(RoyalPatriot.com) – Elections have major consequences — the kind that can seriously impact the future of America and your ability to live the life you want. That’s why it’s so important to vote. Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum or who you intend to vote for, it is your civic duty to have your say. Stand up for the America you know and love by casting your ballot with one of these three voting options.
Many states offer early voting options, either for the sake of convenience or for people who won’t be available on election day. This is often an easier option for those who want to be proactive or have difficulty juggling a tight schedule. It’s also an easy way to skip the hassle of congested polling stations on election day.
What you need to know about early voting is that the exact process may vary from state to state, and again between individual jurisdictions. In most areas, polling stations open on certain dates for a predetermined period of time. You’ll need to arrive at that location at the right time, with identification, in order to cast your ballot. Otherwise, the process is the same as on election day.
If you aren’t sure how or where to vote early, or you want to find out more about your state’s rules and voting dates, visit this handy tool at NASS.org. Use the dropdown to indicate your location; it will automatically redirect you to the election info most relevant to you.
Vote By Mail
If you can’t or don’t want to vote in person, you may be able to send in your ballot by mail. Some states refer to this as “voting from home.” This option is particularly useful to people who are ill, disabled, infirm or currently quarantined as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s also extremely easy, which can make voting feel more accessible and straightforward if you’re intimidated by the process.
First, you’ll need to request a ballot from your state. The exact rules for doing so vary between states; Nass.org’s lookup tool will help you find this information, too. Generally, you can request a ballot by telephone, via regular mail, or over the internet as long as you can provide ID.
Once you receive your ballot, carefully read through the instructions provided for filling it out and mailing it in. It is imperative that you follow these to the letter; otherwise, it may render your ballot invalid.
If you make a mistake, check the instructions for what you should do — don’t use White-Out, erase anything, or otherwise strike a previous entry out. Instead, experts recommend that you bubble the selection you want, and place an “x” over the selection you don’t want.
As for sending your vote in, you have two main options. You can send it via regular mail; however, there is a risk that it may not arrive in time or get lost along the way. Alternatively, you can use this lookup tool to identify whether your state has placed an authorized dropbox in a location near you.
Vote in Person
On election day, millions of Americans arrive at the polls to cast their ballots in person. Some people simply prefer to fulfill their civic duty this way, while others feel that in-person votes are more reliable and less likely to be manipulated or lost. Others may simply want to avoid the crowds to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses, such as seasonal flu.
Whatever your reason for choosing to vote in person, you’ll cast your ballot on November 3rd. In most cases, polling station locations remain the same year-to-year — but they are subject to change. For this reason, you should confirm the exact address of your local precinct before election day arrives. Your local elections agency or City Hall will have the information you need.
Note that you must show up on time, with government-issued identification, in order to vote. Officials will also check to see if you’re present on the voter registration list. If you aren’t, you may be asked to fill out a provisional ballot and visit your local election headquarters to confirm your eligibility.
Regardless of the method you choose, what really matters is that you speak up and help determine the future of our great country. But, casting your ballot should really be the final step. Spend time getting to know the candidates, their chosen parties, and what they stand for before Nov. 3 arrives. There is no better way to vote than to make an informed decision for a candidate you truly believe in.
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