Heather Freeman regrets that she didn’t vote in the 2016 presidential election.
“Currently, I’m not happy with the administration,” Freeman said. “I feel like it’s the politicians’ say over the people’s.”
Freeman said she didn’t vote because she didn’t know when to register or how to fill out her ballot.
She is not alone.
Almost half the eligible voters in 2016 didn’t vote in the presidential election, according to the United States Election Project.
According to The Washington Post, people don’t vote because they don’t know when midterm elections are, miss the deadlines for registering, can’t get to their polling sites or can’t find information about what they are voting on.
The Miami Student is here to help you get ready for the upcoming election. Here is a how-to on voting!
Find your deadline for registration
You can check your state’s registration deadline online at Vote.org. Your deadline for registration will vary by the state of your home address and by the method you use to register. For example, if your home address is in Ohio, the deadline to register in-person or online is 30 days before November 5. If you are registering by mail, your registration must be received 30 days before Election Day. If you are overseas, you can visit overseasvotefoundation.org to get information on how and when to register.
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You may already be registered to vote, but you should still check your status at Vote.org. If you aren’t registered, there are places and people on Miami University’s campus to help. These include the College Democrats, the College Republicans and Generation Action, an organization that helps people register to vote. If you aren’t able to make it to those spaces, you can go to U.S. Voter Registration’s website and register. You will need your home address. You will also need to determine if you are voting at your local precinct or via absentee ballot. For some students, absentee is the best option if they live too far from home or are too busy.
Research the ballots
To research the topics that will be on your ballot, go to US.gov and look for “Find My State or Local Election Office Website”. There, you can select your state, and it will take you to your election office website. You will find sample ballots, election calendars, state candidates and more.
You can use this information to research the topics and candidates on your ballot.
If you will be voting via absentee ballot, you need to apply for an absentee ballot on Vote.org under absentee ballot. The deadlines for both the absentee ballot application and the absentee ballot submission are based on your home state and how you will be submitting them, which can also be found on Vote.org.
If you are abroad or overseas, you can find these forms on Overseasvotefoundation.org. If you are voting in person, you need to locate your voting precinct. This can also be done on your state’s election website.