2012 Conservative Election Handbook

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Government should not be originating student loans. Students should have more private financing options, and creating more private educational institutions should be encouraged. Regardless of age, education level is a significant factor when it comes to voting in the U. The most important thing to remember is that you must show up to your assigned polling station. Individuals who turn up to the wrong location will not be on the list and will either be turned away or required to fill out a provisionary ballot. MYTH: Voter fraud is treated very seriously and great care is taken to ensure ballots are managed properly.

That being said, election commissions also want voters to be informed before they fill out a ballot — either on paper or electronically.

Sometimes these are sent out in the mail or given as part of the registration process, otherwise voters can request sample ballots. MYTH: Anyone can volunteer to be an election worker, but it comes with certain requirements — including agreeing to kindly help voters with any questions they may have. First-time voters should use their local polling station workers as a resource.


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The Election Assistance Commission works with individual states to ensure all polling staff are eligible to work and are aware of their responsibilities on election day. MYTH: Multiple contests for elections frequently appear on the ballot. These may range from President to local school board members, and sometimes you may not know all the offices up for election until you get to the polling station.

Furthermore, federal funds — including Pell Grants or loans — are not affected by location. MYTH: How someone votes can be a sensitive topic, especially for students and other first-time voters if their parents or other important people in their life may have voted differently. Every voter should be able to perform their civic duty without worrying about privacy. No one can find out how you voted, but information about voter registration, party affiliation and your address are public information. That being said, this information cannot be easily accessed, and anyone trying to gain access must give a valid reason, such as for journalistic purposes.


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Young voters have become less engaged throughout the decades. In , 51 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 voted. In , only 38 percent of the same demographic went to the polls. While it may add a few extra steps to the process — including possibly providing an excuse for not voting on election day in your district, or turning in an early ballot — the benefit of getting to exercise the right to vote should far outweigh the time and effort it takes to vote away from home.

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Here are some simple solutions:. Early voting dates are set by each state, so those with this option available to them should check with the local election commission. Many college students may be confused about where to vote and if they can use their school address for voter register. This is mandated on the state level, so students should check with both their home state and the state where their school is located for clarification. More people turn out to vote when a presidential candidate is on the ballot. The Congressional elections saw only a 42 percent voter turnout while 62 percent of Americans voted in the Presidential election.

Although the most publicized vote for the President takes place during the general election, there are many different opportunities to help decide the future of local, state and federal offices. A General Election is the election when political candidates are directly elected to office.

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Voters also choose federal, state and local representatives and whether or not to pass ballot initiatives. A Mid-Term election is used to elect a range of federal, state and local offices in the years when a Presidential seat is not up for election. Primary elections help determine the candidate for each political primary prior to the General Election. A type of primary election, Closed Primaries require voters to affiliate with their chosen party and vote for the candidate within that group. A type of primary election, Open Primaries allow registered voters to remain unaffiliated and vote for a candidate from any party.

Party Conventions serve as the culminating event of the primary season after every state has cast their votes in the Primaries. Each political party hosts their own convention where the nominee of that party is official chosen through the gathering of delegates from all 50 states. Special or By-Elections take place when an office has become open between a General or Mid-Term election. Serving a similar purpose as a primary, caucuses are arranged by state party officials and used to gather together members of a specific political group.

Attendees of a caucus pick delegates to represent the interests of the state at the party convention. A referendum is a special, direct vote on a specific question or proposal. This vote is typically not cast to elect an office, but rather to decide a question or to reject or accept a proposal. Brenda A. Gadd has worked in elections, local and state government for over 15 years.

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In she managed the successful retention election of Tennessee Supreme Court Justices. She lives in Nashville and enjoys spending time with her family and checking out the latest local craft brewery. The most important thing you can do is make sure your registration is complete! In Tennessee, if you registered to vote by mail, you must vote in person the first time.

Bringing your ID is also really important in a lot of states, so check with your local official about whether or not this is required. For candidates on the federal level, there is a great resource recommended by the League of Women Voters that can help you decide. For local and state elections, Vote is a reliable, non-partisan organization that collects information from candidates on issues and platforms. Local elections are some of the most important. From reproductive rights to education policy, most of the issues that affect you daily are decided at the state and local level.

Nashville just finished a school board election in which only about 15 percent of eligible voters turned out. The right to vote is the most important right granted to a U. We walk in the path of many who sacrificed so much for our right to vote. Gadd's Bio. Voting Myths vs.

What Happened to America’s Political Center of Gravity?

Step 1: Register to Vote Voter registration is not federally managed, meaning states and territories have unique requirements. Step 2: Research Political Parties, Candidates Being an informed voter allows individuals to select candidates based on their stated platforms without relying on party propaganda or media coverage. Step 3: Know the Issues Once a new voter is familiar with the basic tenets of political parties, they are able to learn about the issues at stake during the election.

Step 6: Cast Your Ballot Gone are the days of hanging chads and delayed results, as states now use electronic voting systems, either optical scanning or touch screens on election day.

First Time Voter Guide: Election Rights, Rules, & Regulations

Onward, First-Timers! Who: High School and College Students. Why They Are Important: Students make up the largest group of first time voters. The median age for students was 27 in according to the Digest of Education, yet the U. Census shows eligible voters age 18 to 29 are consistently the least likely to actually cast a ballot. Because they are generally younger in age, students are often considered the next generation of voters, and carry a different perspective than their older counterparts.

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Hot button issues for student voters may include the cost of college tuition, affordable health care coverage, minimum wage regulations and climate change. Campus Vote Project Launched in , the Campus Vote Project helps colleges and universities empower and encourage their students to vote. Junior State of America This national civics education and leadership program focuses on familiarizing high school students with political processes. StudentVote A non-profit group that promotes student voting by offering easy online voter registration services and information, in an effort to get more students to the polls on election day.

Who: Anyone between the ages of 18 and Why They Are Important: The youth population is made up of 46 million eligible voters — compared to 39 million senior voters — giving them significant influence over election results. Hot button issues may include student loans, environmental sustainability, education, equality in jobs and financial security. Pew Research Center — Young Voters PEC completed an in-depth research study on the habits of young voters in the election, including breakdowns on age, gender, ethnicity and educational levels.