The election heat is on, and you might be totally new to the whole affair. There are a whole lot of things to figure out if it's your first time voting, including whether you're eligible, as well as questions about timing, logistics, candidates, and more. No worries, though, because here are some
tips for first-time voters as well as people who may be a little out of practice. Young people's interest in voting seems to have increased recently. According to a data-based study conducted by the popular dating website, OkCupid, politics is a deeply personal subject for millennials. And their political values seem to shape their preferences in their potential partners.
According to OkCupid, website-based searches in "political terms" had gone up by 64 percent in 2017. In that data set, 85 percent of millennial men and women categorized voting as either extremely or very important to them. On top of that, 46 percent of the female millennial users expressed a lack of romantic interest in people apathetic to voting.
So you get the picture. People (especially young people) seem more
serious about voting than ever before. Here's all the information you need to be prepared for exercising your civic duty. Michael Gottschalk/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Good first question. Each
state has its own guidelines about eligibility for voting. You can check out your state's voter registration age, though you should already be registered by now if you want to vote. Remember that you need to be 18 years old on the day you vote.
Where Can I Learn More About Candidates?
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How About An Absentee Ballot?
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If you're not in the United States,
you have the option of the absentee ballot. Mostly you'll have to provide your voting residence information in an application. Hurry, though. You don't want to go past your state's deadline.
OK, Where Do I Go To Vote?
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Logistics! If you want to go in person and vote, you need to know a few things beforehand. You should figure out what time you'd like to go and if you'll need any transportation. But before you decide to do anything of this, confirm where your polling station is
by contacting your election office.
Can I Leave Work Early To Vote?
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What Should I Expect At The Polling Station?
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If you're curious to know what it is like to be at a polling station, just search for "voting machines" along with your state's name on Google. This should give you ample material on the equipment at the station and how you're expected to use it.
If you don't have the time, you can simply ask a poll worker who should help you navigate the station.
What If They Say I'm Not Registered — But I Am?
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Say you go to the voting station and they tell you that you're not registered in their database but you know you are. Don't fret. This is where
you ask for a . Later on, your state will contact you to inform you whether your ballot was authenticated or not. provisional ballot and cast your vote
What Do I Do If I Feel Like My Voting Rights Were Violated?
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In the event that you suspect your voting rights were violated (for example, if you think your voter registration was removed or you were turned away from a polling station for a suspicious reason)
contact the number for ACLU's Election Protection: (866) 687-8683. The website provides detailed information for contacting officials in your own state.
Can I Take A Selfie In The Booth?
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What Exactly Should I Bring To The Voting Station?
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Depending on the state you're in, you may have to bring some kind of photo ID to authenticate your identity. Check out what
your state says about what counts as identification.
If you're thinking of bringing your phone, it's most possible that your
state does not allow phones in the booth. Depending on where you are, a poll worker may just ask you not to bring your phone in with you. And once you're there, your polling station will most likely inform you on whether you need a pencil or pen at all. Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images
How Do I Avoid Misinformation?
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Should I Go Alone To Vote?
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Pro-tip: Given that there can be long lines of people waiting to cast their ballot, it might get a little tiring to stand in line by yourself. If your friends and family members are also registered to vote, you should coordinate to go together to the voting station. But remember: there's no harm in going alone.
P.S. Don't hesitate to bring a snack (along with a friend) to make the wait a little less tiresome.
What If I'm Confronted By Campaigners Outside The Polling Station?
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every state in America prohibits people from political campaigning within 100 feet of the voting station. If you are aggressively accosted by someone attempting to persuade or dissuade your voting choice, alert a polling official.
What Do I Do If I Need Disability Assistance?
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The Americans With Disabilities Act, Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act of 1984, and
several other federal provisions guarantee that Americans with intellectual or physical disabilities are given assistance so they may vote without hassle.
If you need help and want to know whether your polling station provides basic assistance, check the
ADA list for polling stations.
Do I Need To Vote For Everything On The Ballot?
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You don't have to select a candidate for every office mentioned on the ballot just because there's a field for it. This is why it's worth reading up on the candidates before you support or oppose them.
These are just some of the questions first-timers or those who are out of practice may have. But with the help of this guide, you should be a little less nervous and a lot more excited about heading over to the polling stations this Election Day.