Voting remains one of the greatest privileges of voting age Americans. But voting is just one way in which citizens can get involved in the upcoming election.
Griffin Poutre of Newmarket, New Hampshire, is a senior at the University of New Hampshire and is pursuing a degree in political science. Since high school, Griffin has been interested in politics, both on a local and national level. In 2014, Mr. Poutre interned for the New Hampshire Republican State Committee and the former Senator Scott Brown. For those interested in going above and beyond in anticipation of November, here are some of Griffin’s suggestions.
How Do You Make Sure You’re Registered to Vote?
Unfortunately, many people move and forget to update their voter registration. Other times, people just begin to get interested in an election and can’t remember if they’ve registered or not, says Griffin Poutre.
Some states make it easier than others to complete voter registration. But there’s a simple way to find out if one is eligible to vote in November. The National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) has a web page entitled, “Can I Vote?” Visitors can select “voter registration status” and follow the instructions to find out if they’ve registered.
For those that haven’t registered, they typically have 30 days from election day to register. The NASS website will direct those that would like to register but have not yet done so.
What are Other Ways to Get Involved in an Election in Addition to Voting?
In addition to voting, citizens can volunteer their time to a preferred candidate’s campaign. With these campaigns, there is often have too much work to do and not enough people to do it.
For those more concerned with the issues rather than the candidates, they can also volunteer with social activist groups in their area, notes Griffin Poutre. These teams engage others on issues and inform them about where certain candidates and/or legislation stands on them.
Some people have considered running for office in their community. Placing oneself on a ballot can motivate friends and family to take an interest in the upcoming election.
How Should One Go About Political Issue Dialogues with Friends and Family?
One final way to get involved in the upcoming election is to positively engage others on candidates and issues. This particular task can be tricky, because politics tends to be an explosive topic for most people.
However, learning how to actively listen, validate, and tactfully share an alternative perspective can help voters think a little deeper about what they believe and why supporting a particular candidate is important, says Griffin Poutre.