Why vote? Step 1:  Register to vote

Step 2:  How to vote Step 3:  Vote informed
Step 4:  VOTE!

Step 5:  During the campaign, contact your neighbors Step 6:  Anytime, contact your elected officials Step 7:  For the future, electoral reform

Step 1:  Register to vote

Right now, today …

If you live in jurisdiction: and you wish to: then:
🇨🇦 Canada province Ontario ☑ Verify that I am Registered to vote See Elections Ontario.
Register to vote
🇺🇸 USA from 🌐︎ abroad See Can I Vote .org > scroll down > icon Overseas Voters.
🇺🇸 USA 50 states + DC ☑ Verify that I am Registered to vote • See Can I Vote .org > link or icon Voter Registration Status or Register to Vote or Election Official Directory > select your state and possible region.
• Or   Election Protection coalition > select your state > expand section Registering to vote.
• Or   I Will Vote > button Check if I'm registered to vote.
• Or   VOTE411 > box Check Your Voter Registration Status > select your state > etc.
• Or   Vote.org. > button Check your Registration or Register to Vote.
• Or go to your local city hall or township hall, or DMV or SoS office.
Register to vote
Registration deadline
Illinois ☑ Verify that I am Registered to vote • See Illinois Online Voter Registration website.
• Or go to your local city hall or township hall, or DMV office.
Register to vote
Registration deadline
Michigan ☑ Verify that I am Registered to vote Michigan Voter Information Center > navigate top-right or top Your voter information.
If your Voter Registration address does not match your Drivers License address, you must reregister to vote as in the row below!
I moved since my last Registration Michigan Voter Information Center > Update my information online > link update your voter registration address;  or by mail.  Adobe Acrobat Reader file
Register to vote online Michigan Voter Information Center > navigation link Register to Vote Online.
Register to vote ✉ by mail State of Michigan 📄︎ paper form.  Adobe Acrobat Reader file
Register to vote in-person • See the clerk just inside the front door of your local city hall or township hall Michigan Voter Information Center > link Who is my clerk? > section Search for your city/township clerk.
• Or at your local Michigan Secretary of State branch office.
If you want, you could 📝︎ pre-fill the State of Michigan 📄︎ paper form.  Adobe Acrobat Reader file
On Election Day, I hear you can do Instant Registration at your poling place.  See Step 2 below.

Step 3:  Vote informed

To vote informed, in every race—including those down-ballot races:  Initiatives, judgeships and Drain Commissioner …

Take your 📄︎ sample ballot (from the previous step ) (paper is better—if voting in-person, your 🛂︎ poll workers may have rules against using a 📱︎ phone in the voting booth),
and 📝︎ mark it up according to your values, and whatever information is available to you.

In the 🇺🇸 USA, this includes (here sorted by mixture of usefulness and alphabetical):

Now that you have your good summary, go through this information, and decide on your votes.

Don't be afraid to vote for the better professional — the candidate that will best do that job, serving the people, even if you don't agree with that candidate's stands on some issues.

Or vote for the centrist candidate — after the election, they will be easier to educate to your side.

Or vote for the lessor evil.  Until we get instant-runoff / preferential / ranked-choice voting RCV described below we may have to hold our noses, and vote for the least-offensive candidate.  Making us 👃︎🤏 clothespin voters!

Or vote for the woman, young person or non-traditional candidate!

If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

    — 🔊︎ Song Freewill by band Rush.  .   For full effect, select the video link button, then icons  fullscreen,  captions , ▶︎ Play, and ⏯︎ ☒ Skip Ads.

Step 5:  During the campaign, contact your neighbors

Talk to your neighbors!  Knock on doors for your favorite candidate!  Run yourself!  Or if introverted, …

photo showing We Believe yardsign, select to order If you believe:

then order signs like above or at right, and display in your yard.

If your yard signs get stolen by kids or thugs, 📱︎☎ call me, and I'll tell you how to reduce this greatly, restoring your constitutionally-protected free speech.  [Although in the 2020 General Election, this doesn't seem to be a problem.]

6.2  Learn how to listen to your public servants

Learn how to listen to listen, understand, and think critically, including:

7.1  [Immediate]  Social Justice

If you:

then:

7.3  [Medium]  📫︎ Mail-in Voting, 📅︎ Early Voting, and Automatic Voter Registration AVR

If you want to increase voter participation, especially:

then work to get your jurisdiction to adopt:

7.5  [Hard]  Nonpartisan redistricting versus 🐍︎ gerrymandering

If you:

then work to get your jurisdiction to adopt nonpartisan redistricting — an end to 🐍︎ gerrymandering "Geometry versus Gerrymandering."  Scientific American.  . (Michigan Radio story) (Michigan organization Voters Not Politicians).

For full effect, view the videos above or to right by selecting a video image, then icons  fullscreen,  captions , ▶︎ Play, and ⏯︎ ☒ Skip Ads.

Nonpartisan redistricting is Solution 3 in the Gehl-Porter election-reform trifecta, as listed in radio podcast Freakonomics episode 356 at 43m00s 🔊︎ audio

7.7  [Hardest]  Align political boundaries with watersheds

If you:

then work to align political boundaries with watershed boundaries.

For example, using 🇺🇸 USA EPA map on ArcGIS > icon with four squares Select a Basemap > map USGS National Map, I would live in the neighborhood of Little Carl Creek, county/​parish/​borough/​municipio of Lower Grand, and state or nation of Lawrencia.