So it’s that time of year again- Election Day! Time to do your civic duty and get out there and vote for your elected officials, plus state and local referendums. In fact, today marks the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote in New York State, so a huge thank you goes out to all of the very bohemian-thinking women in the 1800s and 1900s who worked so valiantly over the years to make their voices heard.
That being said, I groan on almost every election day because it’s always such a pain to remember my voting district, to find out who is running for what and what on earth all of those people stand for. Then there is always a surprise or two on the ballot, like this year, voting yes or no on whether New York State needs to have a constitutional convention. Huh? Um, why?
So good news! For those of us who don’t like surprises at the polls, there are some great tools online to help you have a smooth, educated voting experience.
Am I Registered to Vote?
Where Do I Go to Vote?
We like HeadCount.org’s Find Your Polling Place tool. Simply scroll down, enter your address, and the site gives you the address and a map of where to go to vote.
What’s on My Ballot?
To find out what’s on your ballot, we suggest using the Vote411.org site developed by the League of Women Voters. Here are the 4 easy steps:
1. Type in your address and hit enter.
2. Next, under On Your Ballot, click the green button that says “Get personalized information on candidates and issues.”
3. You may be given the option to click on additional city or county jurisdictions.
4. Then click “Go to my races.”
Just like that, Vote411 will create a personalized voter guide with your specific ballot information. Simply click on each ballot item to see details.
The Vote411 voter guide is great because it allows you to see exactly who is running for what and read background information on most of the candidates. Referendums are also listed and include unbiased pros and cons of the issues. You can even practice voting and print out your choices to take with you to the polls.
Of note, some local candidates and referendums do not have background information listed, so you may need to rely on your local newspaper to learn more. However, these websites will save you a ton of time before you go to the polls to vote in today’s elections.
Happy voting and if you are from New York State, be sure to pick up your 100 Year Anniversary sticker and proudly proclaim you voted!