections are NOT just for placing people in power. I didn’t realize the first time I went to vote that I would be voting for more than just officials! Some previous referendums have spoken to things like: expanding Medicaid, carbon taxes (emissions), rent control, etc!
Voting Deadlines You Need to Know
If you’ve gotten this far, I’m assuming that you were excited to read this post and/or about voting! There are some key dates that I wanted to add to this post just for your awareness. I highly suggest voting early or mailing in your ballot! For JUST the primary in June, I waited for 4 hours to vote. They couldn’t get any of the polling machines to work in most of Atlanta. Don’t wait until November 3rd unless you’re potentially willing to wait hours!
- Voter Registration Deadline (Confirm Here): October 3rd
- Absentee Ballot Request Deadline: October 30th
- Absentee Ballot Return Deadline: November 3rd
- Early Voting Timeframe (Confirm Here): October 12th – October 30th
Even More Voting Info
I know that voting can sometimes be confusing! There’s a lot of small nuances that can make it a stressful ordeal. I wanted to share even more voting tips that can help make this whole process smoother for you! In college I didn’t change my address to vote, so I had to drive back home to do so. Never again!! Here are some additional tips and tricks:
- If you’ve moved, be sure that you have updated your address on your voting registration! If you forget and head in to vote, you won’t be allowed to at your designated polling location.
- Has your name changed and/or have you gotten married? Make sure your correct name is changed on your voter registration!
- Want to update your political party affiliation? Make sure to do that too!
- Have you recently become a US citizen? Be sure to register today so you can vote in November!
- Be sure to always have an ID with you! This can be anything from your passport to your driver’s license.
- Voting in person? Bring water and snacks! As I mentioned above, I had to wait around 4 hours to vote in just the primary. I don’t even want to think about how bad the voter suppression will be in a few months! If you’re working from home, bring your laptop too! I was working from the precinct in June.
I blasted out this post today and I’m so happy that I did! I LOVE being able to share tips on how to get involved in your government. Remember, there is more to elections than JUST the candidates! Referendums allow change on a state by state (and city by city) basis. It’s an easy and impactful way to make a change in your own community, as well as enacting change on a national level too!
Use Your Voice for Change……VOTE!
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Photos by Hannah Lozano