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Good morning, John, this video is gonna be mostly for citizens of the United States of America.  I know that's not all of Nerdfighteria, but we got some important things going on here.  We live in a country where we decide on stuff together.  We decide who the president's gonna be, who the lawmakers are gonna be, in many cases what the laws are going to, attorney generals, attorney generals and judges and sheriffs and ballot initiatives, we vote for these things.

We tend to focus, and I'm including myself in this, a lot of the president, but there are a great number of things on our ballots every time we vote and those things have huge impacts  on our country, our state, and our cities and counties.  A huge amount of how America gets governed is on the state and local levels, and here's the thing that I worry about.  If you don't think about it before November 3rd, you go into the ballot box or you're about to mail in your ballot and you think, I haven't really done the research, so maybe I just won't and the first thing I'll say to that is you don't have to vote for everything on a ballot.  This is not a test.

But the second thing is, you gotta vote, 'cause if you don't go, your voice doesn't get heard and your opinions, they matter less.  Elected leaders listen to voters more than they listen to the average American.  This is because voters are the ones who hire them.  They should be representing all Americans equally, yes, but let's be honest, you're gonna be more responsive to the people who are doing the hiring and firing.

So turn yourself into a voter.  That's how you get served.  How do you turn yourself into a voter?  Well, first thing, you gotta make sure that you're registered.  You can go to and check.  It takes 15 seconds.  Second, if you are registered or you need to get registered, you need to learn how all this works in your state, and in the US, elections are administered state by state and so there are different rules for every state, which is why we at Complexly, in partnership with MediaWise, have created How to Vote in Every State.  

It's a collection of videos.  It represents every state and also some non-state situations like military overseas or territories, and it'll get you straight on everything from absentee voting to sample ballots to getting registered.

Every one of these videos is less than three minutes long and it will give you everything you need to know to create your voting plan, and this is the thing: when you sit down to watch one of these videos, I want you to do it with a pen and a piece of paper and I want you to write down your voting plan.  Everything from what date you're gonna be registered by, when you're gonna need to know who and what you're voting for, and how you're gonna either get your mail-in ballot or vote early or be at the polls on November 3rd.

I remember when I was first voting, a big question that I had, 'cause I was in college, was do I vote where I am in college or do I vote where I am, like, my parents' house?  This is an important thing to understand about voting.  What you vote for depends on where you live and that depends on where you are registered.  In the situation I was in, I could either choose to be registered where I was going to college or at my parents' house.  I chose at my parents' house, but the address you're registered at determines all of the elections you will be voting in.

Like, obviously if I was registered in St. Petersburg, I wouldn't be voting for the mayor of Orlando.  Other things to understand, mail-in voting, absentee voting, depends a lot state by state.  Some places, everybody can do it without a need to do it.  Other places, you have to fulfill requirements.  Early voting also happens at different times in different places and the way that sample ballots are given out also changes from place to place.

Sample ballots are super useful.  They let you know exactly what's gonna be on your ballot.  You can even fill it out at home and then bring it to the polls with you.  

Voting is an opportunity.  There are lots of places in this world where people don't get to do it.  It's also a responsibility.  It's also maybe a little stressful, but How to Vote in Every State has all of the information available to you and it doesn't take a ton of time to get that information in your head.

They've also made a few other helpful videos like how to do your research, how to understand polls, how to watch a political ad.  It's  a really great tool.  I'm really proud that we're a part of it, so watch your state and then you can send that to all the other people you know so that they can know how easy it is and important it is to vote.

Three minutes and you're set, because I don't wanna know what happens if you don't go.  John, I'll see you on Tuesday.