People: Alumni

5 tips on making a difference in the midterm elections

By Micah Rasmussen ’92

Be an informed voter

Each state is divided into congressional districts based on population. First, check which district your town is in and then Google it to find out who’s running. Look up the candidates’ websites and recent news clips. Learn which candidate best reflects your interests.

Put a sign in your front yard

Putting out a sign for all to see tells your neighbors a candidate has earned your family’s support. Get one from the nearest campaign headquarters — your favorite candidate will thank you for the public display of support.

Go the extra mile

Request a list of your town’s registered voters from the county clerk’s office and highlight everyone you know, then send them postcards or give them a call to ask for their support. You could also host a meet-and-greet with the candidate, volunteer to make calls from the campaign’s phone bank or canvas a neighborhood they’re targeting.

Attend a rally, debate or campaign event

Nothing says public support like a crowd. Plus, you’ll have a front row view of democracy in action. Rather than reading about what candidates said after the fact, you’ll be able to really listen and focus on their entire presentation. You’ll also meet other supporters.

Bring a friend, neighbor or elderly relative to the polls

Remember the coin flip that decided a tied race last year? Just a few thousand votes in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin could have changed the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. We can’t vote twice, but we can double our impact by engaging and assisting others. You also can help them sign up to vote by mail — be sure to do this for all students and service members who are away from home, too.

 

Micah Rasmussen ’92 is the director of the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics. He has contributed to the public affairs of the state for more than two decades and has more than 15 years of experience as an adjunct professor of political science.

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