Because voting matters: A list of online voter registration resources

This year’s election is definitely like none I’ve ever seen in my lifetime, and I voted in 2000’s election. This is particularly so on the Republicans’ side, with the party’s nominee for president being Donald Trump. Until recently, Trump was someone I’d relegated to 80s nostalgia and reality shows I don’t watch. On the Democrats’ side, Hillary Clinton marks the first time a woman’s been a major American party’s nominee for the presidency.

Again, I normally wouldn’t write about politics on the blog. However, without turning things into a lengthy, off-topic political rant, it’s become clear that voting in this year’s election will be more important now than ever. Whoever wins will have a major impact on the country moving forward. To be frank, I fear for the worst for the United States if that person’s Trump.

Fortunately, there’s plenty of convenient, easy to use online resources for voters, which I’ll describe below.

Google

Site: www.google.com/search?q=register+to+vote

Google makes it easy to look up how to register to vote. Searching for “register to vote” will display at the top of the results an information box about voting in your state. This includes deadlines to register, requirements to vote, and a link to the state government’s election website in order to register. If you need to look for another state, a drop-down menu lets you change the state.

USA.gov

Site: vote.usa.gov

The US federal government itself has a website offering links to individual state government sites to register to vote. While it gets the job done, it’s a bit barebones comapred to some of the other sites I’ve listed.

Vote.org

Site: www.vote.org

The nonpartisan website Vote.org features resources for voters organized in an easy-to-search fashion. Users can search by state for relevant voter information, including: voting registration deadlines, ways one can vote, and absentee voting. The site also lets you check whether you’re registered to vote, and lets you register if you’ve not already done so.

Vote.org was originally launched in 2008 as “Long Distance Voter.” While it’s a third-party site, others have praised its efforts, including Mic and Bustle.

US Vote Foundation

Site: www.usvotefoundation.org

The US Vote Foundation’s another nonprofit third-party site, a sister site to the Overseas Voting Foundation’s site. OVF’s focus is mainly on absentee ballot voting for those overseas, such as military members, etc. However, the USVF site gives useful information for voters, including voting deadlines and absentee voting.

Lifehacker

Site: lifehacker.com/how-to-register-and-vote-early-before-the-presidential-1782421609

Lifehacker’s written a page about how to register to vote, as well as voting early. It’s mostly similar information to what I’ve listed above, but I thought I’d include Lifehacker’s page anyway.

Platform views

Below are several sites listing summaries of Clinton’s and Trump’s platforms.

PBS

PBS lists a summary of Clinton and Trump’s views on various issues:

New York Times

The New York Times has dedicated pages listing the candidates’ views on various issues. They consist of quotes the paper drew from previous articles:

Google

Google’s site gives a long list of various topics (same-sex marriage, foreign policy, etc.) with drop-down menus that list quotes the candidates have given on the topic. The quotes are pulled from various sites, including politically liberal and conservative sources.

Conclusion

Again, I urge every American who’s able to do so to vote in this fall’s election. The presidential race is important—among other things, there’s the makeup of the Supreme Court at stake. There’s also various state and local issues that’ll be on fall ballots.

(Updated 10/20/16)

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