It’s easy to become disenfranchised or to want to ignore politics. However, it is important to focus on all the reasons we should vote. Voting is not just your right as a US citizen; it is your responsibility. Your vote matters because it is your voice. It is your power to affect change! So why vote? Here are a few reasons and resources to inspire you:
|Voting Honors Those Who Sacrificed For You||
Now that we’ve convinced you to vote, here’s all the information you need.
Once you are registered, you should check your registration information Here.
Ohio periodically purges voters, so you’ll want to check in on your registration and update your address periodically.
If you have moved recently, you can update your address Here.
If you need to confirm your registration or check your polling location, you can do that Here.
Important Deadline Information:
You must register or update your voter registration no later than 30 days prior to an election.
Upcoming voter registration deadlines: October 5, 2020 for the November 3, 2020 General Election
Informed leaders and citizens make better decisions. Informed voters choose more qualified leaders and policies for our communities. It may feel overwhelming to try to sort through all of the political rhetoric and biased sources, so we’ve gathered some credible resources to help you make the best decisions for you, your family, and our community.
First, you want to find out who and what is on your ballot. You can use the Voter Toolkit from the Ohio Secretary of State webpage to view your sample ballot.
Next, you’ll want to research the candidates and issues on the ballot. The League of Women Voters Smart Voter program has created a guide for How to Judge a Candidate. The American Association of State Colleges and University’s Democracy Commitment Project will walk you through the process of critically analyzing candidates, issues, and political messaging.
When researching, you’ll need to be aware of the sources you are consuming and the truthfulness of the candidates’ statements.
This Media Bias Chart is a quick guide to ensure you are getting a wide range of perspectives and staying away from overly biased sources. You can also use PunditFact to sort through the political media commentary.
The League of Women Voters Ballot Guide is an excellent nonpartisan resource.
We all know the stereotype that all politicians lie, but some lie and mislead more than others and many are relatively truthful! PolitiFact, The Voter's Self Defense System, USAFacts, and FactCheck.org to evaluate the honesty of candidates and political campaigns.
Avoid only getting your news from social media. Logarithms limit what you see, images can be altered, and information is very often not fact-checked. Learn to identify Fake News and use reverse image searches to identify altered or miss captioned photos that may mislead. Be wary of viral conspiracy theories and most importantly, don’t share anything unless you’ve confirmed its credibility!
After you’ve done your research, you’ll need to decide how you will vote. The League of Women Voters’ Personalized Ballot | VOTE411 tool is an excellent way to record your decisions before completing your final ballot.
In Ohio, you have three basic options for voting. All are safe and secure.
Request your ballot as soon as possible. The final deadline to request an absentee ballot is 3 days before the election in which you want to vote. Mail your ballot request (found here) or drop it off to your county board of elections. Addresses found Here. Your ballot will be mailed to you. Once you’ve filled out your ballot, you can mail it in or drop it off. Please note that ballots much be postmarked by NO LATER than the day before the election. Ballots CANNOT be delivered or dropped at polling locations on elections day.
After you’ve submitted your ballot, you can track it Here.
On election day, November 3rd, you will vote at your assigned polling place, which you can find here, between 6:30am and 7:30 pm. You must bring an approved form of identification, which can be found Here.
Voting is just the first step in becoming an engaged citizen. The more of us who are involved and active in our communities, the more prosperous and healthy they are for everyone! While there are ways for us to be involved year-round, here are some ways you can help during this election season:
Encourage your friends and family to vote by posting information on social media, sending text messages, and just plain old-fashioned conversations. Give them the link to this page so that they have all the information they need.
Speak out against lies, conspiracies, and misinformation on social media. Spreading incorrect and deceptive information is damaging to our democracy and the health of our communities. This article outlines How to stop misinformation from spreading on social media. You may also want to use these videos to help! The True True Truth – Trying to talk with someone who believes a conspiracy theory? Send them a video from someone they might listen to!
Volunteer for a campaign or organization. Once you become an informed voter, you may find you are passionate about a candidate or issue. Help these causes by volunteering your time.
Sign up to be a poll worker. A shortage of poll workers can cause long lines and even the closing of polling locations. The Ohio Secretary of State is urging citizens to “defend democracy” by working at the polls this election.
Understanding how our system works AND some of its flaws can help us to understand why we ALL need to engage and be active.