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Americans are notorious for "going ghost" when it comes time to make our voices heard in the polls. Just looking at statistics from the most recent few years alone, the percentage of active American voters has plummeted rapidly—in fact, only ~42 percent of registered voters practiced their right to vote in the last cycle of midterm elections. With that being said, young people need to vote. Youth voter turnout rates are at an all time low, so its no surprise that you've probably seen an alarming number of posts and signage popping up over the course of the last couple of weeks, urging America's youth to get registered and get themselves to their local polling station. Non-presidential elections have low turnout rates in general, which is what heavy midterm campaigners are hoping to challenge in the polls this year by spreading the word in every way possible.
What's at stake?
Currently, the Grand Old Party (GOP), more widely known as the Republican Party, is in control of both the House and the Senate. With this year's midterm elections, that has the potential to change. There are three very possible outcomes in sight.
- The GOP remains fully in control, securing an additional two years to push for policy in their favor.
- The Democratic Party wins one chamber but not the other—resulting in a back and forth government sat on a largely divided foundation, with little to no comprehension of the word "compromise."
- The Democratic Party wins both the House and the Senate, pinning congress against the White House in policy, resulting in a still-divided, yet more change effective means of governing.
Not yet registered? Still want your voice to be heard?
Not a problem! If you happen to dwell in any of the following states, you can register to vote at the polls on the same day as elections!
Eligible same-day register and vote states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
*More information on same-day registration and voting for your particular state can be located here.*
If the same-day voter registration isn't applicable for your state, don't sweat it too much, but with that I urge you to still educate yourself. Find out who's who and what's what. Just because you can't vote this time around doesn't mean that you can't still be helpful and of use in this election. The more voices that we can get to be heard this Tuesday, the better! You can assist in spreading the word and aid efforts to seek out registered voters that are on the fence about making an appearance at the polls. You can even volunteer to text potential voters on Election Day as one extra reminder that their voices need to be heard! If you'd like to volunteer, you can do so by clicking here.
Who should you vote for? What should you vote for?
Facing the ballot, especially if it is your first time voting, can be an insanely overwhelming experience. That is, if you don't do your research first. Luckily with today's technology, our necessary research for informed voting is made pretty easily accessible. By clicking here, you can access your own personal Ballot Cheat Sheet. All that you have to do is enter your address and hit enter—voila! You will instantaneously be met with a list of everyone running, what they are running for, their political affiliation, a short blurb for each candidate, and also a summary of any state issues that will be on your ballot to vote in favor of or against (matters such as allowing medical and/or recreational use of marijuana, gun control, Bingo laws, oil and gas drilling, healthcare, dog racing legality, minimum wage, etc...).
Want to be even more well-informed? Check out this sweet guide outlining America's most pressing issues.
You're all set!
You've done your research! You know what is going down this Tuesday, and you know what is suspended in the balance of the hands that are controlling the chambers of the House and the Senate.
So, what are you going to do about it?
My hope is that you now have plans to get out there and vote this Tuesday, as if your life depends on it, because it kind of does.
Remember—your vote matters. The future is yours for the changing, so don't pass up the opportunity to get out there and turn ripples into waves. Stir up a tsunami! This is your time to shine, to truly make a difference.
Happy voting, America!