With Election Day fast approaching, Americans will soon be called upon to choose new representatives on a local, state and federal level. Students may need instruction on how to vote and how to stay informed.
According to the University website, “UNO is committed to making sure everyone in our community has access to all the information you need to vote and has partnered with TurboVote and the non-partisan organization Democracy Works to provide this service to [students].”
By visiting https://unomaha.turbovote.org, students can register to vote from any device (phone, laptop, tablet, etc.) at any time of the day and also check their registration status, request to vote by mail and sign up for election reminders.
Those registering to vote for the first time will initially be asked questions regarding their United States citizenship, their age on or before Election Day and any felony charges in order to confirm voter eligibility. From there, one must provide an ID number (either a driver’s license number or the last four digits of their social security number), full legal name, date of birth, sex, residential address and mailing address (if different than their residential address).
Aspiring registrees will also be asked to either choose their preferred political party or abstain from any party affiliation.
“After completing registration, TurboVote will mail copies of the appropriate forms to the address [one] specified. The service is free for UNO students,” the University adds.
If an individual wishes to vote in person at a physical polling place, they can visit the website for the Douglas County Election Commission, where they will be asked to provide their house number and zip code in order to locate their political district. Moreover, they will be able to view their current elected officials and view a sample voting ballot.
Once an individual is officially registered to vote, it’s equally important to remain informed on the backgrounds of the candidates they will be asked to choose between. To start, one should obtain the aforementioned sample voting ballot from the Douglas County Election Commission to know which races they will be voting on. By obtaining this, an individual can search the candidates on their ballot to see if they share similar values and beliefs.
It is also essential that one stays up to date on general news either through local/national newspapers or sources on social media. It’s harder than ever to find impartial news sources, but according to a 2018 study by Business Insider, “PBS News, the Associated Press, and NPR [are some] of the least biased [news] outlets.”
Additionally, an individual should fine-tune their news consumption by focusing on the issues that matter most to them. Today, many students find themselves embroiled in fights for racial justice, environmental affairs or healthcare accessibility, among other concerns, but each individual’s interests will vary.
Finally, if one is aligned with a particular political party, they can engage with one of UNO’s two major political associations – the College Republicans or the Campus Democrats. Both clubs offer weekly meetings and opportunities for civic outreach, along with education on today’s pressing topics.