by Jordan Metzman

ICYMI: midterm elections are coming up on Tuesday, November 6th. Everything about voting can be overwhelming. Sometimes it feels easier to run a bath and pray things work out. But it’s time to step up and show up—our votes matter now more than ever! This week, GNI is here with a step-by-step guide to voting.

Step 1. If you haven’t already, register to vote.

This site outlines everything you need to know about voting, including how to change your voting location and what to expect if it’s your first time at the polls.

Step 2. Get smart about the issues and candidates on your specific ballot.

What if there existed a Wikipedia for all things election? Um hi, there is. Check out Ballotpedia for a quick, easy overview of all the candidates on your ballot this year, as well as any ballot measures. You can even subscribe to some of their email newsletters to educate yourself before hitting the polls.

Step 3. Skip the pre-poll anxiety, and early vote!

This is a great option for those of us that are stressed about the what, where, and how long of voting day logistics. Register to vote early, you overachiever! This New York Times article can help you figure out how to register to vote early in your state. This option usually starts 30-45 days before election day and can sometimes be done from the comfort of your couch up to the day before election day. Vote, Netflix, and chill, anyone?

Step 4. Create a “day-of” plan for Election Day.

It’s Go Time. You’re committed to casting your ballot, and now it’s time to locate your voting center and voting date and get a gang together. This New York Times interactive can help you prep your voting day plan ahead of time. And if you’re stressed about finding a way there, Lyft is running free rides to the polls… and we really love them for it. After you budget time into your day, set your email auto-reply to “brb, voting” and DO. THE. THING. Bonus points if you send a Google Cal invite and walk to the polling station with your friends or co-workers before work.

Now GO VOTE and make us proud. And definitely bring a friend with you, too! It’s now more important than ever to make your voice heard. Your life, others’ lives, and our democracy depends on it. 🇺🇸

Lede image by @clarevivier