As we enter Fall (at least in the U.S.), the leaves begin to change color and the country becomes inundated with political advertising. Sure, PASS has its voting season as well, but I’m talking about the real deal: elections on the local, state, and federal levels. If you’re planning on attending the PASS Summit, which has it’s opening reception on November 6 – AKA, Election Day – you’ll want to make the proper plans in order to cast your vote and complete your civic duty.
Disclaimer: I am currently working as an Independent Consultant for the Democratic National Committee. However, I will attempt to share resources that are non-partisan in nature.
Info You Need
As of today, about half the states have opened their early voting periods. Reed University has a succinct chart tracking these periods, and even has a breakdown for absentee versus in-person.
Determining when you can begin voting is an important first step, but you’ll need more information in order to complete the process. The Election Protection web-enabled app can be downloaded to your smartphone to complete a variety of tasks. It will verify that you’re registered to vote, or help you register to vote if need be. It can also help you find your polling location. Do note however that many states are still finalizing their polling locations, so not all information may be available immediately. (Technical note: I didn’t have to supply any contact information to download the app. I simply clicked the Submit button.)
Of course, you’ll also need to decide whether you’ll be voting absentee or in-person. The U.S. Vote Foundation has a nice form that will aid in requesting an absentee ballot from your state election office. And if you’re planning on voting in person, you’ll want to pay special attention to the Election Protection app to make sure that you follow all the necessary laws in your state so that you can vote without hitch. This is especially important if you happen to live in a state that requires an I.D. for voting purposes.
I can understand if this is beginning to feel like a hassle. And in this age of the sound-bite and spin, the arguing and bickering is polarizing. But the correct response is to stay informed and to vote – it matters more now than ever.