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This year’s election includes the office of the president. As one can imagine, information is  being spewed out at neck breaking speed. Some will be voting for the first, others not so much. At any rate, being an informed voter is a must. Listed below is some helpful information for both the new and experienced voter. The spin masters are working overtime, so it is imperative that voters educate themselves concerning this upcoming election. The supreme court, police abolishment, voting rights, education, housing, and  healthcare are all on the table. So, it’s imperative that collectively our voices are heard from beyond the voting booth. 

The days of believing what a candidate says are over. Actions must match those fancy words. You want to be certain that candidates are in alignment with your core beliefs as a voter.  Understanding who funds them and their voting record on bills are two important steps. Resources that can assist in obtaining this information include: 

Another barrier for voters is ensuring that their information is correct. Going to the correct poll place or registering to vote for the first time. An excellent voter resource is available at:

 

Here you will find a plethora of resources regarding the voting process. One can also look up their local voting information. 

Due to Covid-19 most government offices are now closed. You must register online to vote. However, only 39 states have this option. In most states an state issued ID is required. To find out exactly what your state requires visit:

Understanding some of the more common voting and election terms can make navigating the system a bit easier.  Leading up to this years presidential election you may hear  the following terms more frequently: 

  • Electoral College: The number of electors a state receives is equal to that state’s number of U.S. senators and representatives. Those electors then gather to cast the state’s votes in the Electoral College.
  • General Election: A final election for a political office with a limited list of candidates. The candidates in the general election are the people who won their party’s primary election. General elections happen at a local, state, and national level.
  • Political Action Committee(PAC): A group organized to raise money or support for a politician or cause.
  • Popular Vote: The votes cast during an election for a candidate or about an issue. Whichever candidate or decision about an issue gets the most votes has won the popular vote. (U.S. president and vice president are determined by an Electoral College vote.)
  •  Primary Election:  An election held to choose which of a party’s candidates will be nominated for the general election. In an open primary, all voters can vote for any candidate they prefer, regardless of the voter’s or candidate’s party affiliation. In a closed primary, voters can only vote for a candidate from the party that the voter belongs to.
  •  Provisional Ballot:Type of ballot used to collect a vote when there are questions about the voter’s identity or ability to vote at that precinct. A provisional ballot is counted when the voter’s information is confirmed.
  • Term Limit: The total amount of terms that an officeholder is allowed to serve in a particular position. Laws set term limits for elected offices. No one can serve more than two terms as president of the United States. There are no laws about term limits for U.S. representatives or senators. Term limits for governors and other elected officials are different in each state and locality.

 

For more voting and election terms visit USA.Gov

Sample Ballots give voters a glimpse at what they can expect to see when they enter the voting booth. The Ballots contain the names and offices of those running to be elected.  They can be requested or downloaded. Check with your local election office,  visit Vote.Gov. or Vote411.org

An attempt to prevent eligible people from voting or forcing them to vote a certain way. The attempt may be made by an official, individual, or group. Some voter intimidation tactics include:

  • Using verbal or physical threats
  • Threatening with weapons or jail time
  • Tests involving literacy, property ownership, or citizenship
  • Poll taxes
  • Other types of intimidation to prevent
  • an eligible person from voting freely

 

It is illegal for anyone to try and intimidate an individual for exercising their right to vote.  Should this happen, report the incident to the election officials at the voting location and to the Election Protection Hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE or 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español).

Voter Education
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