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Have your vote

Below is everything you need to know about being a first-time voter. 

Everything you need to know about first-time voting, including how to register, what to bring, and where to go.

Voting can be scary. How do I register to vote? Where am I supposed to go? Do I need to take anything with me? How exactly do I do it? We wanted to help you all out. So below is everything you need to know about being a first-time voter. 

Registering to vote

When you begin your voting journey, you first need to find the cut-off date. It is the final day to tell your town that you want to vote. This information is often listed via your local news media. 

If you are out of town, you can still vote! Mail-in voting means that even if you’re away, you still get your say. If you vote via a post, double-check the deadline. That date is often earlier than the election date. This change helps stop the postal service from getting overwhelmed closer to election day. An earlier deadline means that they won’t be.

Tips for the day

Show up earlier than you think you should. Voting early means that you will beat the crows. It’s the best way to avoid queues and get your vote counted as soon as possible. 

Vote for who you really want. At the end of the day, it’s your decision.

Reading up on the issues

When you are choosing who to vote for, many people just vote for the same party as their parents or just the party that they’ve heard the most from. Take the time to check out reliable sources to learn more about what you’re voting on. It’s worth taking the time to read up on different policies. These individuals and parties will have a huge effect on your town and your life, so it’s worth knowing what you’ll be voting for. Make sure that you agree with what’s being said. 

Showing up to vote

You should receive a voter card. This card will confirm that you have registered and should include a location. This is your voting location where you go to cast your vote. You don’t need to take this card with you when you show up, but take some valid ID with you.

If you have a party badge or t-shirt, don’t put it on. Most places won’t allow these items (this rule helps keep people calm and single-minded). Leave the pins at home. 

Even though you’ll show up early to avoid most voters, you might still have to queue for a while. It might be wise to bring a snack and something to drink. We recommend dressing comfortably and bringing headphones to help pass the time. After all, you don’t want to lose your place in line. If you’re in line by the time the polls close, you’re still able to vote, so stick with it!

Casting your vote

If you’re voting by mail, your ballot will be sent to your address. When you receive this, fill it out, sign your name and mail it back. Some places even have a ballot drop box, which will save you from having to send it back.

You’ve got your sweats on, ID in hand with plenty of time to spare, and it’s finally time to walk in and vote. When you get inside, ask an election worker for a voting ballot, sign your name, and fill it out. Simple!

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