Election Day is coming soon. It’s time to make sure you’ve checked off all the things you need to vote in 2016. Deadlines are fast approaching. Waiting or ignoring deadlines could put your vote in jeopardy.
Here is a list of things to do before you vote to make sure you know all you need to know before November 8:
Register to vote. If you’re not already registered, look up your state on Vote.gov to begin the process. States have different deadlines, so check with your local election office to make sure you don’t miss yours. Follow up to verify that your registration has been processed correctly to avoid headaches on Election Day.
Research candidates. Study the issues, learn how to research candidates, and find out what to look for in a debate. There are many issues and a lot of information out there. Do your homework and make an informed decision. An informed vote is a powerful vote.
Learn about absentee and early voting. If you know you can’t make it to the polls on Election Day, you can vote using an absentee ballot. While registered voters from every state can request an absentee ballot, some states require an excuse. Your state might also offer early voting. Contact your state election office or consult the National Conference of State Legislatures to learn more about your state’s voting options.
Find your polling place. It may sound obvious, but having a voting plan is one of the most important things you can do after registering. Work, school, picking up the kids, and grocery shopping can make any day hectic, so make it a point to find your polling station and familiarize yourself with its hours of operation. Plan ahead and make sure you vote on time.
Make a plan for election day. Voting takes time. Add a few extra minutes to your day and make sure you get to the polls before they close. Each state does things a little differently, so contact your state election office to find out what documents you need to bring with you to vote.