Voting for the first time can be scary, but there are a few steps to make in order to ease the intimidating voting process.
Registration is the first step to voting. The registration deadline recently passed on Oct. 24. Most states allow voters to sign up online, in person, or through the mail.
Students who did not register before the deadline are not authorized to vote in the upcoming election.
Aarin McMahon, sophomore psychology major, said, “I was encouraged to vote by my mom, but it was up to me at the end of the day and as a woman, I knew how important these elections are due to the things at stake.” Some parents heavily push their adult children to get registered to vote, but as Aarin said, it is not their decision.
Younger people need to get involved in elections because their futures will be affected in some facet, depending on who gets elected.
Figuring out your candidates
After being registered, being an informed voter going into the election is crucial. With the advancement of social media, it’s possible to find thousands of resources about candidates at the click of a button. Also, it’s always an option to gain more knowledge by speaking to friends and family about different candidates.
Go through the list of candidates and don’t look at their political party; look at their stances on issues. Holly Smith, sophomore accounting major, said, “I watch a lot of sports on TV, so I have seen so many commercials for the upcoming election. I also see several different lawn signs when I drive out of campus or around my house.” Campaign ads are the least effective way to get your info, however, do your own research to see what’s true and what’s not.
Another very important step in the voting procedure is checking the state voting laws. Every polling place has different opening and closing times. If not in the vicinity of Cabrini, requesting a mail-in ballot is essential to vote on time.
Americans are motivated to vote for many different reasons. McMahon said, “I am passionate about voting because at one-point women were not even allowed to vote; so to me, it is really important to vote because people fought to get that right.”
Citizens may think their vote doesn’t mean anything to the election, but what would happen if everyone thought that way?
Smith said, “I’m not into politics, but I am excited to use my voice and cast my vote in the election to be a part of the voting community and have a sense of belonging to the citizens in my county.”
There is no reason why you should not already be registered to vote.
Patti Stocker, assistant to the school of humanities and social sciences, said, “It really doesn’t make any sense to me; why wouldn’t anyone be registered? Especially during the midterms, which everyone thinks isn’t important because they aren’t voting for a president. The local candidates that you are voting for in the midterms are going to directly impact your life a lot more than the president.”
Visit Pennsylvania’s government website for more information and resources to vote in this upcoming election.