With a little over two weeks left until election day, there are still things you can do to maximize your participation than just waiting to vote.
So, you’re a registered voter and there’s a month before the 2022 elections. What now? You may think that all you need to do between now and then is to just wait before you head to your voting precinct. But while there is nothing wrong with just minding your business, there are so much more things you can do, especially as a voting citizen. It you want to make the most out of your participation in this important democratic process and civic duty, there are other actions you can do between now and election day. These simple tasks don’t have to be grand gestures, they can be actions that just affect you or your immediate circle. These little actions though can go a long way in making this year’s important elections that much more worthwhile.
RESEARCH ON THE CANDIDATES
Still unsure who to vote for? Your slate of 12 senators still incomplete? Then do your research on the candidates in the running. While elections historically lead to just being a personality contest, you also need to know what exactly their concrete plans are and where they stand on the issues that are important to you and well, the country. As the past two years have proven, the government and their policies have a direct impact on the kind of life you live.
For all you know, someone you’re thinking about voting for actual has policies that you do not agree with. Make sure to check out credible sources on the platforms of the candidates, not some random video you can across on Facebook, YouTube or TikTok. Also, staying updated on the candidates through their streamed sorties can help you talk to people in your circle who are still undecided and have more fruitful discussion.
STAY UP-TO-DATE AND INFORMED ON CURRENT EVENTS
With election season in its final weeks, things are heating up. This is why it is important that you stay up-to-date on what’s going on not just with the candidates, but with the news as well. What are the candidates saying about timely issues like the increase in gas prices? These are the kinds of questions you need to ask yourself because it can help you come to a decision on who to vote for. This is why we have debates, so that people can get to learn more about the candidates. A lot can happen in just a few weeks and a candidate you might not have been paying attention to might suddenly enter your radar.
TALK TO YOUR FAMILY, FRIENDS, AND THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU
While some people don’t like talking about politics with others, the matter of fact is that it permeates almost every part of our lives. You can remain in your bubble, or you could go out and have those important conversations. If you don’t want to talk about certain candidates, then you can shift the discussion to what issues they are concerned with. You can talk to your family, your friends, and even the people you come across in your life. It is challenging, but you can even use these moments to encourage people who may not be interested in voting to actually exercise their constitutional right.
MAKE A PLAN FOR ELECTION DAY
You see so many ads, posters, and commercials about voting for so-and-so candidate, but have you thought about what you’ll actually do on election day? While some might think it’s just as simple as showing up to your voting precinct, things can get complicated. It helps to make an election day plan. For starters, you will be voting from President all the way down to councilors. If you want to know how your ballot will look like, COMELEC has sample ballots on their website for every province (including overseas voting) where it will show the exact ballot you will receive on election day with all the candidates based on your district. You can use that to practice shade a ballot, especially if this will be the first time you’ll vote.
Second, know where your exact voting area is and how you’ll get there. COMELEC has a precinct finder to help you know your polling place. More importantly, it shows whether your voter registration status is active. If it isn’t and it should be, don’t panic as you can email COMELEC email@example.com with your full name, date of birth, and city/municipality of registration to have it fixed. You can also call or contact your local COMELEC office as well.
Are you going to drive to your voting precinct, ride with your friends or family, or take public transportation? The last thing you need on election day is to go to the wrong voting precinct or have no way to get there. Note also that because of the ongoing pandemic, there will be extra health precautions taken before you actually vote, so you might spend more time in the voting precinct. If you can, try heading to your local voting area as early as you can to avoid the last minute rush.
CAMPAIGN FOR YOUR CHOSEN CANDIDATE
Finally, if you feel strongly for a certain candidate this May, then instead of just committing to that vote, you may also want to campaign for them. While most people’s idea of campaigning is showing up to a rally, there are other ways to show support. Campaigning for your candidate can be as simple as sharing fact-checked materials on that person on social media. You can also donate your time and talents as a campaign volunteer. Hang a poster at home or even talk to the people around you about voting. As long as the way you are campaigning is done properly and comes from a genuine place, then it’s fine.
Continue Reading: What To Expect When You Head To The Voting Booth On Election Day 2022