I’m no stranger to the polls. As a little girl, my mother used to let me go into the voting booths with her and she’d let me press the “button” next to the candidate of our choosing. Before the actual Election Day, there would be talk around the house about who were the best guys for the job. She would ask me for my opinion and we would talk about each candidate. Of course as a child, I knew absolutely nothing about politics, I kinda always picked the guy who I heard the most about, nevertheless she made me feel like my opinion mattered.
If only we could all be like children again, when voting was nothing more than pressing a button on the screen. Fortunately it is not and we have the opportunity to effect the country in which we live in.
This is not a lecture on voting, who to vote for and why, we have plenty of campaign commercials and debates ( as you may have seen last night) that do that. This is a matter of how to vote.
As a college student voting in my first presidential election, I find the before how-to’s more important.
1. Do Your Research- this includes looking at all sides
It is extremely important to do your research. Identify what areas are important to you and understand what policies affect you and find out what the candidates have to say about them. Keep an open mind, to accurately understand what each side is proposing. Yes campaign videos and some news sources are ridiculously bias, but there is enough information out there from the left and right that you can certainly pool together to help you make an educated decision.
2. Vote for not against
It seems like politics is more about not electing the guy you don’t like than it is about electing the guy you do. Vote for the candidates who you truly believe will do better at the job, based on your research. Of course this doesn’t apply to voting on amendments or ordinances, in which case either one will be appropriate as long as it is based on your research.
3. Don’t forsake the “little guys”
You know those things like Representative, Senator, district Attorney, Sheriff, Tax Commissioner that show up on your ballot? Well, they are important too. Make sure you are making educated decisions when it comes to these positions as well, they also hold power in your jurisdiction. House and Senate positions are especially important; since America works on a system of checks and balances, they also have a share in the governmental power.
Make sure to keep these tips in mind when watching those debates and gearing up for this election.