Make a Plan to Vote!
Voting. It’s important, but like anything, you’ve got to make the time. One way to make sure your voice gets heard, is to make a plan to vote! In Oregon, we’re lucky to vote by mail. Once you receive your ballot, you’ll have a couple weeks to look it over before mailing it in or sliding it into a dropbox. Want to make sure you don’t run out of time to elect your future? Here are eight tips for getting out your own vote.
Give yourself a deadline. For example, say to yourself: “I will complete my ballot by October 31st.” Schedule time into your calendar and just do it.
Let your Voters’ Pamphlet be your guide. This hefty piece of mail contains information on everybody running for office, their backgrounds, positions, and endorsements. It’s like a yearbook for politicians! You’ll also find information on the ballot measures with arguments for and against.
Ask questions. Candidates want to answer your questions, and if they don’t, that’s a good sign they’re not worthy of your vote! Attend a community event, watch a debate or ask friends and family who align with your values what they think.
Throw a party. When you can vote at home, you don’t have to go it alone. Invite friends and family to a ballot party to crowdsource your collective research and knowledge. Click here for tips on hosting a ballot party.
Look to organizations you support for guidance. For example, if you care about reproductive freedom, find out who NARAL and Planned Parenthood endorsed. If you care about the environment, see what Oregon League of Conservation Voters recommends. If you care about racial justice, see what APANO and Coalition of Communities of Color has to say. For an overview of selected organizations, see the NWGSD.org election endorsement guide.
Voting is not a test. No need to flashback to that exam you forgot to study for in ninth grade! Your ballot is not invalid if you don’t fill it out completely. If you’re not sure how to vote on a candidate or ballot measure, just fill out what you’re comfortable with and leave the rest blank. The only requirement is to use a blue or black pen.
Sign, seal, and deliver! If you’re mailing your ballot in Oregon, don’t forget the stamp, and mail it by 11/1 to make sure it arrives at your local elections office by 8 p.m. on 11/6. Otherwise, find a dropbox by 8 p.m. on 11/6.
Watch and wait! Find an election party to attend and watch the drama unfold. Dress code: wear blue!