Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Election Exercise #2: Plan Ahead to Cast Your Vote

note:  smarty pants posts are my regular musings on current events; thus, I'm currently writing on the current elections.  It just makes sense.

My husband received his mail-in ballot just the other day.  After taking a sneak peak at all of the candidates and issues (let me just say--there are A TON of presidential candidates!  Who knew so many people were running?), I was reminded that now is a good time to make sure I'm ready to vote.

And by "ready to vote," I don't mean readily informed about the issues (although certainly that is important), but ready to actually cast my vote.  I don't want to get to the booths on polling day only to realize that I'm not registered to vote, or that I'm supposed to be at another location, or that I've forgotten my identification.

A lot of these potential mishaps can be avoided, I realize, if I signed up for a mail-in ballot like mine truly (then I'd only have to make sure I get it in on time).  But I personally like going to the voting centers.  I like seeing all the people and getting the "I voted" sticker, and walking into the booth.  It feels more civic to me somehow.

So, since I'm visiting the polls, here's my checklist to make sure I "get it done" on election day:
1.  Make sure that I'm registered (this is easy in my state since the DMV registers us when we renew our license).
2.  Read up on what I need to bring to the polls, like my voter registration card and ID.  Knowing me, it's probably best to put it all in my wallet now!
3.  Make sure I know where I'm going.  In my town, we aren't assigned to specific locations, so that means I just need to know the closest voting center.  If that's not the case for you, make sure you know where to go!
4.  Plan ahead for what time I'm going to vote.  Since I work from home, I have the advantage of a flexible schedule and can choose a time that is likely to be less busy.  But I have heard radio announcements reminding everyone to bring a lunch or snack and prepare to stand in line, since this year is expected to bring record turnout.
5.  Finally, have my election munchies ready.  Okay, I know this one isn't necessary, but seriously--we have snacks for the Superbowl, and this is kind of like the "Democracy Superbowl."  I think we need chips.

Bottom line: don't wait until election day to figure out the logistics for voting.  Do it now and save yourself some stress!

More Smarty Pants posts:

Share your tips for getting ready for the elections by commenting here or emailing me at shillberry@comcast.net!  

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