A girl votes at her polling place in her hometown. (Kortney Littell)
A girl votes at her polling place in her hometown.

Kortney Littell

How to Vote and Why

March 10, 2020

Voting can be seen as complicated, stressful, and even tedious. Many Americans feel that they don’t have enough time to vote or that voting isn’t even worth it. Others do not even know how to register or why it is so important to be involved in the process.

There are three requirements if you wish to vote in the United States: you must be a U.S. citizen, meet your state’s requirements, and be eighteen by election time. If all of those boxes are checked, you are able to vote, but, first things first, you must register before your state’s deadline.

The way you register depends on your own personal preference and where you live. You can check with your local election office to register or register online at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Another option is to use the National Mail Voter Registration Form. If you cannot make it there on election day, you could apply to vote by mail, otherwise known as an “Absentee Ballot.”

After registering, the election office in your area may send you a voter registration card. On this card will be the location that you are supposed to go to cast your vote, known as your polling place. Most of the time, when you arrive at your polling place, you have to show the poll workers your ID.

After that, you are ready to go and complete your ballot. If you do not know how to fill out a ballot, you can simply ask for help from the workers at your voting location. Keep in mind, every state has different voting rules, so make sure you know your state’s rules as you go through the registration process.

Voting is very important; it is a chance for you to choose a representative whose ideas align with your own and who will hopefully get your opinions across. If you do not vote, your voice will not be heard and the decision will be made without you. Voting gives the power to you and enables you to voice your values and beliefs.

The community you live in is also affected by your choice to vote or not to vote. By voting, you can change your family’s, friends’, and neighbors’ way of life. Not only should you vote for your own benefit, but also for the benefit of those around you. Make sure to get involved in the voting process!

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