Becoming an adult: voting


Ashley Tanner

How to Adult is a featured series that will help prepare you for college or independence. It will cover a variety of topics that your parents may have helped you with over the years, but soon may not.
How to vote
Voting is a scary thing. You are voicing your opinions and making a change in society. It is a privilege to have the ability to vote. This makes deciding who you feel will serve best daunting.
I am not going to voice my own personal and political opinions in attempt to persuade you to believe what I do. I am trying to inform you to make your own opinions about what you believe.
The best thing to do when you have decided to vote is to become informed. Decide whether you identify as a democrat or a republican. Are you more liberal or conservative? Do you like a big or a small government?
There are a million factors that go into who you should vote for and what you should vote on. Voting is a huge responsibility — don’t treat it lightly. Don’t let the opinions of your parents or friends persuade you; make sure that you believe who you are voting for. Your vote matters. You should care enough to put in a lot of time and effort into who deserves it.
This post will break down the political parties, beliefs and issues as well as how to vote and how to register.
[vc_tta_tabs][vc_tta_section i_icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-desktop” title=”Registering ” tab_id=”1460170962745-813d4dd1-94e5″ add_icon=”true”]Registering is simple and there are many ways to do it.
When you go to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) to get your new driver’s license at 18, you can register there. If you are not of age yet, you can wait until your senior year school registration to register or you can go to the Boone County Clerk website and register here.
Make sure you have your driver’s license available. The form will ask for your driver’s license number located on the top right hand side of your driver license (4d). You will also need to know the last four digits of your social security number. It is unsafe to carry your social security card with you, so make sure you memorize the last four digits.
You will receive your voter I.D. card in the mail as well as a sample ballot when you are of age to vote and when an election is nearing.
[/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section i_icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-balance-scale” title=”Political parties” tab_id=”1460170963390-dbdf4b62-34ba” add_icon=”true”]Political difference
There are many differences between the political parties, and many divisions within them. I will further explain them, and you can decide where

info-graphic by Ashley Tanner
info-graphic by Ashley Tanner
your beliefs lay. You can also take this extensive quiz from, which asks about various political topics to help you decide which candidate matches up with your views the most. At the end of the quiz it also gives you a breakdown of your views based on how you answered.
Before you decide to take the quiz, just remember that you don’t have to identify with whatever your results say. If you disagree, then keep researching.
(If you don’t understand the topic, it gives the option to learn more, or you may choose to skip the question. You can also adjust the importance of each
topic to help figure out your political party.)
Picking a side
The two main political groups are Republicans and Democrats. The first thing to do is know which party you want to affiliate with. This info-graphic breaks down general views of the party, but of course just because the party on average may believe one thing, it’s okay to believe another and still be in that party.[/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section i_icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-check-square-o” title=”Voting” tab_id=”1460171091937-7365b9a1-5ee6″ add_icon=”true”]Once you have chosen your political party, have registered to vote and made an educated decision on the candidate you think is best, the next thing to is vote.
The Missouri primary has already happened so the next major nationwide voting will be held on November 8 later this year to decide who the next president will be.
When I went to vote for the primary, I was very overwhelmed. I didn’t know what to do or where to go. My next tip will help you avoid that feeling of confusion.
Step one: find out where your voting booth is held
Your voter I.D. card or your sample ballot should have this information. If it does not, you can go to this website and enter your name, if you live in Boone County. If you do not live in Boone County, you can go here to find out.
Sometimes there are additional things to vote on during major elections, make sure to check your sample ballot to see if there are.
Step two: check-in
Depending on how the setup of the polling place you will be voting at is, you may need to look for the check-in area. Keep your voter I.D.or driver’s license handy. The poll workers will need it to verify your identity. Simply hand it to them and they will make sure you are eligible to vote.
Step three: ballot
Once again, depending on the setup of the room, the location of the ballots may differ.
When you find the ballot table, you will have the option to vote electronically or by paper.
They may ask you which political party the candidate you will be voting for is affiliated with. For some votes you may not have access to both parties on each ballot.
They will provide you with a pen you can use to fill in the ballot.
Step four: voting
Voting is basically like using a scantron. All you need to do is fill in the bubble next to the candidate you want. Make sure to fill it in completely and remain inside the lines.
Then, feed the ballot into the machine that counts your vote.
If you choose to do it electronically, they will have a machine and a representative to guide you through it.
Step five: congratulations
Congratulations, you just voted. Give yourself a pat on the back for participating in society and using your political freedom to take a stand. Get a sticker on your way out to show the world that you have voted. [/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_tabs][vc_empty_space]Voting is one of the biggest responsibilities that comes with being an adult. But, it is also an amazing freedom that many around the world do not have. Your vote is one vote closer to deciding the leaders of our country, use it wisely.
Who do you think will win the presidential election? Leave your questions and comments below.