November 5, 2012

Sometimes I get political... sort of.

A citizen of America will cross the ocean to fight for democracy, but won't cross the street to vote in a national election.” -Bill Vaughan

Ok so it's time to talk about the election. Hey! Wait! Come back! I promise I'm not trying to sell you on “my” candidate. I'm not even giving you a guilt trip to vote. Well I'm encouraging you to vote... but no guilt trip. Honest.

I'm one of those people who feel that it's important to vote in every single election; local and national. Also I vote in the primaries. Because, you see this is not a one man government. I feel, that if I'm only voting for the President, I would be wasting my time. The President can only do so much if he is constantly butting heads with his House and Senate. If I don't vote for my state government then I essentially have no say in our state laws. But, I digress. The point is I'm a big fan of voting. I wish more people were.

I've noticed that there are more first time voters this year. And, not just those newly of age who are clutching their voter card to their chest. It makes me happy. It also makes me think back to my first time voting and things that I wish I had known. So, here I am to give you some tips. Some of this I'm sure you already know, but bear with me. I'd like to share them just in case.

First things first, let's talk about what you need to vote. Know where you need to vote. You HAVE to vote at your designated voting location. Just save yourself the hassle and make sure you're in the right place. Some states require that you bring a valid photo ID. In my state a student ID doesn't count. If you need a ride to your polling center call your local Democratic and Republican Resource Centers. They often help with driving you and most won't care about your party affiliation. Also, at the end of this entry, I will share some links with you where you can find your polling place and state laws for what you need to bring.

Next thing you should know is sometimes the lines will be long. You may have to wait. Try to be patient. Remember that the people working at the polling locations are mostly volunteers. Respect them. I always bring along a book to read in the lines. I do this for a couple reasons. It keeps me patient and, it deters people from asking me who I'm voting for and from them trying to change my mind.

This should go without saying but know who and what you're voting for. If you know everything that's on the ballot before you vote you won't have to worry about making an uneducated decision. It will help the lines move smoothly and decrease the wait for everyone.

At the same time, don't feel rushed. There have already been problems in early voting across the US. If you have a problem notify someone. If you are harrassed at the polls, speak up. Let the workers know of any issues that you are having. If it's a machine issue make sure your vote is counted properly. Then share your problems online so others are aware of them.

As I said before, I have some links to share with you. Is a fantastic website. It is not affiliated with any party, so you don't have to worry about biased information. Here you can find your state voting laws, links to find your voting location, share voter problems, and a variety of other things. is a map where you can share your voting problems and see others. It's very easy to use and navigate. With this site you can put in your location and find information about the candidates running

Finally for Hurricane Sandy's victims.

I hope that you all find this information useful. I hope that you vote. The selfish part of me of course hopes that you vote the same way I do... but so long as you vote, I'm happy.

Until next time, see that wasn't so bad.