This is for all of you who, like me, are more than ready for the 2016 US presidential campaign to be over. Tempting though it may be to pull the covers over our heads for the next 2 1/2 months, it’s not a good idea. The stakes are high. Getting out the vote is important.
Don’t worry though about turning off the news. The airwaves are so saturated with campaign stories, they are probably absorbing through our skin. Instead of listening to Hillary tweak her e-mail story or watching Donald wave his arms in mockery—again—here’s how to free yourself of hyperbole and really make a difference:
1. Register to vote. Not sure how?
- Go to your state’s Voter Registration website, or
- Check out Rock the Vote, which hosts easy online voter registration and offers information on how, when and where to vote.
2. Choose, vet, follow your candidate.
- Explore your candidate’s platform. Here’s HIllary’s. Here’s Donald’s.
- Insider.gov is a great, neutral resource. It covers and provides links to pretty much everything you need to know: candidates’ stands on issues, what they are worth, who is backing them, how they are doing in the polls. It even links to news articles, in case you get media withdrawal.
3. Pants on fire. Who is lying? Who is telling the truth? Find out on Politifact.org, a Pulitzer Prize-winning site.
If you don’t trust Politifact, here are four other reputable sites.
4. Swing States aren’t called battlegrounds for nothing. Do you live in one? Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina and Virginia have a combined 66 electoral votes, or 24 percent of the 270 needed to win the election. Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire are also on the fence. Votes in these states count more than ever.
5. Help! Assist others with registration, remembering to vote, and finding out where and how to vote.
- Check out Movement16’s interactive map which links, by state, to groups helping with voting issues and getting out the vote. If you don’t find an organization you sympathize with, check with the local chapter of the League of Women Voters or political party organizers.
- Celebrate National Voter Registration Day on September 27 by asking everyone you know if they are registered to vote, if they know how to vote, if they know who they are voting for and if they plan to vote.
- Rock the Vote organizes volunteers all over the country, providing not only voter registration, but also polling place information and canvassing opportunities.
We’re almost there!