John and Hank Green, also known as the Vlogbrothers, just made voting a lot easier: They’ve created a YouTube channel called “How To Vote In Every State” that — you guessed it — tells you how to vote in every state (plus Washington DC and unincorporated territories!). In a series of 54 videos, they explain the voting process in each state, from registration to the ballot box, and include links to all of the info you need to make sure you’re able to cast your vote on Election Day. They also have instructions for U.S. voters who are overseas. Each video is only about 2 minutes long — so there’s no excuse not to check out your state’s requirements and get registered.
Compared to other nations, voter turnout in the United States is distressingly low. The Pew Research Center reports that, in the 2012 election, only 53.6 percent of the voting-age population went to the polls (meaning that over 46 percent of eligible voters stayed silent). There are surely a variety of reasons that some people don’t vote, but I’d bet that at least part of it has to do with people simply being overwhelmed by the registration and voting process, which varies from state to state and can have different deadlines and regulations depending on where you are. Hank Green of the Vlogbrothers agrees, writing,
This might sound dumb, but I think one of the reasons some people don't vote in the US is because it's a bit of a pain to figure it out. For those people, regardless of your age, I can totally see that it can be complicated. And hey, let's be honest, in some places they're making it complicated in the hopes that young people will stay home.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to vote and make your voice heard, both in the presidential election that will affect the whole nation (and the whole world) and in the local elections that will shape your individual community. I know it sounds overly dramatic to say, “The fate of the world depends on it,” but, guys… the fate of the world kinda depends on it. As Hank Green says in the video introducing the project, “Democracy does not work if we do not participate.”
You can find a video with instructions for voting in your state at the “How to Vote In Every State” channel.
Images: YouTube (2)