Things We Should Have Learned But Maybe Didn't: How To Register to Vote and Research Candidates
I'm going to admit something that may shock some of you: I absolutely loathed my Government class in high school and skipped it every change I got. I only passed by the good graces of my teacher, who was honestly, pretty cool. (Thank you, wherever you are!) At the time I was aware of social issues and deeply wanting to make the world a better place, but connecting that to politics at any level was not even on my radar. Learning about branches of government and voting and blah blah blah was something I could not have cared less about! I know many, many of you felt or even still feel the same. I don't blame you! Civics is something that often isn't taught in an engaging manner or even highlighted as something important.
2009 (when I was a senior in HS) was a LONG time ago, it feels like. Obama was still President and a President, at least, with class and decorum! The world wasn't a complete dumpster fire like it is now! Following 2016's political cycle many people, especially, thankfully, young people became exponentially more interested in the political process.
This year's elections (called mid-terms, because they happen mid-way of a president's term in office) are especially important because they determine who is in Congress - aka 1 branch of government that helps determine extremely important things for us citizens like what laws are passed, if we go to war, etc! In 2018, 35 of the 100 Senate seats are up for grabs, and all 435 seats in the lower House of Representatives are up for election! Democrats will need to regain majority of both houses in order to control the legislative agenda, block Supreme Court nominations (Kavanaugh would wreak havoc on basic rights many have fought and died for, and would serve for LIFE) and block Trump's xenophobic/racist/backwards tirade.
YES, THIS IS A CRITICAL ELECTION.
However, many folks still don't quite understand the ins-and-outs of making our voices heard through the voting process. I have to regularly look up voting laws, dates, and candidates.
So I've tried to make it easier for you - here is a quick list of steps and resources to take, along with some important dates to remember!
Am I registered to vote?
Great, you're registered! You can early vote any time in person beginning Monday, October 22 until November 2. November 6 is Election Day and the absolute last chance you have to vote.
STEP 2 A
Register to vote by October 9! There are several options to do this (although it SHOULD be automatic when you receive your license, but I digress): Where to Register To Vote
Once you're registered, look back to Step 2!
Side note: I will be at La Botánica on September 23 from 12 - 6 pm registering people. Come by if you need to register or change your address!
Find who is running to represent you in Texas: General Election Ballot
Then research your candidates. This is my current favorite website to do so: VoteSmart.org
Don't let other people determine who your enemies are. Decide what matters to you and how candidates have a record of actually supporting what you need or believe.
Now that you're registered, have your proper forms of ID, and know where to go, make plans and go VOTE! Take your friends and make it a fun thing to do before you grab dinner or drinks. Share your pictures with your "I Voted" stickers, and let everyone know voting is important to a healthy democracy.
Keep up with my musings about political chismé, life, my relationship, food, San Anto history, my dog, and everything in between.