6 Ways to Prepare for the 2018 Election

Learning a foreign language. Reading books. Moving more. Even a month into 2018, there’s another New Year’s resolution we should all add to our list: voting in the midterms.

In recent years, eligible voters have shown up in record low numbers to these elections, meaning the few who do participate call the shots for everyone.

After all, voting for the president is only one way to make a difference. And sometimes, regional elections are more impactful.

Care2′s Robin Marty has the scoop on how to help your preferred candidates win in November. Here’s how to choose whom to support in the first place.

1. Know your options.

The most important step to voting is knowing your options in advance.

Ballotpedia lets you know who’s running. Slate offers a wealth of resources if you want to run yourself — and you should consider it!

2. Contact your lawmakers.

Are you sure you want your current lawmakers in charge for another few years? The House, in particular, doesn’t experience much turnover. Because of name recognition and other advantages, nearly all incumbents get reelected.

Test the waters with your current leaders by getting in touch with them. You can bring up concerns about impending legislation and also see firsthand how well they listen to their constituents.

The House of Representatives and Senate offer handy guides to contacting your representatives.

3. Read your local papers.

The quickest shortcut to choosing candidates to support may be your local newspaper. Many provide comprehensive guides to elections and offer their insight into the candidates.

Generally, you can trust that reporters’ recommendations came from an informed perspective. They’re often in the trenches politically, and even if you disagree with their choice, they’ll likely give you clarity on the issues.

4. Investigate the issues.

You can examine the platforms of individual candidates on your own, as well.

Project Vote Smart is a one-stop shop for discovering candidates’ stances on and experience with various issues. The site covers Democrats and Republicans, as well as third-party candidates.

5. Look for opportunities to add more diversity.

U.S. citizens elected their first woman to Congress over a century ago. Still, the House and Senate remain 80 percent male. To boot, 4 in every 5 representatives are white. An overwhelming majority, disproportionate to the population, are straight.

If you’re torn between similarly desirable options, consider voting for the candidate who’ll bring more diversity into office. Our country’s leaders should reflect the people they lead.

EMILY’s List is a good resource for finding progressive pro-choice women to support, and the Victory Fund bolsters LGBTQ candidates.

6. Contrast rhetoric with action.

Do you like what you’re hearing? Make sure the candidates you’re leaning toward practice what they preach.

While some mislead more than others, most politicians tell lies and half-truths. Consult a fact-checking website — the Daily Dot offers a handful of nonpartisan options — to verify statements. And remember to follow the money using OpenSecrets.org.

Photo Credit: Jay Phagan/Flickr

40 comments

Marie W
Marie W2 months ago

thanks

SEND
Shirley P
Shirley Plowman3 months ago

PLEASE, PLEASE DO THIS, NOV VOTING IS CRUCIAL TO OUR DEMOCRACY STAYING ALIVE AND WELL!

SEND
Chad A
Chad Anderson5 months ago

Thank you.

SEND
John B
John B7 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

SEND
Veronica D
Veronica Danie8 months ago

Thank you so very much.

SEND
Veronica D
Veronica Danie8 months ago

Thank you so very much.

SEND
Veronica D
Veronica Danie8 months ago

Thank you so very much.

SEND
Paulo Reeson
Paulo R8 months ago

ty

SEND
Paulo Reeson
Paulo R8 months ago

ty

SEND
Lesa D
Lesa D8 months ago

please vote...

SEND