Register to vote!

Want to register to vote, but don’t know how? No worries! I got you covered! You can register to vote at the age of eighteen. A lot of high schools and colleges gettyimages-154567819_wide-951d6c9ff73d9a7f786db15c0d3879d4dc7d2c44-s900-c85offer forms that you can fill out on the spot and get your voter ID in the mail. And if you aren’t a student you can go to your local MVA/DMV and get forms there as well. When you go to renew your license you can also register to vote at the desk. You can learn more HERE!dmv-office-1080x675

Advertisements

Your Vote Counts More Than You Think

For many of us it may seem as if  the Electoral College stands in the waYour-Voice-Your-Votey of Democracy, and some may say the Electoral College is the only “thing” that decides the results of the elections. But it really doesn’t work that way. For example, in 52 of 56 elections, the popular vote was key to elect the President of the United States.  In two of those cases, the President was elected by another branch of the government. For instance, John Quincy Adams was elected by Congress and George W. Bush was elected by the Supreme Court, who obstructed the 100% counting of the popular vote, which Bush did lose to Gore.  

For many voters it may be demoralizing when this happens, but it only happened a few times in history. And we are aware that the Electoral College only decides the positions of the president and the vice president. The popular vote directly elects officials who have positions that have a direct impact on us— the voters. These positions include a community representative, who would elect the district’s representative to the state legislature, who would elect the district’s Member of Congress, who would in turn elect the president and the vice president. 

It is often said that if those who voted for President also voted in the off years (for congressmen and congresswoman), we wouldn’t have the same inactive Congress we have today.  The voter apathy we have been seeing, hitting a 20 year low, has far more to do with the detachment between Washington and popular voice, than the Electoral College could ever have. 

So… does your vote matter? Yes, it does! It gives the Electoral College a concrete and solid idea of who the people want as their next president. Although the final decision is up to them, one should keep practicing the right to vote for local, state, and general elections.

vote

Accessibility Issues in the Voting System

There is a major problem in the United States, many people are interested in voting; however, not many get the chance to do so. Accessibility problems involve all technical, mechanical and bureaucratic type of problems that hinder eligible voters to fulfill their desire to vote.

A popular reason why many eligible voters cannot vote on Election Day is lack of proper identification. During the last election for example, there were many voters who possessed an expired ID, however, they also carried their SSN and other type of up to date identification but were not allowed to vote because the law requires a valid, up to date identification card only.  What happens then to those who don’t have the means to obtain a valid ID? According to the Washington Post “many just give up” the elderly who can’t physically go to the MVA toblogweek2 get an ID, or the poor who have no money to get to the MVA or pay a fee.  Settles a 65 year retired engineer describes the system as a “bureaucratic nightmare”.

According to NPR, there are more than 35 million eligible voters who are disabled and decide not to vote because of lack of accessible parking spaces and properly installed ramps for people with disabilities. Ian Watlington, of the national Disability Rights Network (NDRN) explains “Right when you turn to get into the main door, you have a pretty substantial crack in the concrete. One that most peopllllle would have to bump over” Another problem that involves people with disabilities is the absence of additional disable parking spaces during Election Day.

Another reason is the lack of translators for Latino immigrants, during the last elections, particularly in Arizona and Florida where there is a big percentage of Latino voters, lacked obligatory bilingual translators; as a result many Latino voters were not able to cast their vote.

Such as one might expect there are always technical problems with polling machines; however, during the last election there were way too many problems with polling machines, creating extreme long lines which caused people to decide between voting and getting to work late, causing a big impact on voter turnout.

Voting in Numbers!

When going out to vote, make it an event! Go out to vote with your friends and family to your nearest polling place. Voting with your peers can make for a greater overall experience. Also making you feel less afraid if its your first time at the polls and even make you feel more confident in your choices! Also don’t be afraid to invite classmates/work mates with you as well! Spreading the word can do nothing but benefit you and your community. The more the better!636125711018421252-1880376367_23-friends-cover-story-lede.w1200.h630

Voting Accessibility: Time Stands Still for No Man!

Voting is one of the key components to a democracy. Knowing that, you would think it would be an easy and smooth process to go out and vote. According to an article on Americaprogress.org in North Carolina African American voters haElection_Day__Polling_location_problems_0_49343350_ver1.0_640_480d to wait two hours due to technical difficulties.

This led to less voting participation and thus low voter turnout. Let’s not forget, voting takes place on a weekday. Even if it’s for most of the day, it’s still a weekday. Meaning that young adults have classes to attend to and/or work, and the older population 25-40 have work to attend to. People don’t have all day to wait in line to vote and thus end up not voting in all. Accessibility to voting polls is an issue in the United States that should’ve been taken care of years ago.

Also according to Americanprogress.org in North Carolina there were 158 less polling places in 40 counties. If people not only have to risk being late to work/school waiting in long lines but also have to travel longer distances to get to a polling place, what makes you think they’ll go in the first place. Voters can’t all risk calling off work or/and school to stay in line for hours and vote. Let’s not forget what happens when the machines malfunction and cause a polling place to cease it’s activates until fixed. Polling places shouldn’t be harder to get to than your local DMV/MVA and should be an easier and smooth process. These annoyances to quick and/or easy voting accessibility play a part in the over voter turnout and the will to want to participate at all. We need to make more polling places easily available and make the overall process more efficient. This way all eligible voters have an equal opportunity to get to the polls and have an easier time gaining access to the polls.

rs-246185-voter-registration-laws-election-2016