How to Make a Difference This Election Season

By Logan Harper on August 28, 2012

With fewer than 90 days before Election Day, you may find yourself wanting to be more involved and closer to the political action. Luckily, we live in a democracy where every vote counts and opportunity abounds for those of us who want to accomplish even more than the average voter. Here are some ideas for how you can get more involved with our country’s political process:

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Volunteer for a campaign.
Getting involved with a local campaign is as easy as locating a local office and showing up. You can find the nearest office in your area by going on a candidate’s website and looking for a volunteer link with more information. The election clock is winding down, so there are plenty of phone calls to be made, envelopes to seal and poster boards to staple, so any campaign would more than likely appreciate your help.

Intern for a political organization.
The next step up from volunteering for a campaign is acquiring an internship (which also looks great on a resume). First you need to decide if you are interested in working for an individual candidate or advocating an issue. Check with your school or local government for state or regional branches of organizations dealing with the particular issue you’re interested. Working at a state level will offer you the potential for greater responsibility than working at the national level, but if the national level is what you want, both major parties offer a number of national internships. The first step is to identify which candidate or cause you’d like to get involved in; then it’s as simple as reaching out.

Attend a town hall meeting.
Most U.S. senators and representatives hold town hall meetings so that they can hear what you have to say. Town hall meetings are usually held at a school or community building. To find one, check the websites of your state’s Congress members to see if they have any constituent events coming up. Come prepared with a well-thought question regarding an issue that concerns you, and always remember to be polite. Politics can be vicious, but solutions rarely are.

Help people register to vote.
You’d be surprised how many people aren’t registered, but you can take to the streets and get some of them signed up! Grab some pens and a clipboard, head to the nearest post office or local political party office, and pick up some registration forms. Next, find a place where people gather, like a movie theater, supermarket, your school’s campus or a house of worship. The website Particip8 has more tips about registering people to vote.

Blog about the issues.
Starting a blog on WordPress or Blogger is easy, and the sites provide a great format for you to vent your opinions on the issues that concern you. After you have set up your blog, link to other bloggers so that you can become more involved in the online discussion. An excellent site with political blog startup information is Killer Campaigning.

Good luck, and may the best candidate win!

Logan Harper currently works in community relations for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s degree programs delivered online, which provide the opportunity to earn a Masters in Public Administration as well as complete  MBA programs online. Outside of work, Logan enjoys traveling, biking and cheese boards.

By Logan Harper

Uloop Writer
Logan Harper currently works in community relations for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Government's Masters of Public Administration program - one of the top MPA programs in the U.S. Outside of work, Logan enjoys traveling, biking and cheese boards.

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