The midterm elections are right around the corner. And that means Election Day 2018 is TOMORROW, Tuesday, November 6. Most people know they should vote — and genuinely want to — but sometimes life gets in the way. Consider this your “no excuses” guide to making sure your voice is heard this Election Day. And get tips on how to make voting painless.

Use an alternate voting method

Sure, it’s fun to get the “I Voted” sticker when you go to your polling place. But voting in the comfort of your own house can be a lot easier. From early voting to absentee voting to mail voting, many states offer alternate ways to get your vote on without having to physically head to the polls.

Of course, in some cases, it might be too late to consider a certain method of voting, such as absentee voting. But check out this interactive map to be sure of what’s available in your state. And remember, if you’re voting by mail, some ballots might take more than one stamp. Find out before inadvertently having your ballot returned.

Know before you go

Real talk: the polling place can be hectic. And if you’re confronted with long lines, you might worry that you’re holding up others as you deliberate in the voting booth. That’s why it’s best to head out to vote already feeling confident in the candidates and measures so that you can vote quickly but accurately and get on your way. Get informed BEFORE you go. Using a voter’s pamphlet in the comfort of your own home can ensure that you’re voting they way you truly want.

Plan your visit

Not sure where to find the closest polling place? Find out more about your specific state’s procedures, locations, and hours.

Then plan accordingly. Most voting sites tend to be most crowded when polls open, then wane as the day goes on, with some reporting another surge in the early evening.

Hitch a ride

We get it  sometimes your car ends up in the shop. But if you don’t have access to a car on voting day, don’t let that stop you. Check with a coworker, friend, or neighbor. You can also check out a rideshare app. Some are distributing discount codes and offering some free rides through nonpartisan, nonprofit partners.

Just vote

Seriously. If the wait is long, bring a book. And if you aren’t sure how to vote, educate yourself. We promise: your vote matters!

Safe and smart | Around the nation


about Cathie

Cathie Ericson writes about personal finance, real estate, health, lifestyle, and business topics. When she's not writing she loves to read, hike, and run. Find her @CathieEricson.