Getting Involved in the 2016 Election
Published on August 29, 2016 by arothstein
As a college student, you are likely more involved in politics that many other subsets of the population of the United States. Whether you support Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, the election staged for this November is sure to be one for the history books. Instead of living out this historical election from the sidelines, here are several ways you can get involved in the 2016 election:
- Volunteer for a campaign.
The closer it gets to election day, the more desperate campaign offices become for feet-on-the-ground volunteers. If you aren’t afraid of a bit of sweat and hard work, call into the national headquarters or visit the website of your favorite candidate, and ask how you can get involved. From placing political signs near polling places, to ensuring that voters in your area have rides to the polls, you can play a direct role in making sure that your candidate has the best chance possible to get elected. There is nothing quite like celebrating and counting electoral votes with a large number of other supporters of your candidate on election night. Don’t miss the opportunity to do so!
- Get people registered to vote.
In most states, people can register to vote up until October. There are countless organizations around the country that operate solely to ensure that all individuals eligible to vote are able to get registered and have their vote counted whether by voting at the polls or by absentee ballot. With catchy organization names like Rock the Vote, Project Vote, and Particip8, there is sure to be a local branch of one of these organizations that you can get involved in to get the word out about how to register.
- Volunteer to be a poll worker.
Poll workers are present at polling places around the country to ensure that all the voting that takes place on election day is done in accordance with federal, state, and local laws. From assisting voters with specific medical needs to helping out in case of computer malfunctions, poll workers have a front row seat to the action. Most states even pay a small stipend to poll workers for their time. Contact your local election commission for more information on the requirements and application process for becoming a poll worker.
- Blog! Post! Share!
Even if you don’t have time to dedicate large amounts of time to the election process, you can still have an impact by entering the political arena online. Social media is full of election-oriented information. Whether you post a factual rebuttal to a false viral post against a certain candidate or share links to unbiased articles about the candidates’ platforms, you have the opportunity to be a voice in the dialogue that is occurring about America’s two-party system.
- Be reasonable, regardless of the outcome.
Because of the heated nature of this election, the aftermath of it is likely to be explosive. Instead of ranting and raving or shoving your candidate’s victory into the face of the other party, be a voice of reason in the turmoil. We live in an amazing country, and one election isn’t going to make or break us. Be positive. Encourage others to become active in nonprofit organizations dedicated to causes they support that may not have come out on top this election cycle. Remind your family members that another election will happen in two, and again in four, short years.
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