Something to Think About: Get Out and Vote!

Isabel Giovannetti, RHStoday Editor-in-Chief

Florida, it is almost time. After Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada and Super Tuesday, it is finally our turn.

On Tuesday, March 8, Floridians will get the chance to cast their votes in the 2016 presidential primaries.

Historically, Florida voters have played a pretty influential role in elections. We are considered a swing state, and are therefore heavily pursued by presidential candidates. And how can we forget (although at times we might want to) the craziness that occurred in our state during the 2000 election? If you ever think your vote doesn’t matter, just remember the 537-vote difference that granted George W. Bush the presidency.

This year, it seems as important as ever to head to the polls. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton gave very strong showings on Super Tuesday. Therefore, anyone who supports another candidate needs to vote next Tuesday if they wish to hold out hope of seeing someone else on the ballot come November.

And it’s not too complicated, either. Here’s everything you need to know to vote come Tuesday:

  1. Be 18. Unfortunately, Florida is not one of the states that allows 17-year-olds to vote in the primaries, even if they will be 18 by the general election.
  2. Make sure you’re registered. You might have pre-registered when you got your driver’s license. If not, get in the paper work by the end of this week since it might take a couple of days to get processed. Click here to check your registration status.
  3. Locate your nearest precinct. Click here for a list of precincts in the Tampa area. There are about 15 that are just a few miles from Robinson.
  4. Bring a photo-ID. Driver’s license, US passport and school ID all work. If you forget some form of identification, you can still vote a provisional ballot.
  5. Know who you’re voting for. Probably the most important step, check out the candidates before filling out a ballot. Don’t just vote for whoever your parents are voting for or whoever you see the most of on Twitter. Every vote counts, so make sure you’re voting with intent. If you don’t know much about the candidates, here is a good place to start:

    *As of publication, these candidates have not yet dropped out

If you’re eligible to vote, please do so. In such a tumultuous election year, the best we can hope for is that the results will reflect the will of the people. Democracy is one of the best things about this country, and you should honor that by exercising your right to vote.