It will be super-crowded, there will be too many guys with deluded self-confidence, and you have a headache just thinking about it. No, I’m not talking about a Halloween frat party, I’m talking about the 2020 Presidential Primary.
Here’s the deal. We all have at least a few brain cells left, so we already know that if people don’t vote in this election, it could be the end of the world as we know it. No pressure or anything. However, college students have historically had low turnout rates, and it’s not just because we’re lazy! There are just a few more hoops to jump through that can make the process pretty complicated.
And, like, I get it. Voting, especially if you go to school out of state, can be even harder than waking up for your Friday morning 8am. It’s almost like certain people don’t want young, progressive students to have a say in democracy, but that’d be crazy! Right?
Think of this article as the “How to Vote” equivalent to a study guide the girl with 1,000 colored highlighters makes a whole two weeks in advance before an exam. It has all the answers and will either put you at ease or stress you the f*ck out.
Should I Already Know Who I’m Voting For?
Not at all. That would be like committing to a boy the first few weeks of freshman year just because he called you an Uber once. The candidates still have a lot of room to impress/disappoint us, and you might not know many of the differences between their policies. However, now is the time to follow all of them on Twitter, watch the debates if you haven’t yet, and pay attention when you see them in the news.
If you don’t even know where to start learning about the candidates, head over to The SUP newsletter and podcast (but only after you finish reading this).
What About The Party I Want To Support?
I know this is supposed to be a judgment-free zone, so I guess it’s okay if you aren’t sure which party you want to affiliate with. But like…reeeally!?
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By now you’ve probably heard that a Special Operations forces raid resulted in the death of the Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The world is undoubtedly a safer place because he is dead. What you might not have heard is that the mission was hustled along after Trump’s sudden announcement this month that he would withdraw American troops from northern Syria. The withdrawal “disrupted the meticulous planning underway and forced Pentagon officials to speed up the plan for the risky night raid before their ability to control troops, spies and reconnaissance aircraft disappeared with the pullout,” the New York Times reported after speaking with officials familiar with the matter. The mission was a success largely with the help of Kurdish forces in the area, who assisted the U.S. (helped us figure out where exactly al-Baghdadi was, had their own spies keep an eye on him) even after we betrayed them by stepping aside to allow a Turkish offensive. Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, said Sunday: “The irony of the successful operation against al-Baghdadi is that it could not have happened without U.S. forces on the ground that have been pulled out, help from Syrian Kurds who have been betrayed, and support of a U.S. intelligence community that has so often been disparaged.”
In some states, you can wait until election day to pick a party. However, many states have what is called a closed primary, which means you have to declare your party affiliation when you register to vote. Do some research to find out if you live in one of those places before it’s too late and you miss your chance to vote in the primary.
Wait… Do I Have To Register To Vote?
Maybe you slept through your high school government class and missed this, but yes, yes you do. You have to register to vote in *almost* every state. The standards and rules for registration are different depending on where you live, so it’s important that you’re looking at the right stuff. If you don’t remember whether you’re registered or not, don’t freak out, you can check and/or register here. Alternately, if you need more information about the rules in your state, check them out here.
I Go To College Out Of State, Where Am I Registered?
You can only vote in one state, but as long as you have a permanent or temporary address in your state of choice, you are qualified to register. While this might seem like a trivial choice, the state you pick might make a huge difference.
I’m from Ohio (which is a swing state), but I go to school in Louisiana (which almost always votes red—aka for the GOP). My vote will probably carry more weight in Ohio, so that’s where I am registered. If you’re conflicted, do some research on voting patterns in your states. Make an educated choice based on where you think your vote has the biggest impact!
OK, I’m Registered. How Do I Download My Ballot?
Warning: this is where sh*t starts to get complicated, but take a deep breath, we’re going to get through this together.
If you’re voting in your home state, but go to school out-of-state, you probably plan on voting through an absentee ballot. Unfortunately, this is not as simple as just downloading a ballot and emailing it to your state’s election office. There are pretty hard deadlines for voting with an absentee ballot, and you can’t treat this like a psych essay you write the night before it’s due. Follow my advice and do it ASAP, so there are no complications.
Once your application is completed, you should be all set and should receive your absentee ballot before the election. However, if you have any reason to doubt that your application went through, most states allow you to check the status of your application online.
What Do I Do If My Ballot Doesn’t Come On Time?
You would think there is a pretty slim chance of this happening, but conveniently last election cycle, every single one of my liberal friends voting via absentee ballot in Georgia mysteriously did not get their ballots in time to vote. So weird how that happens! Even if it does happen, you don’t have to freak out. Go to your local polling station and ask for a provisional ballot. They are required to give you one by law, even if you are in a different state from the one for which you’re voting. Then, go on your state’s website to find out how to confirm that your ballot will be counted.
I Got My Ballot And Filled It Out, How Do I Mail It In?
I once saw a completed in absentee ballot just sitting on a desk in someone’s room like three weeks after the election. No joke. They went through the trouble of registering, applying for the ballot, researching the candidates, AND filling it out only to give up because they couldn’t find a stamp. And, like, to an extent, I get it. Sending mail is really f*cking hard and archaic.
The plight of being unable to find stamps on campus is well-documented on the internet. Sources like ABC, Business Insider, and lots of campus newsletters reference college-aged voters who don’t vote due to a lack of stamps.
Ideally, you’ll be able to find stamps for free around campus. At many schools, Greek and other campus organizations will provide them during election season. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. But also, CVS sells stamps; it’s really not that serious.
Here are some things you need to know:
- Like everything else, you can buy stamps online! Stamps.com allows you to purchase and print out postage for your ballot. You can also try Amazon.
- Your absentee ballot will come with an official envelope you must use to return the ballot. Do not lose this.
- The USPS is required by law to mail absentee ballots even if they don’t have stamps on them. While I don’t necessarily encourage not using a stamp, this is a great last resort. We shouldn’t have to pay a whole 50 cents (is that how much stamps cost?) for our votes to count!
Hopefully, this is all the information you need to successfully vote in college. However, if you’re ever unsure of something, vote.org has easy to understand resources and instructions.
I know this seems really complicated, you have a lot going on, and Mercury is about to be in retrograde, but this election really is a big one. Especially for young voters. According to an essay published by the Pew Research Center, 37% of the electorate will be Millennials and members of Gen-Z. It’s crazy to think about, but the future of democracy is basically in the hands of the same people who ate f*cking Tide Pods and spent $65 on Kylie Jenner’s Rise and Shine hoodies.
That said, go register to f*cking vote. It’s your civic duty.
Images: Element 5 Digital / Unsplash, Giphy (2)
Former Texas congressman and current Texas cutie-pie Beto O’Rourke just announced his plans to run in the 2020 Presidential campaign, something we’ve all been expecting since he skateboarded his way into our hearts running during the midterms. O’Rourke gained national attention during this most recent Texas Senate race, where he faced off against national embarrassment/loose booger Ted Cruz. Sure, Beto didn’t win and the aforementioned loose booger remains in the Senate, but the race ended up being one of the closest races in Texas history. Kacey Musgraves impact. Let’s deep dive into the latest candidate du jour and see how he stacks up to the rest.
I am running to serve you as the next president. The challenges we face are the greatest in living memory. No one person can meet them on their own. Only this country can do that, and only if we build a movement that includes all of us. Say you’re in: https://t.co/EKLdkVET2u pic.twitter.com/lainXyvG2n
— Beto O’Rourke (@BetoORourke) March 14, 2019
So, Who Is He?
Beto O’Rourke represented Texas’s 16th congressional district (El Paso, a historically Democratic area; you go El Paso) in the House of Representatives since 2013, a position he gave up when running for Senate against Ted Cruz. Before that, he served as the City Council for El Paso. We get it, Beto, you really love El Paso. He’s on the younger side in terms of potential Presidents — 46 years young (meaning he’s still older than the OG millennial candidate, 37-year-old Pete Buttigieg) and was sort of an unknown candidate in the national sense until his heavily covered Senate run. His campaign was covered because of his stark contrast to Cruz, and also because of the momentum he was able to grow for a Democrat in Texas. While he was unable to ultimately defeat Cruz, his performance is credited with helping Democrats win elections up and down the Texas ballot, and he earned the highest amount of votes for a Democrat in Texas in over fifty years.
What are the Pros?
Beto O’Rourke is the dad whose Memorial Day BBQ you start getting excited about in March. He’s a great guy, very personable and very with the times. (Probably more with it than me, someone who just used the phrase “with the times”). He’s a strong advocate for the legalization of cannabis (#dope) and also to end the war on drugs — specifically when it comes to the prison time people are forced to serve for these very minor offenses. More on the crime front, he also has been vocal about wanting to end the minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenses. He also is into the environment and LGBTQ+ rights, and most importantly as a Texas native: gun control, an issue which I’m sure you can imagine has made him polarizing for the state.
Also have you seen this video of him skateboarding at Whataburger? He’s basically the Seth Cohen of presidential candidates.
What are the Cons?
First of all, we have not forgotten the time he went live on Instagram at the dentist (please, get a social media manager) or the fact that he still does Facebook Live (I think he’s the only person to do this in the past year besides Katy Perry going live on YouTube for three days straight). Second of all, many have pointed out that if O’Rourke couldn’t beat Ted Cruz, a man who makes people feel like they just walked through a spiderweb, can he really beat Donald Trump? Another potential issue Beto faces is that while he got a lot of national support during his campaign from people outside of Texas, those people may not stick with him for a run against other politicians they actually like. Names like Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren have been floating around for years when it comes to this position, and we can’t forget about the Bernie Bros and Biden. Lastly, he’s a straight white guy and a lot of Democrats want to see a more diverse ticket.
Where Can I Find Out More?
Going batsh*t for Beto? Awesome! Learn more about his campaign on his website and follow Betches Sup on Instagram, duh.
Heads up, you need to keep up with the news. It’s not cute anymore. That’s why we’ve created a 5x weekly newsletter called The ‘Sup that will explain all the news of the week in a hilarious af way. Because if we weren’t laughing, we’d be crying. Sign up for The ‘Sup now!
There’s a 50% chance you’ve made out with someone who’s running for President this year. JK, but honestly, maybe not JK because there’s so many people throwing their name in the race. Honestly, imagine making a brunch reservation for this many people? I’m already crying on the phone with the hostess at the thought. While we wait for our full party to arrive, lets get a breakdown of every person you didn’t know you need to know:
I launched a presidential exploratory committee because it is a season for boldness and it is time to focus on the future. Are you ready to walk away from the politics of the past?
Join the team at https://t.co/Xlqn10brgH. pic.twitter.com/K6aeOeVrO7
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) January 23, 2019
Move over Pete Davidson, because there is a new Pete in our lives. Pete Buttigieg (yes, his name has “butt” in it. Let’s all take a moment to acknowledge that and move forward…) is the openly gay mayor of South Bend, Indiana. He’s a casual 38-years-old, making him the youngest candidate in the race, and potentially the youngest president in history depending on how all this shakes out. So basically, not only would he be the first openly gay president, he’d also be the first millennial president aka the first president who understands the importance of having a cohesive Insta Story.
When he was elected, he was the youngest mayor of a city with more than 100,000 residents, and he served as a U.S. Navy Reserve officer rom 2009-2017, so he’s got that sweet, sweet military background. He also took a leave of absence during his time as mayor to serve a seven-month tour of duty in Afghanistan because he’s just an overachiever like that. (Is Mayor Pete a Taurus? Can somebody check?)
Want to be the Ariana to Pete’s campaign? Check out his website here.
We need a growing and prosperous economy that works for everyone. That’s what my campaign is about. pic.twitter.com/d8qNKMxyei
— John Delaney (@JohnDelaney) February 22, 2019
No, not Mulaney — but hey, that could be fun. A democrat, Delaney was the United States Representative for Maryland’s 6th congressional district since 2013. His main mission is to focus on the future and not the past; which means I’m guessing Countess LuAnn is his campaign manager. Whatever happens Before Lu, doesn’t matter. He’s also stated that he’s into bipartisanship, and make the Democratic party a “big tent” party that will bring new voters in. AKA, he’s this chick from Mean Girls:
What we do love about him? He sponsored the Open Our Democracy Act legislation that would make Election Day a federal holiday, so your boss can’t force you to choose between a paycheck and your country.
Into it? You can learn more about his campaign here.
Many ask if Universal Basic Income would cause massive inflation. It’s an understandable concern. But we would not be adding much to the supply of money. The economy is up to $20 trillion up $5 trillion in the last 12 years alone. pic.twitter.com/gb2E7C1dSm
— Andrew Yang (@AndrewYangVFA) March 1, 2019
Another day, another entrepreneur running for president. Can someone please tell rich people everywhere that America is not a startup? He’s… the most out there candidates in terms of what they’re running for. I am a huge advocate of Daring to Be Different (its why I only go out to bars in pajama jeans) but it might be too much of a stretch to advocate a universal basic income for everyone in a country where people cry “socialism!” when you lend your friend a dollar. But hey, I’m just saying that *I* think that’s too much of a stretch, and I (as you already know), wear pajama jeans out in public. The universal basic income he’s proposing is $1,000 a month — which I’m not sure would even cover my Take Out & Taxi habits (please help me budget), but I’m sure would be helpful to someone with financial skills and/or impulse control.
It is great that he continues to make the list of potential candidates even more diverse, being only the second Asian American to run — and the first to run as a Democrat. Uh, also, the lead singer of Weezer may be supporting him?
Thank you @RiversCuomo – you’re a true visionary. Honored to have your support for my campaign. Look forward to seeing you on tour! ????
— Andrew Yang (@AndrewYangVFA) January 3, 2019
Into it? Learn more about his campaign here.
— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) March 5, 2019
An Iraq war veteran who has served as a congresswoman for Hawaii, Tulsi Gabbard seems very qualified for the job. She wants to make the minimum wage $15, which is great — but she’ll have to overcome her conservative past; mainly being against LGBTQ+ rights and some international issues. While these mainly were issues from over a decade ago, so was that one party where you wore a skirt over jeans — and thanks to the Internet, both memories will live on forever. Her campaign has already attracted support from some of the uh…more controversial wings of American politics like former KKK Grand Wizard (yes, that is what they call their leadership) David Duke and Russian bot accounts that were set up to celebrate her announcement.
Umm…yikes? If elected, Gabbard would be the first Hindi and first Pacific Islander to be President — along with being the first woman, which seems pretty antithetical to what the KKK believes in but hey, what do I know? I’ve never been a member.
Wanna find out more about Tulsi? Learn more about her here.
Beating Donald Trump is essential, but it’s not sufficient. We need lasting progressive change. pic.twitter.com/ONOSYAnyGy
— John Hickenlooper (@Hickenlooper) March 4, 2019
Pete Buttigieg: I’m going to have the weirdest name as a candidate.
John Hickenlooper: hold my beer.
John Hickenlooper’s career in politics actually started after he got fired from his job in oil and decided to open up a brewpub, which we’re kind of obsessed with. He feels that this experience helped him become an expert at “uniting” people together — kind of like how a bottle of Cabernet can unite people together on Mondays before The Bachelor starts. From there, he became the Mayor of Denver and ultimately the Governor of Colorado (blaze it, Hickenlooper).
He actually seems like a decent guy — supporting gun control, believing in the fact that the Earth is melting, and working to reduce homelessness. His major issue will probably be differentiating his point of view from all the other Democrats running against him with similar platforms and more of a name recognition.
Want to learn more about his campaign? Check out his website.
VIDEO: This is our moment, our climate, our mission — together, we can defeat climate change. That’s why I’m running for president. Join #OurClimateMoment today https://t.co/zg8ILGyk0Z pic.twitter.com/pUZVxyzfc5
— Jay Inslee (@JayInslee) March 1, 2019
Jay Inslee, Governor of Washington, is running with one thing in mind: attempting to reverse climate change and the damage we’ve all done to our planet. I hate to say that as a positive, and not as a “no sh*t,” but turns out some (or most) of our politicians think climate change is as real as Taylor Swift’s new secret single she’s releasing soon. (THEY’RE BOTH REAL AND THEY’RE BOTH HAPPENING.) Except one will kill us all! And it’s not Taylor this time.
Listen, I’m typing this while sipping out of a metal straw and eating vegan cheese for lunch. I want everyone to care about the environment, but I feel Jay Inslee’s issue will be just having this hill (or, melting snow cap) to die on. Ellie Goulding also does a lot to raise awareness for global warming, but you don’t see her running for office — you just see her running all the damn time. We’ll see, maybe he’ll add more issues to his rallying cries; but at the very least, I hope he gets every single candidate in a debate to admit that the Earth is actively melting and we’re all dying. Do that for us, Jay!
Here’s his website if you want to learn more.
Sure, none of these guys are current frontrunners, but who knows? One of these candidates could have a sudden surge of momentum and leap to the forefront of national conversation to make a splash (see: Barack Obama in 2008). But until then, it kinda seems like they’re all just other Best Original Song nominees in a sea of Shallow’s.