It’s no secret that this election cycle has been stressful. There are tons of reasons why we’re excited for this season to be over, from the constant media coverage to the social media arguments, but that doesn’t mean Election Day has to be tough! If you’re planning on voting (which you should) and tuning into the election results later that night, here are some tips to help you keep a level head.
Research Local Races
You’re going to be voting for more than just the next president on Tuesday, so don’t go into the booth blind. Ballotpedia is a great resource for voters, as you can type in your address and the site will show you a summary of all candidates and measures that you can vote for this year. Know before you go!
Memorize Your Directions
Don’t be the person who gets lost on the way to the polling station! Print out the directions to your polling station in advance of Tuesday so you’re not scrambling to get there. If you need to, take a practice trip so you know exactly where you’ll be voting.
Bring An Extra ID
Most states require voters to show a form of government identification to confirm that you are who you say you are before voting. Play it safe and bring extra ID in the event that you’re asked for it by a poll worker.
In most states, the polls open between 6 and 7 AM. Arrive early, bring a coffee, and be prepared to wait in line to vote. Getting your vote out of the way in the morning means that you don’t have to rush out of work at the end of the day and panic about being able to cast your vote. If for no other reason, vote early for the peace of mind!
Don’t Go for the Photo Opp
Learn from Justin Timberlake and don’t take a photo of your ballot. Even if you want one as a keepsake, it’s best to avoid the photo altogether so you don’t get in trouble with local officials.
Keep Your Choices Private
The best way to avoid any political arguments is to keep who you voted for private. When asked, simply say that you’d prefer to not discuss it. Most people will respect your privacy and won’t pry any further, but if anyone continues to bother you about it you have the right to walk away.
Turn off Twitter and Facebook
We know, we know – it’s a crazy idea, but trust us! Disconnecting from social media is the best way you can help yourself on Election Day. Since we won’t know the results until the evening, you won’t miss any important updates during the day. Plus, you’ll have already voted IRL so you don’t need to watch your friends’ Snapchats about it.
Do Something Fun!
Distract yourself from politics by going out with your friends, getting a manicure, seeing a movie, or something else that will entertain you for a few hours. Try to avoid anything news or politics-related, a.k.a. go watch Magic Mike 2 and enjoy some mindless fun.
Remember That Your Vote Matters
Voting is an important civic duty, so you should be proud of the fact that you voted in this year’s election. Yes, the U.S. is full of millions of voters but that doesn’t mean your vote counts any less. Be proud of the fact that you voted, regardless of who wins, and that you live in a country where you have the right to do so.