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Become a Better Voter

Posted by admin on Thursday, October 11, 2012

When the voting gets tough, the tough get voting. (Well, something like that.)  Surviving the weeks before Election Day can be really difficult, especially when you spend every day around hundreds of chatty college students who think they know everything about politics. Suddenly, friendly dinners become political disputes, study sessions become heated arguments, and classroom discussions become a treacherous battleground filled with opinionated land mines and easily offended machine guns. Even worse, most of these democratic debates are fueled by false accusations, petty stereotypes, or misconstrued information. This year, be a better voter and do your research. That way, the next time a classmate or colleague refutes your ideas, you’ll actually know your stuff. Here are 5 easy tips on how to get the most out of this election:

  1. Fact-check information. If you hear something about a candidate, whether you like it or not, look it up. As information moves along, it can become exaggerated or falsified.
  2. Watch the debates and speeches. Know your candidates and what they stand for and form your own opinions. Don’t just listen to others’ recaps.
  3. If your candidate of choice supports a policy, make sure you examine that policy. Presidential candidates have their own public relations teams; most of the language they choose is meant to make you feel good about something, not bad. Look up policies to make sure you support that as well.
  4. When you’re listening to something you don’t like, don’t tune it out. Try to assess the points of that political view and attempt to see how it is similar or different from your own ideas.
  5. Don’t mudsling. It may be hard to hold your tongue, but democracy exists to allow opinions from opposing sides. To be a good citizen, and a good voter, you need to practice tolerance.

Now, that you know the ins and outs of becoming a better voter, it’s time for you to do what voters do best — VOTE! On Nov. 6, hit that ballot box.

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