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Next Tuesday is a big one: Election Day. If you only cross off one thing on your to-do list, make sure it’s to VOTE!

Sometimes people don’t care as much about midterm elections and only show up to vote for Prez, but in case you took a solo trip to the mountains last month, you saw just how important voting for senators can actually be (hello Supreme Court!). They, along with your local government, can have a huge impact on your life and on your community.

Voting can sometimes feel like a small act, since you’re just one vote among millions, but it’s true what they say: Every vote counts.

So before you mail in your ballot or head to your local polling place, add these items to your to-do list:

1.  Study the issues. Every candidate is more than the (D), (R) or (I) next to their name, so take time to get to know them, what they stand for and what they’re promising so you know who you want representing you in the coming years.

Read through propositions or measures in full, or find a trusted source (like your local newspaper or informed friend) to learn the details and decide for yourself whether it’s a yay or a nay.

Sure, it might not be as fun as researching your next vacation or cyber stalking a Bumble match, but it’s definitely worth the effort.

2.  Prep your ballot. If you’re voting in person, make sure you fill out your sample ballot first. This will help you be sure you’re voting the way you want and save time in the booth.

3.  Spread the word. Encourage your friends and family to get informed and vote. Host a “ballot party” where people teach each other the ins and outs of the issues and hold friendly debates, or meet with a friend for coffee and fill in your sample ballots.

4.  Make the time. Not every company is as cool as Patagonia, closing up all shops on voting day, so be sure to see what your office allows and vote before or after work if you need to, or even take a personal day.

5.  Help out. Offer a ride to the polls to any neighbors who may need one, watch your friends’ kids for an hour so they can go vote, or even volunteer at your polling place.

We have an incredible opportunity next week to impact change for years and decades to come. Let’s not take it for granted, make your voice heard.

Quote du Jour:

“Every election is determined by the people who show up.” ― Larry J. Sabato

Savvy Miss Tip:

When you take your #IVoted selfie, hold your phone so the bottom is at eye level (so you’re looking slightly up) and keep your chin down for a super-flattering pose. And of course, make sure you get your voting sticker in the shot. 😉

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