Voting is an important part of the democratic process. When you vote, it allows you to honestly tell other people that you cast a ballot, which means they won't berate you with dumb refrains such as, "Well, if you don't vote, you have no right to complain." No one wants to hear the self-righteous criticisms of civically-minded busybodies. You could not vote and say you did, but that would be lying. And lying is something that politicians do — politicians like the ones you're trying to learn how to vote for right now.
Before you vote, you have to become registered to vote. Once you're registered, you can vote until you keel over, or until you move. But even if you move, you can always continue voting in your former district. You just can't be legally registered to vote in two places at once. So when someone tells you to "vote early and often" on election day, that's a serious offense! If you want to disproportionately influence an election, do it the legal way — by pouring endless amounts of money into a super PAC that supports that candidate of your choice.
So if you're not registered yet, there are a few ways you can un-unregister yourself. You can go here to get started. Also, most official state websites have voter registration forms available online. Typically these are found on the site of your state's Secretary of State homepage. The government site of your town, city, or county may also have them — usually on the town/city clerk's page. Of course, you can Google, "[your state] voter registration form," and follow the instructions. Finally, you can always physically show up to your local town or city clerk's office and fill out a form.
You should also be able to go to your state's Secretary of State site to find out which precinct you're supposed to vote in. Remember, you can't just show up at any old polling station and start voting!
And for those of you wondering how to vote via absentee ballot, click on your state below.
Now, for some of you unregistered voters, it's unfortunately too late to cast a ballot in this year's general election, but there's always next time! Find your state here to see if you still have time vote in this year's election. Just don't end up like Homer Simpson on election day: