Election 2016: Tips to Rock the Vote in the DC Metro Area

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Election 2016: Tips to Rock the Vote in the DC Metro Area "March 8, 2017
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Registered to vote in D.C., Virginia, or Maryland but not sure if you’re going to cast your ballot next week on election day? Here are some tips to make it fast and easy to get out and rock the vote.

Find Your Polling Center

Google makes this incredibly easy. Type in your address here and your assigned polling center will pop up, with address and map.

Vote Early

In Maryland, any registered voter in Maryland can vote early in person through November 3, 2016. If you've voted in Maryland before, you don’t need to provide ID to vote in person. If you’re voting for the first time in Maryland or submitted your registration by mail and didn’t provide supporting documents that show your name and address, you may need to show one of these documents to vote. Click here for full info.

In D.C., any person who is eligible to register to vote can vote early at any of these locations. Early voting is open in Washington, D.C. now through November 4 from 8:30am-7:00pm. You can still vote if you join the line at 7:00. In my experience, voting early in D.C. was a breeze and so much faster than voting on election day. I cast my vote this week in Columbia Heights and was in and out in 10 minutes.

Pro tips for early voting in DC:

- If you haven’t registered to vote yet, DC early voting centers offer same-day voter registration.Have your voter ID card handy if possible. You don’t need your voter ID card to vote but it speeds up the process if you have it.

- Check wait times online to find an early voting center that will get you in and out faster

- Get (and flaunt!) your “I Voted Early” sticker. They’re available in English & Spanish. Post your sticker on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to inspire your friends to get out and vote, too.

In Virginia, you can vote early through November 5 if you fit certain criteria. All Virginia voters must bring a photo ID to vote early or on Election Day (check acceptable forms of ID here).

Research Your Candidates

Hesitating to vote because you don’t know enough about each candidate and where they stand on issues you care about? There are plenty of resources to quickly get you up to speed:

Facebook

Facebook launched an initiative this week to make it easier than ever to learn about your candidates (you may have already seen it pop up in your news feed). Enter your address here and click “preview ballot” see see info on each candidate and what issues each one supports. Once you explore your ballot options, you can email yourself your voting plan and take it with you to your polling location to use as a reminder when filling out your official ballot. This tool also helps you locate your polling center or encourage friends and family to vote.

Google

In addition to helping you figure out your early voting options or locate your polling center, Google makes it easy and quick to research which issues each candidate supports.

Simply click here (or type “my ballot” into the Google search engine) and enter the address where you’re registered to vote. Google will serve up the basic info you need to make an informed decision.

Isidewith.com

Isidewith.com is a quiz that you can take to see which candidate supports issues you care about. Their algorithm matches you to candidate’s answers based on the following metrics:

- Similarity: Is your stance on this issue similar to the candidate’s stance? If so, how similar is it?

- Importance: How important is this issue to you?

- Conviction: How consistent and committed to this issue is the candidate and how likely are they to follow through on a campaign promise?

Isidewith.com analyzes daily news, campaign finance data, and government voting records to determine what a candidate’s top issues are, how they voted on an issue in the past, where they get their money from, and how often they change their position on an issue. The quiz doesn’t take long, and could be worth trying if you want to dig deeper into specific issues.

Research Free Childcare Options

Don’t have a sitter on November 8? Select YMCAs are offering free childcare on election day. The initiative is called Zoe’s Kids Day Out, part of a larger effort by the YMCA called Zoe For President, a mission to elect a girl who is 1 year old today as president in 2064. Cool, right? We thought so.

To learn if your local YMCA is one of the participating locations, call them directly or visit their website.

Let's support each other this election season!

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Have more suggestions? Tweet them at us. We’ll live update this blog with your suggestions from now through 7:00pm ET on November 8th.

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