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Adulting 101: A High Schooler’s Guide On How to Vote

While the vast majority of students at Jenks do not meet the age requirements to participate in elections, the test is upon the select amount of seniors that have crossed the threshold into adulthood.

Oklahoma midterm elections are being held on November 6th, 2018. This will be new adults’ first chance to head to the polls and exercise rights that they have never been able to before; a daunting thought at least.

Where do I even start? What am I actually voting for? What does this election mean for me? These are all questions that can confuse and even intimidate students out of voting.

This article will answer the questions you have as a teen voter, and hopefully convince all eligible voters to go out and use their voice.

What Is A Midterm Election?

A midterm election isn’t as scary and unique as it sounds. The point of a midterm election is to elect candidates running for a governmental body, that has a large amount of members, like a legislature.

Members of large governmental bodies have staggered terms (meaning they don’t all come in at the same time, and they don’t all go out at the same time). The point of a midterm election is so that when some politicians’ term is over, you can elect more in the midterm, without having to replace the whole body of government all at one time.

In short, a “Midterm” elects candidates to hold office, in the middle of the terms’ of other officials that hold that office.

What Am I Even Voting On?

The Oklahoma midterm being held this fall will include some very important positions on the ballot. These positions include Members of the US House of Representative, Governor and Lieutenant Governor. As well as members of the State Senate, State House, and Supreme Court.

For more information on all positions being voted on as well as the candidates running for said positions, click here.

So How Do I Actually Vote?

To cast your vote in the 2018 midterms, you must first register to vote by going to your County Election Board, a post office, a library, a tag agency, and many other public locations, or download and print off the application here.

After filling out your application, you must mail it to the State Election Board. The board must then approve your application, upon approval you will be sent you.

According to ok.gov, “Your voter identification card lists your name, address, political affiliation and the polling place for your voting precinct. When you receive your voter identification card, look at it carefully and report any errors to the county election board immediately. Keep your voter identification card in a safe place and always take it with you when you go to vote.

When Should I Register?

You should register to vote as soon as possible if you want to be able to vote in the upcoming election.

Ok.gov says, “You may submit your voter registration application form at any time. However, voter identification cards cannot be issued during the 24 days prior to an election. If your registration application is received by the county election board during the 24 days before an election, you will not receive your voter identification card until after the election.

If you will become 18 during the 60 days before an election, you may apply for voter registration between 25 and 60 days before the election.”

So congrats on the birthday, it’s time to start adulting. Remember, the Trojan Torch is here to help you along the way.

 

 

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