September 17th, 2012 by Sarah Laleman Ward
Tuesday, November 6 2012 is the date of the upcoming presidential election. Are you prepared?
First things first – are you registered to vote? If not, you have until Friday, October 12 to do so. Here’s the relevant information about voter registration in New York from the Board of Elections.
If you are short on time, and honestly, who isn’t, you may have the option to register to vote online if you have a valid ID from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. Check out the information from the DMV to see if you are eligible.
If you are registered, do you know where your polling place is, and what hours they are open? Enter your street address here to find your polling place and view a sample ballot: http://gis.nyc.gov/vote/ps/index.htm
Next up, who is on the ballot? Obviously the presidential election gets the most press coverage, but you may be surprised to see just how many people you are asked to vote for. Before randomly selecting candidates based on party affiliation or because you like their name, learn about where each candidate stands on the issues that are important to you and your community. Build your ballot with this handy tool from the League of Women Voters: http://www.vote411.org/
Finally, get out there and VOTE on November 6! Encourage your friends and family members to vote. This is how democracy works. If you don’t vote, you forfeit your right to complain about who gets elected. Make sure your voice is heard when it really matters.
To be a super-informed voter, here are a few more resources for reliable election information.
Double-check the accuracy of statements made in the press by various candidates by following up at http://factcheck.org/. It can be hard to filter through the media hype, so be your own fact-checker and dig a little deeper to find out the truth.
The New York City Campaign Finance Board makes information about campaign contributions to various NY candidates available on their website. Who is funding your elected officials? The website also includes a wealth of other information for voters.
And lastly, ever wonder how the electoral process works in the US? Here’s a super simple explanation, and yes, your vote matters: