Weekly Blog September 6th, 2020: Voting Information

Hello Internet!

I’m back from my short end-of-summer break! Did you miss me? Aw shucks, you’re too kind. But in all seriousness, I’m happy to be back after the short break and hope that the energy I’ve gathered over the break will fuel me all the way through November when I’ll take a break around Thanksgiving. Speaking of November, you know what else is happening in November? That’s right, The United States is going to have a very important Election that will determine who is President for the next 4 years as well as which major party will be in control of the US House of Representatives and US Senate. I’m going to use this Weekly Blog to give you, a citizen of the US and possible voter, all the information you need before November. But first, I just want to give a quick shout out to all my wonderful supporters. I really appreciate all of you, new and old, who read my stuff and show me support. If you are new here, I highly encourage you to take a quick look through my website. I’ve published a wide variety of things and I’m sure you could find something to read. I know that for the readers who live outside the US, this Weekly Blog might not be very interesting to them, so feel free to check out something else that you might have more of an interest in. Anyway, let’s quickly move on to talk about the 2020 Election.

The upcoming 2020 Presidential Election is a big one. Of course every Election is a big one. I know it’s kind of a talking point that is brought up every single election, but I honestly think it’s true. Every election including local elections, primaries, and state-wide elections are big in their own right, but when we talk about a Presidential Election, that’s as big as it gets. We the People get to decide who will be the leader of our country and what vision we want to see come to fruition in the next four years. The President is just one person and just one part of a government system made up of checks and balances, but there is a lot of power there and a lot of sway over the other two major parts of the Federal Government: The Judicial and Legislative Branches. All of this is to say that this election is a big deal and I want people to get that. The importance of this election can not be understated. With that said, many Presidential Elections in the past have been really big deals, but still didn’t have a huge voter turnout.

Voter turnout is a tally of how many people actually voted compared to how many people could actually voted. Our last Presidential Election was in 2016 and was also seen as a very big election, but only 55.5% of eligible voters actually voted. Almost 46% of eligible voters just sat at home and let their fellow Americans choice the President. Some people think that their one vote doesn’t matter and maybe one vote won’t sway an election, but when 100,000 people all think that and stay home, that is a big deal. One vote may not sway an election but 100 Thousand Votes definitely can. Voting matters and your vote matters. Do not throw it away. Not to get too much into the weeds when it comes to voting and the electoral college, but the 2000 Presidential Election came down to 537 Votes in Florida. We could definitely see another close vote like that in this upcoming election. Don’t you want to be a part of that important choice?

Hopefully you said yes, because know that you want to vote, I want to give you some information on how to vote. First thing first is that the information I am giving you is general. I don’t know all the specifics on how each state handles the process because there are so many nuance, but there are many sites that do. Actually, let me list a bunch of websites that can help you find that information:

https://www.vote.org/

https://www.vote411.org/

https://www.usa.gov/voting

All three of these websites have overlap in important information about how to 1) Register to vote, 2) Check Registration, 3) Request an Absentee Ballot, and 4) How to Vote. All very important things. You need to make sure you are registered to vote before Election Day. Different States have different dates in which you need to do that, which you can check on the websites above. If you are not registered to vote, I recommend you do that as soon as you can. There is no reason to wait and you don’t want to forget. Register while it’s still fresh in your mind. If you are already registered, double check your registration to make sure it is correct. If you have gotten married, changed your name, or moved into a new place of living, your registration might not be up to date. If you registered a long time ago, but have not voted in awhile, double check you are still registered and have not been purged from the voting rolls. You don’t want to show up to the polls and find out you are not registered. Make sure you are on top of it.

So now you are registered and you’ve double checked to make sure your registration is accurate. Now it’s time to vote! Well there are a few ways to do that. Election Day 2020 is on Tuesday, November 3rd and you can wait until Election Day to vote, but I would highly recommend you vote early. There are still major concerns surrounding Coronavirus and Election Day and if you are able to skip the crowds, I reccomdend it. So how do you do that? Well you can either 1) Vote in person, early or 2) Vote by mail, early. You can use the above websites to figure out where you can vote, early in person. Depending on the state you will still need all the things required to vote in person (like a Photo ID) which should be the same as if you showed up at your voting place on Election Day. Voting in person early should be similar to voting in person on Election Day, but with less people in line.

The second option is the one I’d prefer. Vote by mail, sitting in the comfort of your own home. If you plan on voting by mail, you need to request an absentee ballot. Now there has been some confusion but submitting an absentee ballot and voting by mail is the exact same thing. Don’t listen to people who try to sow seeds of doubt in our election by claiming any different or saying that voting by mail is insecure. The above websites will help you request an absentee ballot or you can go to your state’s Secretary of State’s Website and request a ballot that way. Either way, it could take a couple of weeks to get to you through the mail. Then you can spend time researching every candidate before deciding who you are going to vote for. When you have filled out your ballot, you can mail it back in. Due to slow downs to The United States Post Office, I would recommend giving your ballot two to three weeks to be received. So if November 3rd is Election Day, October 13th would be three weeks out and October 20th would be two weeks out. You can also take your completed ballot and not mail it back in. Instead you can drive and submit yourself. Some places have designated drop off locations, but I don’t know those specifics. I do know you can drive it to your county board of elections (which may or may not be the same place you would vote in person, early). I highly recommend you check out the above websites to double check and find out more information about where you can drop off your ballot if you don’t want to mail it back in. Again different places have different ways they handle the election and I can only do so much research.

Last thing I want to say is that no matter on who you are preparing to vote for, I think you should vote. Even if we disagree on who should be President or what our government should emphasize, I want you to vote. And this isn’t just me saying these things without meaning them. I really mean it. Obviously I would prefer you vote for the people I agree with, but I’d rather you vote against me than not vote. Voting is so so so so important and it saddens me that almost half of the country doesn’t vote in Presidential Elections and that the numbers get worse when talking about non-Presidential years. On top of this, you should be an educated voter. You have access to the internet and you are able to access so much information. There’s also a lot of misinformation out there so make sure you do your due diligence and double check facts using multiple sources. Both Ballotpedia and ISideWith are websites with a lot of information that will allow you to compare your beliefs with the Presidential Candidates so you can make a more informed decision before the Election Day.

I definitely plan on voting and I’m encouraging everyone to do the same. Hopefully this information is useful to you and now you have a better idea on how to vote and who you plan on voting for. All I’m really trying to do is get your the proper information and make it as easy as possible for you to make that decision. Don’t let someone else decide the fate of the country when you can make your voice heard. Ok that’s it I think. I can get off my soapbox. I said my peace about voting and how important I think it is. Deep breaths. Election Day is almost here.

Thank you so much for reading that Weekly Blog. Again, I hope that this information is useful and you take advantage of the websites I listed. They are very useful and have more information for you. Thank you also for supporting me and reading my stuff. I really just do this for fun, but it’s awesome to see people from all over the world read and enjoy the stuff I write and publish. I appreciate every single person whether they read and like every post I publish, read and lurk from the shadows, or Follow me here on WordPress (which is a thing you can definitely do). You can also Follow Me on Twitter if you like. Either way, this will allow you to see when I publish new pieces so you don’t miss a thing. I’m trying to build a creative and positive space here on WordPress and I’d love if you join it.

I hope you have a wonderful week!

-Allen_The_Writer


Header Photo Credit to USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/storytelling/election-2020-voter-guide/register-to-vote/register

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