Make a Smart Choice at the Polls This Primary Season in 7 Easy Steps

By The Second City | Jan 6, 2016

1. Pick a Party

First and foremost, determine your political ideology. Think about the issues that are most important to you: Economic growth? Foreign policy? Civil rights? Take a moment to prioritize these issues, then realize that partisan gridlock will prevent either one of the two parties from making a single substantive change in any policy area.

Then just pick the party that most of your friends like on Facebook.   

2. Do Your Research

An informed vote is a smart vote, so now it's time to learn about these people seeking your support. There's a lot of information out there, so be sure to use credible sources. Don't just skim the candidates' Wikipedia pages. Skim the candidates' Wikipedia pages and click on at *least* one reference link. Campaign volunteers at your door? Give their pitches your undivided attention for a full 45 seconds before lying about that thing you have to do right now. Watch the news to hear what the experts on CNN and Fox News have to say. You can safely assume anything they say is true, as long as you agree with it.

3. Watch the Debates

The debate stage is where the candidates slog through the tough questions, so pay attention to their answers. Who has the most compelling story of their humble life as the child of a white billionaire? Which one knows the most (read: anything) about the Middle East? Did anyone pay lip-service to that thing your mom cares about, Medicode, or whatever? Oh yeah, that guy supports legalizing weed! He might be the one!

4. Ask Other People How They're Voting

Still undecided? You know your politically-active friend who makes those really good points that you poorly regurgitate when you're trapped in discussions with people who actually know what they're talking about? Maybe ask that person for help.

5. Register to Vote

For fuck's sake! You've been eligible to vote for years! You mean you've been spouting off all these pseudo-intellectual diatribes about "how stupid our country is" without trying to meaningfully contribute once? Jesus.

6. Wing It

Don't lie. You were just going to pick the first name on the ballot, anyway. Or the longest one. Or write in a vulgar pun. Heh, "Harry Balzac." That's gold.

7. You Didn't Vote, Did You?

Well, shit. But come on! The polling place was like two miles from your house. That's way too far to go, especially after your strenuous day of work at your entirely sedentary job. Hey, don't stress, most Americans vote, right? Surely they'll pick the person you were going to vote for. It'll be fine. After all, most people are smart, just like you.


Dimitry Pompée (@heavydii) is a writer living in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

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