November 6 is the midterm elections, and—no exaggeration—you have all the power. The power to boot Trump’s puppets from Congress. To upset an administration that weaponizes racism, rewards abusers, and assails basic human rights. So even if you’re tired, even if you’re busy, even if your dog just died the same day your s.o. left: Go vote.
But still, we get it. Voting can be overwhelming (confusing, boring, ect.). It helps to have a game plan—here’s ours.
(And here’s a guide for Spanish speakers, pass it along to anyone who may need it!)
First, be informed! There are a lot of great tools online to easily explain your ballot candidates.
Ballotpedia is a nonprofit encyclopedia with a wealth of information. It also maintains a sample ballot lookup. ProPublica, the nonprofit newsroom, also offers tools such as ElectionBot and Represent that compile helpful articles relating to candidates.
Still haven’t registered? You may be in luck! Sure, registration closed weeks ago in most states, but residents of 17 states and Washington, D.C., can register on Election Day. Check if your state is one of them!
Know where and when to vote! Polling places usually open at 6 or 7 a.m. and close at 7 or 8 p.m., but double-check online anyway. Nass.org makes it easy to find your nearest location. Remember, though, that the longest lines are going to be around mid-morning, so if your schedule allows it, maybe aim for later in the day. Get together some friends or family and carpool to the polls—it’s easier to stay motivated in a group. No transportation? Lyft is offering free rides!
Bring the right stuff. Two-thirds of states expect residents to provide identification to vote. Requirements vary by state; some states only accept photo ID, some allow provisional ballots in place of identification. The National Conference of State Legislatures has an easy-to-read map of requirements by state. Also! Don’t let yourself (or anyone else) get intimidated at the polls. Any fellow pollster harassing an individual over citizenship can refer their ass to the voting rights set out by the American Civil Liberties Union.
So, rally yourself. Think of election night 2016; remember that oh-god-make-it-stop horror as the numbers came in. This Tuesday, let’s do better.
Top Image: Wikimedia Commons Commons
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Tessa is a puertorriqueña / Syrian gal interested in race, women, and the arts - more specifically, their intersections. Follow her on Instagram @tessa.sol and Twitter @tessa_solo. She lives in Brooklyn.