Voting and the upcoming elections

I recently had a very interesting conversation with some young people, all high school graduates, all intelligent humans. They asked some very interesting questions.

Everything you wanted to know about voter registration can be found here:

Q: If I register to vote Republican, do I have to vote for the Republican candidate?
A: No. Once you register to vote, since your vote is made secretly, you can vote for whomever you want. Registering with a particular party listed on your registration allows you to vote in the Primary for that party. Registering with no party affiliation means you cannot vote in the primaries, but you can still vote in the regular elections. 

Q: I heard I cannot vote by absentee ballot where I live. 
A: Every state has absentee voting.

Q: Can I even vote?
A: At a minimum, you must be 18 years of age and a U.S. citizen to be eligible to vote.

Q: Why bother? All these politicians are stupid. 
A: What is something that you really care about? Find a politician that also cares about that. Vote for them. 

Q: All politicians are evil. Can I just vote for the lesser of two evils?
A: Yes, but you are still voting for evil. 


Do your own research!     

Explore the candidates’ websites to see where they allegedly stand on your hot-button issues.

If one of the candidates is an incumbent in the House of Representatives or Senate, go to and research their voting records, find out what issues they concentrate on, and how to contact them.

Attend campaign events, including town halls (or participate in them  by phone or online) and informal coffees and other stops the candidates might be making in your community. Local party offices, public libraries and other community organizations usually have information on such events.

Find the campaign office and call or drop in. Candidates want your vote. Make them work for it. Ask to speak to the candidate or her or his representative and get your questions answered about the issues that matter to you.

Check the candidates’ answers on important issues., which is run by the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, keeps track of candidates’ statements and claims. Cross reference their facts with other sites to find conflicting information. 

Do a Google search for “[your congressional district] debates.”

Try this site:

Or this one: