This election. This godforsaken, joyless, hate-fueled, error-riddled, national breakdown of an election. We’re hours away from finding out whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be our next president, and it’s impossible to escape the feeling that we should all be doing something. Is there a word for that electric hum where it feels like your bones might leap out of your skin? It’s that. On a nationwide level.
Duh. Obviously. But don’t forget to.
1. Check your registration status and find your polling location here.
2. Bring identification with you if you’re voting for the first time in California, or just because it’s always a good idea in case there is any confusion. If you have voted in California before, ID is not required.
3. Polls open at 7 AM, if you’re into getting your “I Voted” sticker onto Instagram early.
4. Polls close at 8 PM, if you’re into the whole keep-the-power-elite guessing thing.
Educate Your Mind
- There are six local issues on the ballot, including marijuana legalization, help for the homeless, and development, and yes you should read up on these, because local election commercials are the worst
- Endorsements for all of the state and local issues, and candidates
Trade Your Vote
Yes, people are trading votes. Specifically: Third party voters in hotly contested states where Hillary Clinton might lose are trading their votes to Clinton supporters in safely blue states where she has no chance of losing.
To cite just one example, the magician Penn Jillette, who is a libertarian, traded his vote in Nevada (where Clinton and Trump are neck and neck) for about a dozen libertarian votes in safely blue states such as California and New York. It’s a win-win because Jillette’s Nevada vote for Clinton is more valuable than someone else’s Clinton vote in deep-blue California. In return, the Libertarian Party gets that much closer to the 5 percent threshold for being considered an official “minor party” by the Federal Elections Commission, making it eligible for $10 million in taxpayer funding, which doesn’t sound very libertarian, but all political parties are inherently corrupt so maybe libertarians are finally ready for the big-time.
Call Relatives in Swing States
You should be doing this regularly anyway, out of love. But if you have a friend or relative in a battleground state who is on the fence or who might not vote, you could give them a gentle nudge.
Call Strangers in Battleground States
Be Smart on Social Media
You are more likely to change someone’s mind being thoughtful and calm than flaming them with a zinger. So sayeth the science.
Or: For Your Own Mental Health, Close Facebook and Read Something Else