Steps all upcoming voters should take before election day

On Nov. 3 of this year, the United States is due for another presidential election. Students who will be 18-years-old by then are eligible to vote. If you’re one of these students, here’s some steps you can take before election day.

Registering to Vote

The first step to take when preparing to vote is to register.

Anyone who will be at least 18 by Nov. 3 can register. You don’t have to be 18 to register. The deadline to register to vote in Georgia is October 5.

To register, you can do a number of things. The easiest option is to simply register online.

It takes less than ten minutes and you can do it on a number of websites and apps. Even Snapchat now has a feature that allows users to register to vote.

Snapchat’s new option to register to vote with a simple click. [Photo Source: The Verge]

The snapchat link brings users to Vote.gov where residents of any state can register.

Another alternative for online registration is mail in.

Most eligible voters receive a form in the mail but if you chose to register by mail and you didn’t get a form, you can go to Georgia.gov and print out a copy for yourself.

If you choose to mail in your registration, make sure that it is in the mail by Oct. 5.

The final way to register is by doing so in person. You can do this at most public government buildings such as libraries and election offices.

If you register in person, be sure to bring everything that you’ll need. You can find this information by reading through Georgia.gov‘s section on voting in person.

Voting registration is due for all methods on Oct. 5. If you want to vote, make sure to register soon!

Checking your registration

Once you have completed your registration, you may think that all you have left is to pick a candidate and show up on election day.

However, it’s important to make sure that you are registered to vote.

I first registered to vote in July, but in late August, I went online to check my registration and found that Georgia had not yet approved my registration.

I emailed the office that deals with registrations and it was taken care of immediately.

To check if you are registered to vote, go to Vote.gov. It takes five minutes and confirms if and where you are registered to vote.

A great question to ask yourself [Photo Source: wuga.org]

Know where you’re voting

Again, this seems like an obvious step. But many people don’t realize that you can only vote in the state that you are a legal resident of.

If you will be out of town on election day, you can request an absentee ballot. To do this, you can go to your voter registration information, at the Georgia Voter page.

Once you log in, it will have an option at the bottom of the page where you can fill out an Absentee Ballot form, which will allow you to vote before election day by mail.

Even if you will be in town on Nov 3, it is important to know which poll center you are registered to vote at.

You are only registered to vote at one location, so if you go to the wrong place, you won’t be able to cast your vote at that location.

To find out what polling center you are at, go to the Georgia Voter page and look under your information at the top of the page.

Georgia voting page logo. [Photo Source: govotegeorgia.org]

Know when you’re voting

While election day is on Nov. 3, there are also options in many states to vote early.

Georgia’s early voting opens the fourth Monday before election day. To see when other states open early voting, go to vote.org.

This chart demonstrates which states allow early voting. [Photo Source: projectvote.org]

There are many benefits to early voting. It shortens poll lines on election day, reduces the burden on poll workers, holds the potential to speed up election results, and may be turning out more voters than traditional elections.

It also is yet another way to ensure that your vote is counted.

If this is an appealing option to you, go online and see where the nearest early voting center is to you.

Here’s the closest early voting offices for Cherokee County students.

Cherokee county early voting offices and the time and dates they are open. [Photo Source: voter.cherokeega.com]

Please, make a plan to vote! Nov. 3 isn’t as far away as it seems.

Get informed

This is arguably the most important part of preparing to vote.

Voting is a privilege, and making sure that you are informed before voting is crucial. There are many ways to inform yourself about politics. The easiest way to do this is simply watching the news.

If you are looking for news channels that do not support one candidate over another, check out PBS News or Associated Press News. Both of which are nonpartisan.

Obviously, the presidential election is receiving the most media attention right now. With President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden being in the midst of their campaigns, there is a lot of information out there.

President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden at their first presidential debate [Photo Source: politico.com]

October is going to be full of press conferences, debates, and rallies. If you want to learn more about each candidate watching these can be a great source of information coming straight from each candidate.

It’s also important to remember that we aren’t just voting for president on Nov. 3. There are several other positions open for election that are equally important in terms of how they affect our country.

To see what these electioned positions and candidates are in your state, go to us.gov and choose your state to see a sample ballot.

Once you know who you’re voting for and what candidates beliefs are closest to your own, get ready for Nov. 3.

It’s an important year, and everyone’s vote counts.

There’s no such thing as a vote that doesn’t matter. They all matter.

President Barack Obama

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