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Doing anything special on Tuesday, November 6, 2018? If you live in the United States and are registered to vote, you absolutely should have plans. Why? Because it’s Election Day.
In case you haven’t been watching the news, following the dozens of campaigns across the nation, listening to celebrities and activists call for action, or keeping up with politics these last few months — this election’s a big deal. A huge deal, in fact. And if you’re able to cast a ballot in the midterms and haven’t voted early or absentee, Tuesday is your last day to step up.
While midterm elections might not sound as important or high-stakes as presidential elections do, they still matter immensely and every vote has the power to make a difference.
This year especially — with 410 women, people of color, and LGBT candidates running — local and state election outcomes have the chance to make history, which is one of the many reasons you should put forth the effort to cast a ballot. President Barack Obama already shut down seven popular excuses people make for not voting, but if you’re still hesitant, we’re here to help make the voting process as simple as possible.
Not sure if you’re registered? We’ve got you.
First things first — if you want to vote, you have to make sure you’re registered. A simple way to check is by visiting Vote.org’s “Are You Registered to Vote?” page. You can also check your registration status using Rock The Vote’s website.
If you’re not registered to vote by Election Day, there’s still hope. While you may have missed your state’s deadline to take part in the midterms, 15 states (outlined in the ACLU tweet below) and the District of Columbia allow voters to register on Election Day. So be sure to research your state’s individual registration policies for more information.
Need to find your polling place? No problem.
If you really want to vote but aren’t sure where to go to cast your ballot, Vote.org also offers a nifty polling place locator. Simply enter your address and the site will reveal your designated polling place, the hours during which you can vote, and even offer you directions. A breeze!
How can I get to the polls?
Okay. Registration? Check! Polling place? Check! We’re looking good, but are you set with a ride? A major reason people opt out of voting on Election Day is a lack of transportation to the polls. Don’t let that stop you on Tuesday.
If you find yourself in need of transportation on Nov. 6, BuzzFeed will team up with Lyft to offer 50 percent off all rides to the polls. Uber will offer a “Get to the Polls” button on its app. There are also Election Day scooter and bike deals. You can also visit CarpoolVote.com — a site that connects those in need of rides to the polls or voter registration offices with volunteer drivers.
Voting on Election Day can also prove to be a challenge for people with disabilities. As we noted in an earlier piece, any voter can contact their local election offices and officials to inquire about accessibility at polling places.
Additionally, those who experience problems voting are encouraged to call 866-OUR-VOTE for assistance or visit 866ourvote.org — the website for a nonpartisan Election Protection coalition working to ensure every person’s vote counts.
Get informed on candidates
Perhaps you’re hesitant to vote because you feel uninformed about the candidates running for office in your area. If that’s the case, RockTheVote.org and Vote.org have comprehensive candidate guides to read through, and the ACLU has a tool to help you determine which candidates running for office best align with your beliefs. Inputting your address the ACLU’s voter site will also show you key issues and races on your ballot.
A little extra motivation
We’ve outlined pretty much everything you need to know in order to vote on Tuesday, but a little extra motivation never hurt:
For the love of America, please, no excuses
We’re all super busy. I get that. Everyone has jobs, families, obligations, and lives to live, meaning it’s easy to choose to not to vote. But that would be the wrong decision.
We’re voting for our futures, our identities, our friends, family, and loved ones in this election. For safe schools and workplaces, for gun control, reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, and the next decade in America.
If you vote on Tuesday you’ll be exercising your rights, standing up for your beliefs, and fighting for the America you want to see. You won’t regret it.