In recent reports, all 50 states have officially engaged in protests this week; What began with one, Minnesota, has spread to 49 others. What this communicates, more than any battle between differing opinions, is that this country wants change. I read a quote this week that read:
“If you want to bring about real change, then the choice isn’t between protest and politics. We have to do both. We have to mobilize to raise awareness, and we have to organize and cast our ballots to make sure that we elect candidates who will act on reform.”
The Georgia primary is June 9th. To aid the effort in making educated choices about candidates that are elected, I’ve gathered some helpful resources and information. This information and these resources can be utilized by voters in other states as well. In addition, it’s also important that you do research of your own.
Q1: This is my first time voting, how does it work?
This video, from USA.gov, gives a complete rundown.
vote.gov is a great resource for this. After you select the state you live in, there will be step-by-step instructions to follow. If you live in Georgia, there is a direct link under question two.
Second, locate your polling place.
vote.org/polling-place-locator ; Your zip code will open up a list of polling places specific to you and where you live.
Third, educate yourself.
Locate information that is specific to your state, district, and county
Learn about candidates, their platforms, and their backgrounds
Fact check information supplied to you by others; Never take information at face value
Q2: I live in Georgia, but how do I figure out if I am registered to vote?
In the box to the far right, enter your first initial, last name, county, and date of birth.
Q3 & Q4: Who is on the ballot besides the president? How does this affect me? (source: whenweallvote)
A: MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Represent you in Washington in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives
pass federal laws that apply to all Americans
Veto or sign state bills into law, issue executive orders, and lead the state’s response during an emergency
Represent you in your state capitol
Approve budget and pass state laws that directly impact you and your family
Approve city laws and oversee the city’s departments including police, fire, education, housing and transportation departments
Sit on state courts and issue decisions on a range of issues (i.e. criminal charges, home foreclosures, child custody cases, and civil lawsuits.)
CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS
Represent you in City Hall and are responsible for approving the city’s budget, fixing roads, improving public transportation, etc.
Q5: How do I learn about candidates and their platforms?
A: 1. Once you’ve utilized the resource in question two, a four-box grid should appear. Their titles should be voter information, Polling Place for State, County, and Municipal Courts, Absentee Ballot Request Information, and Your Elected Officials.
2. Under the box labeled ‘Your Elected Officials’ , you’ll find the U.S. Congress, Georgia Senate, Georgia House, Judicial, Commision, School, and City Council district specific to you.
3. Click on ‘Click Here for Qualified Candidates’. Select ‘2020’ for election year, and ‘06/09/2020’ for election date.
4. You can then get as specific as you want by office type, district, and political party before clicking on the button labeled ‘Qualified Candidates’.
The official candidate’s website will be on the right side for you to browse and gather information about their platform.
We'll continue to update this article with resources to allow you to be as well informed as possible.