With the upcoming election, being politically active is more important than ever. Even though COVID-19 is preventing many common events leading up to election from happening, there is still a lot for people to do in order to increase voter turnout. (Photo Courtesy of Lyric Chassin)
Election Day is coming up quick on November 3; there is less than a month left to advocate for candidates and vote. Whether or not you are able to vote in this election, it is still important to be politically active and aware. Forming your position and motivating others prepares you for future elections you can vote in while still playing a part in the current election. The future of our country is in our hands when we choose who to put into office. Here are some small things you can do before the election that can make a big impact on our future:
Getting educated on the candidates on the ballot is extremely important. This allows you to watch out for names in the media and in the future so you know what that specific candidate is in charge of. The research process also helps you form a stance on specific political ideals. This helps you know what to look for in the future when deciding who to vote for. Even looking at the smaller candidates that are normally overlooked is necessary; it is more important to vote for what you stand by than a specific party.
2. Form Opinions
Looking at the differences between parties and what they stand for can help you to decide what party to register under in the future. The majority of conflicts in politics are party based; being aware of what each party believes helps you decide who to support.
3. Encourage Others
Encouraging your older family members and friends to vote can make a large impact on the turnout of the election. Every vote matters and people are more likely to vote when motivated by someone they know personally. Sitting down and having those conversations with people who don’t normally participate in elections can increase voter turnout drastically.
In addition to persuading your family and friends to vote, you can entice others through social media. Reminding others to vote and explaining the importance and impact of their vote alone is just one simple post that can effectively increase turnout. Many also use social media to remind people to register to vote before the election begins; some states are still able to register to vote before the election. October 9 is the registration deadline for North Carolina.
Social media influencers often share their political opinions to influence their followers and encourage them to vote for a particular candidate. Although you may not have as large of a following as the influencers, sharing your opinion is still highly important. When a candidate has widespread support, it encourages others all of the state and/or country to stand up and support them as well. It sadly can sometimes be a result of the bandwagon effect, but any increases in backing can be highly effective.
According to wfae.org, voter turnout in North Carolina has been higher than ever before in the last 4 years. Despite this, there is still a large fraction of registered voters who never vote in elections. This is mainly a problem in swing states; voters are unsure if they can get enough people to vote for their party. To help with this problem, postcardstoswingstates.com launched a plan to send out handwritten postcards in 14 different swing states. They over shot their goal and have gotten 15.7 million postcards sent out. You can also write letters to indecisive voters on votefwd.org.
Even if you can’t vote in this election, you can still pre-register to vote so you can be ready to vote when you turn 18. In North Carolina, 16 and 17 year olds can pre-register to vote. For more information on pre-registration, click here. To pre-register to vote, click here.
Following all of these guidelines can make a difference in the voter turnout and help you be prepared for future elections.