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Friday, June 15, 2018

VOTE: How to Register & Find the Right Candidate for You

When you vote, you show our elected leaders what matters most to you. It’s one of the easiest ways to take a stand for the causes you care about.  

Keep reading to learn how to get registered, determine which candidates align with your interests, and what elections are coming up in your area.

You’re familiar with the general elections that take place every four years to elect a President and the primary elections that lead up to them. They are key to determining the political will of Americans and representing those interests. But, did you know that state and local elections, which take place throughout the year, are also important times to stand up for the causes you’re passionate about?

If you’re not voting in every election, you’re missing out on critical opportunities to represent your interests and elect leaders that are taking a stand on the issues you care about.

Getting Started

If you’re not already registered to vote, there are a number of nonpartisan nonprofit organizations that are here to help! To get started you must be 18 years old and a United States citizen (note: your state may have additional requirements).

For almost 25 years, Rock the Vote, a 3-star charity, has been empowering the millennial voting bloc to register and hit the polls. They seek to demystify voter registration and elections to make them more accessible for younger voters.

The Voter Participation Center, another 3-star charity, is dedicated to amplifying the voices of the Rising American Electorate, made up of unmarried (single, widowed, divorced, or separated) women, people of color, and individuals under 30.

You can also check out Vote.org to learn how to register and find out more about voting and election laws in your state.

Stand Up for What Matters to You

Once you’re registered, it’s time to find your candidates. Project Vote Smart, a 3-star charity, works with journalists to collect and report unbiased information as it pertains to candidates and elections. They aim to provide voters with fair, nonpartisan information on candidates and elected leaders so they can make informed decisions.

And, while you’re looking into the candidates that match your interests, don’t forget to find out when the next election in your area is. Ballotpedia, a 3-star charity, calls itself the “Encyclopedia of American politics.” They offer a comprehensive primary map and other resources to help you prepare to hit the polls!

Franklin Delano Roosevelt once said, “Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.” To this point, FairVote, a 4-star charity, is dedicated to making our voting system and the electorate more inclusive and accessible so that every eligible American takes advantage of their right to vote.

As an American, voting is an invaluable privilege. Be sure to take advantage of your right to vote in the next election, and use it to take a stand for what matters most to you.

Written by Ashley Post, Communications Manager.

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