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HEY!  US Citizens over 18!

The upcoming midterm elections are poised to be incredibly important for the future of our country.  You need to vote in them–the primaries and the general.

Are you registered to vote?  If you think you are, take a moment to check your registration well ahead of voting day.  Make sure you know your voting dates, polling place, how to get an absentee ballot if you need one, and any ID requirements.

If you aren’t, register right now!  Many states require registration before a deadline some time in advance of voting day, so don’t wait.

(Vote.org is reputable, but if you don’t want to use them, just Google “[state] voter registration” for information.)

And I don’t want to get too partisan on this post, but… if you have any reservations about voting for a “lesser evil,” get over them now.  Our voting system requires strategic voting, and that sucks, but since it’s true, vote strategically!  Vote your heart in the primaries, but in the general, vote for the lesser evil.  It’s a hell of a lot better than sitting on the sidelines patting yourself on the back for purity while the greater evil wins.

To add to that last paragraph: When you’re making your decisions on who to vote for, you’re most likely going to be basing your emotional responses and logical responses on the news you’ve been seeing come across your social media feeds. Needless to say, not all information is of the same credibility, truthfulness, or quality. 5 quick questions to ask yourself when you read something:

  1. How did you get the article?
  2. What was your response when you saw it?
  3. Who benefits from your reading the article?
  4. Have you checked your bias?
  5. Have you checked with other news sources?

And a quick reminder: The perfect candidate does not exist. Everyone is problematic. Everyone. You will have to weigh pros and cons, strong points and flaws, and make your own decisions based on compromises. 

Another reminder: The candidates who run for the big, headline-making, national offices have most likely worked their way up from small, local, city or county positions. So whoever’s occupying those small, local, unimportant positions now will affect national elections decades from now. Vote in your local elections.

(Media literacy questions taken from here, with a lot more good information elaborating on those questions: https://www.teenvogue.com/story/5-steps-to-improve-your-media-literacy)

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