10 episodes

Why You Should Vote is a show about helping people learn why and how to vote. We want every single citizen to exercise their right to vote, and we want them to walk into the voting booth informed about both the candidates they're voting for and the system that they're participating in. Why You Should Vote is one part civics lesson and one part how-to guide: the missing manual for voters.

Why You Should Vote Why You Should Vote

    • Government

Why You Should Vote is a show about helping people learn why and how to vote. We want every single citizen to exercise their right to vote, and we want them to walk into the voting booth informed about both the candidates they're voting for and the system that they're participating in. Why You Should Vote is one part civics lesson and one part how-to guide: the missing manual for voters.

    9. How to Vote

    9. How to Vote

    In this episode, Sonia and Eli talk about the different ways you can vote and how ballots get counted. First, we talk about getting registered to vote, and how easy it is to do so. We cover the pros and cons of voting in person, voting early, and voting by mail, and why all three methods are important. (And we list several ways you cannot vote.) Finally, we detail how the vote is counted, audited, and certified, and how news outlets are able to call elections on Election Day even before that count finishes.

    Links


    - Visit How to Vote in Every State to watch a short video about your state's registration and voting options
    Check your registration
    Register to vote
    Find your local polling place
    Sign up for election reminders

    Homework

    Your homework this week is to vote!


    If this was your first time voting, how did it feel?
    If your state uses electronic voting machines, campaign to get rid of them and replace them with paper ballots
    Keep an eye out for voter suppression tactics this election cycle. Have you seen any? Have your friends?

    • 13 min
    8. How to Pick a Candidate

    8. How to Pick a Candidate

    In this episode, perhaps the most important one of the series, Sonia and Eli discuss how to pick which candidates you’ll vote for. We start by talking about preparation, and why it’s important to go into the voting booth with a plan to vote in every race. We cover how to pick a candidate when you don’t agree fully with any of the choices, and how to square the desire to vote for a third-party candidate with our two-party reality. We also discuss strategies for voting for judges and ballot initiatives.

    Links


    Elections by state on Ballotpedia
    Look up your sample ballot here

    And more links are coming soon! Keep an eye on this space or go to whyyoushouldvote.com for updates.

    Homework

    Your homework this week is to pick your candidates.


    Go through and do all the stuff we talked about in this episode
    Make sure you know where your list of candidates is so you are ready to vote

    • 8 min
    7. All the Elections!

    7. All the Elections!

    In this episode, Sonia and Eli review every kind of election that could show up on your ballot this Election Day, from the federal to the local level. We introduce the primary and caucus systems, and explain the Electoral College and the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. We also explore ballot initiatives (a.k.a. referenda or propositions) and how they come to be on the ballot.

    Links

    Links are coming soon! Keep an eye on this space or go to whyyoushouldvote.com for updates.

    Homework

    Your homework this week is to check your local election cycles.


    See who in your state government is up for election or reelection this year
    Check to see if there are any ballot initiatives happening in your state, and then look them up to figure out what you think about them
    See who’s running for what positions in your state, then do a little research on them to see who you might want to vote for

    • 10 min
    6. How Other Countries Vote

    6. How Other Countries Vote

    In this episode, Sonia and Eli explain how other countries structure their governments and elect their representatives. We talk about different ways to ensure that the population is represented, and how those systems compare to the United States. We also cover Ranked Choice Voting, which is an alternative way to run elections that tries to ensure that the person who wins is the one that most number of people are happiest with.

    Links

    Links are coming soon! Keep an eye on this space or go to whyyoushouldvote.com for updates.

    Homework

    Your homework this week is to pick a country and learn about its government.


    Who is the head of state and who is the head of government? How does the legislature work?
    For bonus points: see if there is a group in your area campaigning for Ranked Choice Voting to be used in your local or state elections, and consider supporting their efforts!

    • 9 min
    5. Voter Suppression

    5. Voter Suppression

    In this episode Sonia and Eli describe various methods of intentional voter suppression. While some of these methods, like racist Jim Crow laws, have been weakened with time, others are alive and well today. With this episode we hope to make you alert to the danger posed by voter suppression. We also want to demonstrate how much voter suppression happens now. We’ll go through a list of common suppression techniques, and focus on one specific case to give you an idea of the true scope of the problem.

    Links

    Links are coming soon! Keep an eye on this space or go to whyyoushouldvote.com for updates.

    Homework

    Your homework this week is to check your registration and examine your state’s voting laws


    If you haven’t registered to vote, GO REGISTER TO VOTE!
    If you have registered, check that your registration is up to date and that it hasn’t been purged.
    Look at your state’s voting laws. Does your state disenfranchise felons? Does it require ID to vote? Can you vote early or by mail?
    How have your state’s voting laws changed recently? Are there any plans to change them for the upcoming election?

    • 16 min
    4. A History of Voting in the United States

    4. A History of Voting in the United States

    In this episode Eli and Sonia will give you a brief history of voting in the United States. The history of voting is long and fraught with struggle. We won’t go in depth into any specific piece of history, but we’ll give you an idea of the timeline that has resulted in your right to vote. We’ll take you from the Revolutionary Era through the Civil War and Reconstruction, and on to the Women’s Suffrage and Civil Rights movements.

    Links

    Links are coming soon! Keep an eye on this space or go to whyyoushouldvote.com for updates.

    Homework

    Your homework this week is to connect your family and community history to the history of voting.


    Ask your parents or grandparents if they remember the Civil Rights movement, or the passage of the 26th Amendment during the Vietnam War. How did they feel about it? Did they participate in any way?
    See if you can find out anything about local efforts to secure the vote for disenfranchised groups. (Your local library or historical society may have something on local history which the librarians can help you find.)

    • 12 min

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