On the first Tuesday of November, millions of Americans plan to exercise their civic duty by using their voice to vote for the next president of the United States and for other state and local offices. You may think your one vote among the millions of others won’t make a difference, but there are many reasons why your vote matters.

Registered voters have the right to make their voices heard in the voting booth. When considering whether it matters, it helps to remember the brave individuals who fought, suffered, and even died for the right to support the causes that mattered to them.

Your vote is your voice, and it has the power to influence decisions that impact you, your family, and future generations as well.

Think of your vote as a contribution to your community. Have you ever taken a position on an issue that aligns with a particular candidate’s views? Consider how that position could make a positive difference for your community. Keep in mind that your vote is not only about you, because your community is made up of your neighbors, family, and friends, and some of them don’t have a voice.

Whether you’re voting by mail or in-person, this year’s election and your vote is sure to make a lasting impact on the nation. However, there are a few steps to take to make sure you’re able to make your voice heard this election season.

1. Register to Vote

Before you can vote in person or by mail, you must register to vote in your state.

Check to see if you’re registered to vote on Vote.org. FYI: Vote.org is a nonpartisan resource for all voters in the US.

Be sure to register in your state as soon as possible, as registration deadlines vary by state.

>>> Scroll down on this page to check your state’s registration deadline.

2. Do your research and keep a lookout!

Take a few minutes to look up candidates, what they stand for, their track record (if they have any), and what key issues they consider important.

Keep an eye out for any campaign events where you can get to know candidates and officials – especially for your local elections – where your vote directly impacts today. Check your social media, listen to the radio, and listen to podcasts for frequent updates on each candidates’ campaigns. Stay informed!

3. How to Vote on Election Day! (Or send in a ballot before Election Day)

You’ve registered to vote, you’ve done your research, and you’ve come to a decision. Now it’s time to vote! Whether you’re mailing your ballot or going to the polls, it’s crucial that you know exactly how to cast your vote!

Request a Mail-In Ballot: https://www.vote.org/absentee-ballot/

Find your polling place: https://www.vote.org/polling-place-locator/

Presidential elections get a lot of attention because the decision impacts the entire country, but remember that your state and local elections are just as important!

Many key decisions are made at the local level, and these decisions may also impact your daily life, including: resources allocated for education, public safety, public transit, and much more.

Unfortunately, many eligible voters do not actually vote. But don’t let this year’s election pass you by. Your vote is a symbol of freedom, privilege, and expression. Be sure to take advantage of this opportunity and let your voice be heard.

Appendix / Resources

Generic Links:

Check Your Registration: https://www.vote.org/am-i-registered-to-vote/

Register to Vote (deadline 10/24): https://www.vote.org/register-to-vote/

Request a Mail-In Ballot: https://www.vote.org/absentee-ballot/

Polling Place Locator: https://www.vote.org/polling-place-locator/