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If you're part of gen-z then this might be your first presidential election in the U.S. Here's everything you need to consider.

U.S. presidential election: Five things Gen-Zers should know before voting

This year a new sector of voters will be joining the election trail as 15 million Gen-Zers will finally be eligible to vote in the 2020 election. And it’s no surprise that their generation looks very different from the more traditional baby boomer sector. In fact, studies show that the GEN Z sector has a much more diverse mind set and that the issues they care about is very different from their predecessors.  Some of those issues have included things like climate change and protecting the environment, diversity and healthcare, among others. 

But regardless of which side of the political aisle they fall on, experts say that they, along with millions of other voters are still challenged by the lack of voter education and insights on candidates that are needed to make a well-informed decision. 

Ironically, most voting solutions in the marketplace just focus on how to capture and tally votes at the polls but very few technologies work to empower voters themselves by placing candidate data on social issues right into the palms of their hands so they can make better decisions that match their passions.  In fact, some pundits say voting can be like making citizens go on a blind date, where they’re stuck with the person (or list of candidates) that they have to vote for, but they are still unsure on whether or not the candidate is a perfect match for them or their interest. 

That’s why Terry Crandall, VotingSmarter Founder and CEO created a new educational app which matches GEN Z’s and all types of voters with their ideal candidates based on issue preferences rather than immutable characteristics or party affiliation. The app was designed to easily educate voters, and to decrease the frequency of voters going on “blind-votes” at the ballot box, because they often end up feeling like they’ve been “catfished” by politicians after election day.

Terry also had these additional tips for GEN Z voters . . .

Confirm that you are registered to vote

Make sure you know if you are registered or not. The worst thing that can happen when voting is getting prepared, only to realize you forgot to register come election day! Luckily for me, I have already confirmed my voter registration through a short online form that only takes one minute to fill out.

Know how you are going to vote

All states offer in-person voting and mail-in voting. All registered voters can vote in person, but depending on your state, you may need to either apply for or provide a reason for needing a mail-in ballot. If you choose to vote by mail, this link will give you the guidelines and the resources to vote by mail in your state.

Know when to vote

Election day is November 3rd, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you will be voting on November 3rd. While in-person voting will take place on November 3rd, if you choose to vote by mail, you may be filling out a ballot a few days in advance. It is also important that you check your state’s absentee ballot deadline to make sure you mail out your ballot with enough time for it to be processed by the Postal Service.

Know where you are going to vote

When voting in person, you will be voting at your assigned polling location which is determined by your residential address. If you are voting by mail, I suggest somewhere with a comfortable chair and a hard surface.

Know who you are voting for

This is possibly the most important thing you will need to know before voting. With so many political matters and candidate viewpoints, investigating them all can seem like a long and arduous process. Wouldn’t you rather take a quiz that tells you which candidates match closest to your political viewpoints? At VotingSmarter, we’ve done all the tedious research for you. With the VotingSmarter iOS or web app, you can take a fun quiz that will immediately reveal who your #PoliticalMatch is! 

And with that, you’re ready to vote! For those of you who now feel motivated to learn more about all things voting, you can check out some of these blogs,  Your Young and Informed Voter Checklist and How Do Votes Get Counted in US Elections?

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