Your Vote Counts, Your Voice Matters
Studies show that few people are as patriotic as immigrants to the United States. To pick up one’s entire life to move to the U.S. is to understand what it means to truly believe in this country’s people and institutions.
This November 3rd, you have the opportunity to shape our future in what appears to be the most critical election of our lifetimes, one that stands to potentially determine the fate of our lives and of democracy itself.
Naturalized citizens are eligible to vote. Despite comprising 10% of America’s voting population, however, only half of naturalized American citizens voted in the 2016 presidential election.
You have a voice. You have a vote. You have the power to determine who represents you in your local, state, and national governments. Do not take this power lightly – it is, in fact, the power to effectuate change at every level in the country to which you belong.
However, it’s no secret that the voting process in America can be confusing. Here are some steps you can take to make voting as simple as possible:
1: Make sure you’re registered to vote.
Most states’ voter registration deadlines have passed, but you can check your registration status here: https://www.vote.org/am-i-registered-to-vote/.
You can only vote if you are registered.
2: Cast your ballot.
There are several ways that you can vote in the upcoming election:
A: Vote early, in person.
Early voting guidelines vary by state. Check when early voting begins in your state.
Once you know if/when you can vote early, check your local election office’s website to find out where your voting site is/what their hours are.
B: Vote Absentee.
If you haven’t yet, request your absentee ballot.
Once you have filled out your ballot, you have options when it comes to submitting it.
You can a) mail it to your local election office, b) submit it via ballot drop box, or c) submit it in person at your local election office. Secure ballot drop boxes in your area may be found on your state’s voter information website.
If submitting an absentee ballot, be aware of your state’s various deadlines.
3: Vote on election day.
If voting in person on election day, locate the polling place that corresponds to the address with which you’ve registered to vote.
It is important to note that voting requirements vary by state. Make sure to check what forms of ID, if any, are required of you when you submit your ballot.
When you do vote, make sure to vote up and down the ballot as to participate in your local and state elections in addition to the presidential race.
Immigrants are and always have been the future of the United States, but that future depends on your participation in our democracy, and on your vote this year. One vote may seem small, but when our votes add up, they have the capacity to make a real difference.