Weekly lifehack: Vote! (Here’s how, you dummy)

Vote, you dummy.
Vote, you dummy.

The New York primaries are next week.And while we may not be endorsing a candidate 4 prez, we are most definitely endorsing two things: 1) the downfall of the GOP rat king and 2) the all-American act of “voting!” This ancient practice of ballot-casting to elect a leader dates back to many centuries B.C.E., and at least two centuries U.S. What’s more, as a New Yorker you’ve got it easier than most states (Arizona). It’s pretty easy to seek out your nearest polling station and cast your vote.

But look, Brokelyn knows that apathy is a vile seductress notorious for dulling your political senses. So we’re here to make it even simpler. Because “rocking the vote” is real. We actually get a say in the presidential race this year (by time the general election comes around, no one will pay attention to New York values again) so don’t let the opportunity pass you by. 

The easy way to find your polling station 

You can enter your address into the Board of Elections’ polling site locator, or into the Who’s on the Ballot locator. Both will locate your nearest site in a matter of seconds. The Sanders campaign also has a texting function, where you can text NY to 82623 to get a list of polling sites.

No excuses. Just vote. Unless you forgot to register after we told you multiple times to do so, in which case, bookmark this article to read again three and a half years from now.

How to vote

Polls open at 6am on April 19 and close at 9pm. That’s a lot of time! You’ll most likely only be voting for the presidential candidate of your preferred party. New York is a closed primary, which means if you aren’t registered as a Republican or Democrat, you can’t vote this time around.

A few neighborhoods (Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, Mill Basin, Bergen Beach, Flatlands and Canarsie) will be voting for a candidate for state senate too. More details about that here. 

New York uses a paper/electronic scanner hybrid system for elections. You fill out your ballot in pen and then feed it into a machine. Here’s a tutorial so you can study up and not get the election day jitters:

Why vote?

Listen, I’m Canadian. I come from a place where elections are the butt of John Oliver jokes, and “primaries” make as much of a difference as swapping out Coke for Diet Coke. Even with those handicaps, I can tell you how much it matters to vote. First of all, it matters who runs the country. World wars are not a people’s history — the players are world leaders who stand in for countries, and most decisions in emergency situations are unilateral. America is a country with a history of decisions that have come down to executive action, and this presidential term won’t be any different. So if you want a fighting chance of having a country whose actions represent your own interests, then you better pick your player. Think everyone’s a bad option? Too bad. Somebody’s about to run the country, and you should at least do your part to make sure it isn’t a racist snake monster.

Secondly, New York actually matters this year. Usually the primaries are over, essentially if not officially, by the time primaries reach this state. But we’ve already seen states with infinitesimal percentages of difference between Clinton and Trump. We know that super-delegates can change their allegiances at any time. And regardless of what you think you’re seeing in the media, it’s still the media. It ain’t over until it’s over, you know? So whether you’re a chill-ary Clintonista or Bern-ing down the house, it’s worth putting a ballot in the box on April 19. Treat yourself to a drink afterwards. You did it!

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