(Northern Review Graphic/Lauran)

How do I make an informed decision when voting in the 2020 Presidential Election? I want to make sure I choose the best candidate.” 

Dear Anonymous, 

I appreciate your dedication to voting! First thing to remember is that though the Presidential Election is immensely important and can be entertaining, there are many other important reasons to vote in this upcoming election. Local, state, and federal governments are all on the line this election and with the excitement of the presidential election comes the imperativeness of local and state governments in everyday life. As a college student, it can be overwhelming to think about all of the different candidates for all of the different offices, but a quick Google search may be able to give you the basic information you need on our local and state candidates. Oftentimes, small governments can have more of a direct impact on your life than the presidential candidates so be sure to take that into consideration when casting your ballot. 

I think it is important to remember that this is your vote. Voting for the best candidate can often mean voting for the one who best represents you and the people you love. Though the presidency is a federal office and is meant to represent all Americans, it cannot do that without first representing each voter. Before looking deeper into the candidates (and there are more than two!) reflect on what you find important and what you expect out of a national leader. This will allow you to resist compromising your values for a candidate. 

After you’ve decided what you expect out of your representatives, look into the candidates individually. Check out campaign sites, watch interviews, examine their experience, look at previous bills and acts they’ve sponsored or voted on, and those they’ve voted against. If you feel comfortable, talk to those around you. If they feel comfy, they may share who they are voting for and why. Just be sure to recognize the bias. Regardless of who it is you’re talking to or who they are supporting, they have a bias towards that candidate and against others, be sure to discuss and take their opinion with regard that it is just another opinion. 

Finally, I’d say check with other sites. ISideWith is an extensive quiz asking your opinions on all topics and allows you the opportunity to answer more or less questions on topics that are most important to you. It can take a good amount of time, but it provides you with all candidates and the percentage of which you agree with them on the same topics. 

If you’re voting by absentee ballot, be sure to request your ballot soon. You can find this under your home state’s website. Ohio allows you to request your ballot online or by mail. Here is the online request form: https://www.ohiosos.gov/elections/voters/absentee-ballot/

Always, Kayla

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