There’s an unprecedented effort this year to encourage young people to register and vote. I wrote here about how voter registration groups such as Rock the Vote and HeadCount are targeting would-be voters at events and places such as the “On the Run II Tour,” high schools and Levi Strauss stores.
Turnout for midterms has been especially low for young people (just 22% of millennials voted in 2014), but voter registration groups are hoping the 2018 midterms will be different.
“There’s certainly a lot of signs that we’re going to see increased turnout,” Andy Bernstein, founder and executive director of the nonprofit group HeadCount, told me. He also said he’s noticed an interest in engaging on voting from brands and companies he described as “very, very conscious of being nonpartisan.”
HeadCount has already blown past its previous midterm registration record, and just landed its first spot with the Ad Council, which it estimates will be seen at least 10 million times. Other voter registration efforts include Rock the Vote and American Eagle’s “Democracy Class,” Twitter’s #BeAVoter campaign, MTV’s “+1thevote,” and When We Vote, which Michelle Obama co-chairs. Even the fact that the former first lady is championing voter registration seems like a sign of what the issue means in 2018. Post-White House, the Obamas are sticking to their lanes: The former President is out campaigning for candidates, while his wife is sticking to more FLOTUS-like advocacy, pitching civic engagement in the national interest.
Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Voting Rules in the U.S. Are Different in Every State
Federal and state elections in the United States are run by the states themselves, according to Article I and Article II of the Constitution. No two states run their elections exactly the same, so contacting your state or local election office is the best way to find out about your state’s unique election rules.
The Basic Steps to Vote are the Same in Most States
Despite the differences in how states run elections, the basic steps to vote are the same almost everywhere.
Every state except North Dakota requires you to register to vote.
Every state has absentee voting.
Most states assign you a specific polling place, or voting location. A few states have ballot drop sites instead.
These voting guides explain the basics of voting, no matter where you live: