When I was a child, Mom would wake me early on Election Day. We would read up on the candidates before stopping to vote on our way to school. She would introduce me to the poll workers and let me help fill out and file her ballot. I always wore her “I Voted” sticker proudly for the rest of the day.
Things are much different today. Americans are increasingly turned off by politics, and it shows at the polls. Political ads cater to our natural human tendency to overemphasize the scary, dramatic, or traumatic. Social media’s echo chamber rings with anger, distrust, and disagreement about our government, especially on the national level. And, for some Americans, voting has not led to the access and inclusion they have been promised.
With all the political noise, it is difficult to know what and who to believe. But you don’t have to rely on the increasingly polarizing media and opinions on your social media feeds to find out more about the candidates. There are many places online where you can get unbiased, nonpartisan information about the candidates and issues that will appear on your ballot.
The League of Women Voters, an organization I joined nine years ago, created VOTE411.org as a one-stop shop for election-related information. By entering your address, you can see the offices up for election in your area, learn about the candidates, and read their responses to League questions. You also can confirm your voter registration and polling location and see what ID you need to bring, saving you valuable time.
You may not think your vote can make a difference, but it does. I hope you will join me in casting an informed ballot on Tuesday, Nov. 6. And, if you have children in your life like I do, consider taking them with you. It is never too early to inspire the next generation of voters.
League of Women Voters of Indianapolis