The United States citizens are less than two weeks from electing one-third of all US senators and all 435 members of the US House of Representatives. 33 of the 100 seats in the Senate are contested in regular elections and two seats are contested in special elections.

Have you asked yourself whether you’re completely prepared to have your voice heard? It’s critically important that every American exercise their right to vote and use their power to steer the country’s future in the most positive direction possible. Young voters are the ones who will be the driving force of change this year because the number of millennials and baby boomers is almost equal. The worst thing one can do is to come to the polling station unprepared while casting a vote for someone who isn’t the best choice for their needs and interests.

In order to not be one of the unprepared voters, ask yourself the following questions to decide who to vote for:

Am I eligible and prepared to vote?

Being eligible to vote means that you are registered for voting in your state, so before asking yourself other voting questions, make sure you double check your eligibility and all the registration information. Furthermore, you should familiarize yourself with voting rules. You should confirm whether you can register and vote online in your state, when the Election Day is, how you can cast an absentee ballot or whether you can vote early.

Has this candidate changed opinion on important issues before?

Before the Election Day, each individual should research all the candidates to see how they spoke, wrote or voted on certain crucial issues in the country. Is the candidate changing their opinion just to gain votes? There are speeches or articles online, so you can find out all the relevant information.

Is there any evidence to support this candidate’s opinion on certain issues?

Another question to ask yourself is whether this candidate feels strongly about a certain issue and does he/she actually act on those beliefs. You know each candidate can say anything in their advertisements prior to the elections. However, it’s your duty to research and find evidence that they will back up the claims they make.

Is this candidate open to public suggestions?

If you can’t find any resources for the previous questions, we suggest that you send an email to the candidate or the candidate’s team with your questions, suggestions or comments. If they respond, that might be a sign that the candidate will react to inputs from the public. On the other hand, if you don’t get the response then it’s most likely that the candidate won’t bother to listen to the citizens once in office.

How will this candidate’s position and their decisions affect me?

Another interesting question to find answers for is whether the candidate’s position and political decisions will affect you and your life. You should really do your homework on this one. Any candidate that gets chosen will affect your life in several varying aspects.

Is this candidate honest?

It’s true that honest politicians are almost nonexistent in today’s world. Even though you are unable to find the one that’s truly honest, you can search for one that’s honest about the most essential questions.

If a candidate who is primarily honest had a personal scandal and it gets to the public, no one will continue supporting that candidate. In one instance, scandals aren’t ethical and should not be supported and accepted but on the other hand, you might end up having politicians who haven’t participated in any scandals, yet lie about the donations they received, what issues they care about and what they’re going to do if elected. Think about which one you would prefer. Sometimes, it’s more or less about choosing “the lesser of two evils”. This became quite evident in the 2016 election.

Also, try to see how the candidates are running their campaigns. Are they being fair toward their opponents?

Will this issue affect my life and the lives of others?

When it comes to voting on issues themselves, such as legalizing medical cannabis and how passing or rejecting that law will affect your life and the lives of other people. Will you benefit from it or not? Will others benefit? Think about your values and vote in a way that best benefits millions of people.

Is the candidate prepared for the new role?

One of the most important elements to consider is the candidate’s professional experience. When you consider their backgrounds, try to find proof of their willingness to learn from their failures and triumphs. That should say a lot about them and their ability to move forward and lead the country in a positive direction.

What is the candidate’s history with respect to issues around sustainability and the environment?

Preserving our environment is one of the most vital issues that need to be addressed. Planet Earth is facing a lot of problems at the moment. The problems include global warming, pollution of air, water and soil, deforestation, waste disposal, loss of biodiversity, ozone layer depletion, genetic engineering, acid rain etc. The list is long and it’s the politicians’ duty to start resolving them in the best way possible. We need a clean and protected environment. Try to find out what each candidate’s plans are about making an effective and immediate change in the environment.

Have I done enough research to make a good choice?

If you know the platforms of all the candidates and their details and you could tell someone about them accurately then you are ready for voting. You should also encourage people around you to answer these questions as well and to come to their own conclusions.

When you’ve answered all the questions listed above, you’re ready to vote at this year’s midterm elections. Remember to encourage other people to vote and bear in mind that every vote counts. You are the one who will decide upon our country’s future. Ken Lucianin invites you to go out on November 6th and vote for the candidates who will work in your best interest.

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