Vote Your Heart Out

In Blog, Featured, Resources by Anna Gouker

Show up and be heard – that is your role in Election 2016. As an American citizen, voting is a fundamental right and it is up to you to make sure your voice is counted.

Why is voting so important?

Election season comes around every two years. It brings a frenzy of energy as well as promises from the candidates who want to help address the problems our country is facing and provide a vision for the future, both at home and around the globe.  All who are eligible* to vote should participate in the process to make sure the candidates that are chosen will be the best to serve the people’s interests.

It is on alternating election years (in other words: every four years) that the presidency is up for grabs.  This is why it is an even bigger deal to set a reminder to mark your ballot this year.

The informed voter…

Making sure that the people in office are working for you means doing your research and choosing your candidates wisely.  A great first stop for the informed voter with a disability is the website for the Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition.  When researching the presidential race, check out a breakdown of the candidates and their qualifications.  Further your investigation by getting the local perspective on all of the candidates you will find on your ballot by visiting MyVote Wisconsin.

The scoop on early voting:

Considering all of the excitement you will be feeling after your diligent preparation, don’t be surprised if you are unable to wait until November 8th. Early voting starts weeks before the Election Day– each municipality (town or village) has a different start date, so contact your Local Election Official to find out when it starts where you live. Bring your photo ID with you when you vote.

If you wish to avoid the crowds on the Big Day, you may choose to vote absentee. Visit the Wisconsin Election Center for all things voting in Wisconsin, including finding your local Municipal Clerk’s office and requesting an absentee ballot.

And, when all is said and done, don’t forget to take yourself out for a milkshake to celebrate your wonderful contribution to democracy.  (Chocolate is highly recommended by this patriot.)

*Who is eligible to vote in the U.S.? You must: be a U.S. citizen, registered, at least age 18 (on or before Election Day), and meet your state’s residency requirements. Check out the rules of voting for more information.

About the Author

Anna Gouker

Anna provides planning assistance in achieving and maintaining employment by connecting people to community resources, providing career exploration and counseling services. She is dedicated to assisting adults with disabilities in achieving their personal and professional goals. Anna holds a Master’s of Science degree in Rehabilitation Psychology from UW-Madison. Prior to joining the ERI team, Anna gained experience in counseling and developed an extensive knowledge in community resources. She interned at several local nonprofits including Chrysalis and Community Living Alliance. Her passion for disability advocacy led to her position on the Board of Directors at Disability Pride Madison. In her free time, Anna enjoys volunteering in the community and currently serves as Co-Vice Chair on the City of Madison Commission on People with Disabilities.

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