Here’s a straightforward guide for Regent students on what to expect when you get out to the polls today.
Today is November 8th, the day set aside for casting your vote for in the 2016 election. The entire nation prepares to cast their ballots today, and the students of Regent University are no exception. This article will try to cover any lingering questions that students may have about getting out to vote today.
Let’s start with the bottom line: if you live on-campus, your polling place today will be held at:
Tallwood Elementary School
2025 Kempsville Rd,
Virginia Beach, VA 23464
The polling place opens at 6 a.m. and runs until 7 p.m. that evening. Many polling guides encourage voters to visit the polls around 10 a.m. or 2 p.m., especially before the crowds that arrive after 4 p.m. If you do end up getting stuck at the polls in the evening, don’t quit if it gets too late – it doesn’t matter if the polling place closes while you’re stuck in line, as long as you’re still in line you will be able to vote.
The important thing to remember is that you’re not just voting for the next president. Besides the presidential candidates, your ballot will include choices for:
- U.S. Representative 2nd District
- Virginia Beach City Major
- Whether or not to extend the Light Rail from Norfolk to Town Center.
- Numerous local city council positions.
If you don’t live on-campus, the easiest way to figure out which polling station to visit your state’s .gov website. It will list your polling station as well as what will be on your local ballot.
According to a survey of registered voters by the U.S. Census Bureau, the biggest reason why people fail to vote is that they were “too busy.” Voting doesn’t have to be a time sink – the best way to tackle getting out to the polls is to schedule out a time ahead of time and stick to that plan.
If you’re having trouble with getting reliable transportation, go ahead and reach out to those around you for help. See if a couple of your friends want to carpool. Post something about needing a ride on Facebook. Go ahead and text your RA, they would be happy to help you out.
Technology is also striving to solve the transportation issue for many. Uber has partnered with Google to create an intuitive system to find and send you directly to your polling place. If you’re a first-time user, Uber will also take off $20 off your first ride by using the code “VOTETODAY” in-app. Not to be outdone, ride-sharing giant Lyft will also be offering a 45% discount on a ride between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. for anyone headed to the polls.
The benefits of voting don’t end with fancy apps. Along with the satisfaction of knowing that you were able to help get the candidate of your choice elected to public office, voters can receive steep discounts at many national chains. Krispy Kreme will be offering free doughnuts to anyone who shows up with their “I Voted” sticker. 7-Eleven is offering a free coffee of any size to customers who vote and download their app. Firehouse Subs will even throw in a free medium fountain drink if they see an “I Voted” sticker. If you’re feeling especially nostalgic, you can grab a free personal pepperoni pizza from Chuck E Cheese if you let your server know you voted today.
At the end of the day though, we shouldn’t just vote because of the perks. You shouldn’t go to the polls just so you can post a cute picture of yourself with your ballot on Instagram (which is actually illegal in many states). Being able to elect our public officials is one of the cornerstones of our democratic process. We are incredibly blessed as a nation to be able to have a say in who leads our country for the next four years. When we vote we are honoring the democratic system set up by forefathers, and the sacrifices they made to afford us the opportunity.
Mark Vinzani is the managing editor of the Daily Runner.