How to prepare for the 2020 election

It is almost mind-blowing to think that the 2020 election is still over a year away. It seems like the media has been covering this election cycle for ages, particularly in regards to the presidential race. There have been several primary debates, and numerous candidates have dropped out at this point. However, it won’t be until November 2020 that we elect (or re-elect) the president, so we have plenty of time to prepare.

Why should you bother preparing this far in advance? Taking note of what happens in the political sphere between now and November 2020 is an excellent way to stay informed and up-to-date with current events. Becoming an informed voter is a process that starts well before Election Day.

The first step in preparing for 2020 is educating yourself on what positions will be on the ballot. We will be voting for a president, candidates for the United States Senate, United States House of Representatives, State Supreme Court, State Board of Education and the Kansas House of Representatives. Additionally, several Kansas appellate court seats will be up for grabs.

Now that you know what is on the ballot, it’s time to research​ who​ is on the ballot. It’s vital to research each candidate extensively in order to determine which ones align with your personal platform. What policies are they running on? If elected, what do they plan to do in office?

If possible, try to be open-minded. Explore your options and think critically about what matters to you. Consider how those values influence your political beliefs. Don’t let what your parents or peers think or say dictate which candidates you choose to support.

Another way to prepare for Election Day is to stay on top of the news. One easy way to do this is to download news apps on your phone and enable push notifications to alert you when news breaks. Pay attention to current events and how political candidates respond to them.

Finally, the most important thing of all: make sure that you are registered to vote, and that your voting address is current.

Don’t show up to the polls on Election Day unprepared. Become an informed and active citizen who takes part in their democracy with confidence.

Edited by Jason Morrison, Shelby Hanson, Adam White, Jessica Galvin