Citizens of the United States must choose which people they want to make decisions for them.  We can’t all go to Washington to run our own government.  We can’t all go to city hall to make decisions for ourselves.  For that reason, we vote.  We choose people to decide for us.  We make choices that will affect the whole United States.  Voting is a serious responsibility.  United States citizens vote by marking ballots.  Ballots are pieces of paper with the choices listed on them.  Some people use voting machines to mark their ballots.


In the United States, citizens age 18 and over can vote.  A citizen is a person who lives in a country and enjoys its privileges.


All states require voters to register.  When you turn 18, you can register to vote at any Secretary of State office.  National elections take place every two years.  Members of Congress and one third of the Senators are elected then.  The President is elected every four years.  The date for national elections is always on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of even numbered years.  Some cities have chosen to hold their elections at other times.


Voting requires some study.  Sometimes you will vote on new laws for your community.  Other elections are about choosing the right people as leaders.  You may need some help making your decisions.  There are many places to get help.  Don’t forget however, that every citizen must make his or her own choices.  Another person cannot make you vote for something or someone you don’t like.  Some ways you can learn whom and what you want to vote for are to talk to teachers, parents, friends and neighbors about their choices.  You could also tune in to television and radio news, to listen to what the people running for office, called candidates, have to say.


Polling places are required to let you take someone with you, or provide someone to give you assistance in the voting process.  You may need to call ahead to request or insure assistance is available and to make sure your polling place is accessible.


The League of Women Voters is an organization that helps people vote.  If you need help voting, you can call them at 517-484-5383 or visit them online at



Phone code: 1501

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