Voting is the essence of democracy. Failing to vote is to become a member of what the media calls the "silent majority"  and to open the door for the demise of democracy. The reality is that in a democracy the notion of a "silent majority" is an oxymoron.  A more accurate term would be the "silent minority".   To not vote is to take the "by the people" out of Lincoln's Gettysburg address' "Government of the people, by the people and for the people."

To vote "properly", one needs to be eligible; be registered; know the issues and the candidates' position on them; know where to vote; and finally to cast one's vote.

Voter Eligibility

To be eligible to vote, one must:

  • be a citizen of the United Statesbe a resident of the state in which they intend to registerbe at least 18 years as of the day of the next election to voteNOT be in prison or on parole for the conviction of a felony.

  • be registered 29 days prior to the election.

Voter Registration

To be eligible to vote, one must first register. One can register or get registration information in a variety of ways:

  • through your local Department of Motor Vehicle,
  • through your county's Registrar of Voters or Elections Office,
  • many states allow one to fill out a voter registration form on-line or to download and print a registration form - often via the state's Secretary of State website.
  • via specific voter registration websites.

Whom to Vote For?

To vote effectively, one must understand the issues and compare candidates.  In most states, Voter Information Pamphlets are sent to registered voters prior to an election. These pamphlets usually contain information about the issues and candidates. Also a number of web sites offer election information.

Smart Voter is a Web site that offers personalized election information based on a voter's address.  Try it out! 







Smart Voter Get your ballot!

Street Address:
Zip Code:

Your address is confidential.
From the League of Women Voters of California



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