If this is your first-time voting, thank you and congratulations! Your vote is so important to see change in your community, and making the decision to have your voice heard is the first step!
We’ve put together the ultimate guide for first time voters so you know exactly what you need to prepare and what to expect to be ready to cast your ballot.
Here are the simple steps you need to know to be ready, we’ll go over each step in more detail so you have all the tools you need.
1. Register to Vote
2. Be Informed
Register to Vote
The first step in getting ready to register to vote is to check your state’s registration deadline. Depending on your state, you may be able to register on Election Day or during early voting, while other states may have earlier cutoffs. Registering as early as possible is always a great choice! You can find your state’s registration deadlines and other voting rules here: https://www.vote411.org/check-registration Your state may also have options for absentee, mail-in voting or in person early voting, so you can decide what is right for you. We recommend taking advantage of early voting if it’s available to you!
Once you’ve got all the information you need, you can register to vote in many ways depending on your state. This could be online, by mail, or in person. You can head to https://www.usa.gov/register-to-vote to get started on your registration so you’ll be ready for the next election!
In this step, you’ll want to be sure you’re familiar with the issues on your ballot as well as any candidates that you will be voting on to be your elected officials. There are five main political affiliations in the US:
While you may find a party that you identify more with, it’s still important to look at each issue as candidates within the same party can often have differing political views. It is also important to make sure you are considering credible sources during your research such as publications with cited sources or trustworthy news outlets. Once you’ve figured out where you stand, you can vote for candidates that best align with the change you want to see implemented and vote on issues accordingly! You can see what’s on your upcoming election’s ballot here: https://www.vote411.org/
Now that you’ve registered to vote and researched the candidates and issues that you will be voting on, it’s time to head to the polls! You’ll want to make sure to check your voter registration ahead of time and confirm that it has been received by your state. You can double check your voter registration status here: https://www.vote411.org/check-registration You also may or may not need to bring photo identification with you, you can check your state’s requirements here: https://www.voteamerica.com/voter-id-laws/
Next, it’s time to make sure you find your polling location (where you’ll cast your vote) and when you are able to do so. Polling locations available to you during early voting and on Election Day may vary, you can check your polling location here: https://www.vote.org/polling-place-locator/ and find key dates for your upcoming election here: https://www.usvotefoundation.org/state-election-dates-and-deadlines
And that’s all you need to get involved in your first election! You can encourage your friends and family to also get out there with you to make your voices heard. Thank you for taking the initiative and doing your civic duty!