Voting for the first time can be a confusing experience for anyone. The language used on the ballots regarding state propositions can be unclear and misleading, so it is easy to get lost in the excitement of the experience. As a first time voter, I felt this way. Thank goodness for Politics 101, or many of the biased messages we receive regarding policies and party positions would have engulfed my educated approach to voting. Unfortunately, voters of this generation have the reputation for being considered ‘un-reliable’voters.
Some young voters neglect to show up
on Election Day and this lack of participation is disappointing. It seems as though many of us may have forgotten those who fought for our rights to vote through marches, rallies, hunger strikes
and jail time. Some seem to forget the women and men who are fighting every day for our country through the United States Armed Services. All of us who have the opportunity to vote should do our best to utilize this privilege and educate ourselves as much as we can so we can feel confident at the polls. Though the polls are closed and our re-elected president is back in action, for the future; here are some tips for first time voters who are unsure of how to approach the excitement of Election Day:
1. Have a government issued booklet that explains all of the propositions for your state. With this booklet, do some research via the Internet to find different websites either in favor or against a particular proposition.
2. Ask your family what they think of your state’s propositions. This does not necessarily mean that you need to agree with their opinions.
3. Ask close peers or adults who have voted in the past their opinion on certain propositions.
4. Stay active and up to date with a variety of news stations that cover the political race
5. Explore! One day, take the time to go to your local Democratic and Republican campaign headquarters. Walk in and introduce yourself as an undecided voter. Digest and accept the information and pamphlets those who work at these headquarters might tell you. Really take the time to go through all the materials and understand what each party is presenting to our country.
6. Take a Politics 101 course! Even if you do not plan to major or minor in politics, receiving a baseline education opportunity in American Politics is a valuable lesson to have for your whole life.
With Election Day over, I am overcome with a feeling of excitement and pride knowing that I was truly a part of an unique American experience. While filling out the tiny ballot bubble with blue ink, I felt a true wave of patriotism, and though I realize I am a very small voice out of the grand total population of the United States, my voting power is still very significant. If you have the chance to vote, please consider my tips and take advantage of this great opportunity, I am positive you will not regret it!