At 13, you can legally like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, make a Tumblr and sign up for most online sites in the US.
At 15, in many states you can get a driver’s permit and a part-time job (with lots of paperwork).
At 16, in most places, you can get a driver’s license and a job.
At 17, you can see any movie you want without a parent along.
And at 18, you get control over the US government.
OK. Not total control. You have to share that control with all the other people in the US that are 18 and up that are legal citizens, that register to vote and, this is critical, actually show up.
The amazing thing is that, for as important as your vote is, typically less than half of the people who can vote, do.
If you won’t be 18 by November 6, you can help get friends and family registered and to the polls or offer rides to folks who can’t drive themselves to a polling place (if you’re over 16 and have access to a car).
And if you will be 18 before November 6th, here are some links, tools and places to start:
Power Moves, the Green4All guide to youth voting, is a great overview.
First, get registered:
Rock the Vote
The deadline can be as early as October 6th, so register now.
Already registered? Are you sure?
Find out how to check at
Can I Vote
Put together by the National Association of the Secretaries of State
Do you need ID to vote? The rules have changed in many states. Find out what’s required where you are.
Before you hit the polls, look at your sample ballot and figure out which candidates (and propositions if your state has them) match what you want to see in the world.
With all research, but especially with voting information, look at multiple sources of information, try to figure out their bias and look at how the website or publication is funded.
Congressional grading from a climate perspective: Grades congressmen are given grades based on how they voted on bills and amendments dealing with investment in renewable energy, tax subsidies to oil corporations, international climate agreements, and more
And then, of course, go out and vote.
No matter which candidates you choose, voting is an amazing power over the way your city, state and country are run. Make the most of it.