How to Vote Like a Girlboss
Congratulations, fellow countrywomen. Despite every tension headache, every Facebook-comment-thread-induced panic attack, every knock-’em-down drag-’em-out with batty Uncle Steve and that person you only vaguely remember from high school, it appears we’ve made it to Election Day Eve 2016. Considering the nature of what will surely go down as one of the gnarliest presidential campaign seasons in history, it’s safe to say we all deserve a keg of wine and a bucket of French fries and a long gander at photos of cats with their faces smooshed in a piece of bread.
But of course, our work isn’t over yet. Tomorrow, the country will vote on the next President of the United States, possibly electing the first female president ever, and while you’ve surely already got your mind made up about that, there are a number of other very important decisions to make: control of Congress and the Senate are TBD, and hot-button issues such as marijuana legalization and the death penalty are on the ballot for a number of states.
And some real talk for a minute: We all loooooove to complain about all the things the government effed up and that infuriating law that was passed by a group of windbags that don’t know anything about anything. But the reality of down-ballot voting reflects an electorate that doesn’t put their money where their mouth is. We deride the system as being broken, and to be sure, leaks abound; but there’s no way it can function at its best if We the Girlbosses don’t do our part. And our part, at the very minimum, is showing up tomorrow and casting an informed vote.
So in case you need a refresher or didn’t know where to start to begin with, we’ve put together a handy guide of the steps you’ll need to take tomorrow to make sure you’re voting with your head and your heart, so that you can rock that “I Voted” sticker on Instagram tomorrow with pride, knowing that you’ve filled your civic duty and contributed to our country’s democracy with intention:
1. Check your registration! Head here to double check and find out where your polling place is. If you moved recently or aren’t sure what address you registered with, call your county registrar (yeah, like, on the phone. Weird, I know, but let’s be honest: the county websites are not great). If you’re a vote-by-mail voter and didn’t put your ballot in the mail yet, you can turn your ballot into any polling place in your county.
2. Study what’s on your ballot and make sure your vote is informed! A few weeks back, we interviewed the founders of BallotReady, a super simple non-partisan online platform that will break down everything that’s going to be on your ballot. You can compare candidates and ballot measures side by side, with simple breakdowns of who supports them and what they’re all about. Simply fill that bad boy out, print it, and bring it with you to the polls and voila, voting homework and patriotic act DONE.
3. Make an Election Day plan! Voter turnout is expected to be high, and judging by the clusterfuck of some polling places during the primary election, it’s best to plan ample time to account for any long lines. The hours for polling stations vary by state; check here for your state’s hours. All states provide between 11 and 15 hours to vote, so plan your work day accordingly and keep in mind that in some states, if you don’t have time outside of work hours to vote, your employer may be required to give you time to vote without docking your pay. If you’re home with your little ones, YMCAs all across the country are offering free childcare so you can get to your polling place; check with your local chapter for details.
4. Brag to all your friends and family! Voting is the very foundation of our country. Be proud of your participation, and check in with friends and family to make sure they’re doing the same. Remind them that it’s not cool not to care.