Registered voters in the USA between the age of 18 and 29 are recognised as the nation’s 'Young Voters’ and this election partaking section of America’s youth originated in the 1930s. Today young voters are a crucial part of the electoral system since the 2008 presidential election saw their numbers triple and even quadruple in certain states.
Politics in the past has never paid as much attention to registered voters under the age of 30, tabooing the generation as callous and uninterested. Last year has obviously washed that thought down the drain but the fact remains that a large fraction of the youth is not as informed as it could be, when it comes to casting a vote and helping to make a difference. The 'strategy’ to voting, as a young American is simply investing some time in self-enlightenment on the matter.
First and foremost, get comfortable with the Electoral College system. Many young voters feel dissuaded into interacting with a voting system they feel is 'too complex’ for them while others entertain misguided ideas of the system and are lured into apathy by being made to believe that their vote simply doesn’t count.
The next step, as a voter is using the media to your own advantage is finding out what is really going on. Take a look as both sides and entertain different perspectives if you don’t want to be a victim of propaganda. If sifting through newspapers isn’t your thing, use Youtube as a source of information. Certain debates between candidates can be entertaining as well as educational. Social websites such as Facebook and Myspace help users keep on top of the polls.
Finally comes the fine-tuning of knowledge before a ballot is cast. Only registered voters are mailed ballot cards before any sort of election. Municipal election offices provide cards on request to those which have not received their voter cards.
If you don’t know what to do with your ballot card, visit your local polling place (or use the internet) to find a sample ballot and familiarize yourself with it. If you have a punch-card ballot which is spoiled, insist on getting a replacement. Depending on the state you may be required to produce identification and/or vote at the proper polling place. Failure to follow procedure might result in your right to vote being challenged so use the right resources in advance to find out what the rules are in your state. The USA’s government website is a goldmine of such information.
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