First things first: are you registered to vote? Unless you live in the great state of Oregon, which became the first state to adopt automatic voter registration for eligible citizens who request or renew a driver’s license through the DMV this year, registering to vote is step one.
If you’re thinking to yourself, “Of course I’m registered! Who is this person questioning me?” then please pat yourself on the back and skip ahead, you champion of democracy, you.
For the rest of us, the burden of registration is totally ours to bear, and the process varies slightly by state. Once you're registered — and you can't vote by mail — then you are going to have to get yourself to a polling station on voting day, but not just any polling place will do.
Unfortunately, there isn't a streamlined database that allows for polling locations to share voter information. And while there may be a polling location that is closer to your residence, that might not be your polling place. Last election day, I made this very mistake. The embarrassment lingers still, and I refuse to let this happen to you.
The Voting Information Project (VIP) is the best one-stop-shop that offers free tools for anyone who wants information about where to vote. It also has great resources, like what’s on your ballot.
Using the Voting Information Tool, enter your voting address and click the magnifying glass icon. A window will pop up with a Google map showing your polling location’s address, directions, voting hours — everything down to which room to head to.
When you're finished, don’t forget to post your “I Voted” sticker on IG, you know, for the fans.