Presidential Election Voting Guide: Part One

The vote goes beyond pure statistical influence.

FACT: California was into the Union a century and a half ago by a one-vote margin.
However, today, according to Economic Inquiry, the probability that a single vote will decide a presidential election averages out to 60 million to one. The importance of the vote, however, reaches far beyond the statistical influence of a lone presidential ballot.
The vote sparks activism.

“The process of voting,” said Corey Cook, “is important in part because it’s a gateway to…political and civic engagement” even when “it is very unlikely for a single vote to matter in any contest.” said Corey Cook,

The statistic above highlights a reality about politics that actually makes both voting and civic engagement a requirement for full political participation: one can’t can’t be had with just one or the other.

Even if an election’s outcome did not align with one’s vote, the activism that is sparked by the act of voting amplifies the power of a ballot.

The vote was fought for.
The vote was won and extended to today’s demographic — to women, to minorities, to 18-year-olds, and to the poor — with extraordinary struggle, effort, and dedication. This effort deserves at least a cast ballot.
The vote sways smaller contests.
Smaller contests, including those for local offices and statewide propositions, are decided on a much narrower margin. Being the deciding vote is not equivalent to being a deciding factor in an election. A vote uncast is a vote that did not bring down the opposition.
Why The Vote Matters:
Rock the Vote
Rock the Vote’s mission is to inform and to build political power of America’s 18-29 year olds through music, pop culture, and social media. This year, the nonprofit hosted a road trip across the East Coast with live bands and voting information and registration kiosks for concertgoers. According to the site there are 44 million eligible young voters — the largest generation in history who are also representative of about a fourth of the entire electorate in 2012. Since 1990s, the nonprofit has registered more than five million young people. Over 200 musicians support Rock the Vote, including Katy Perry, Slightly Stoopid, The Roots, and Beyonce.
Check it out:

Project Vote Smart
The non-partisan, nonprofit educational organization offers quick access to election information, and candidate biographies, ratings, voting records, and speeches. Not sure about which candidate you’re siding with? Go to their interactive VoterEasy page and instantly see who thinks most like you on issues including abortion, education, and health care. Vote Smart also has voter registration forms, absentee ballots, and election schedules for each state.
Check it out:

Politifact finds the truth in politics by examining statements made by presidential candidates, Congress members, state legislators, governors, and other figures who speak out in American politics. Statements are researched and are rated by accuracy on their Truth-O-Meter, falling under one of six ratings: true, mostly true, half true, mostly false, false, and pants on fire. Politifact also keeps track of how candidates flip their position on an issue, and whether they fulfill, compromise, or fail to meet their promises to citizens. Politifact is a project of the Tampa Bay Times, winner of eight Pulitzer Prizes.
Check it out:

Confused about whether you should register to vote at your school address or your home address? compares where your vote would count more based on state representation in the electoral college.
Check it out:



Tuesday, November 6
* Election Day
Polling places open from 7 am – 8 pm * Deadline for receipt of vote-by-mail ballots
Must be received by Department of Elections or dropped off at polling place on Election Day by 8 pm

14 thoughts on “Presidential Election Voting Guide: Part One”

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