We’re big on voting here at Old Pal. After all, our beautiful world of legalized cannabis wouldn’t be where it is today without people like you hitting the polls and making your voice heard. And while voting on these midterm elections may seem like a small act to many of you, it’s actually a powerful tool that can spark massive change in your local community and throughout Congress. More importantly, November 8 represents a special opportunity for EVERYONE to participate in democracy–no matter where you live or your socioeconomic status.
Your voice, ideas, and feelings matter, and the polls are a great place to express your desires for your neighborhood, ballot measures, and our collective government. You can make a difference, and showing up to vote is a great way to do it. It’s also a great opportunity to hit the polls with your pals and share a celebratory joint after you’ve voted. The stickers are cool, but sticky, dank weed makes it a real poll party.
Unsure where to get started? No problem! We created this handy, unbiased guide to help you better understand how and where to vote, along with ballot tips, important dates, and ways to find local election information. To be clear, we’re not here trying to tell you who or what to vote for, because that’s up to you. We just want you to show up, participate, and make the most of your civic duty–and then maybe go enjoy a “civic doobie” with your favorite Old Pal flower.
Register to Vote
Before you can participate in elections, you need to register with your local county elections office. And guess what, it’s super easy! However, each state has different voting policies and requirements for identification, so make sure you check those out.
If you’re looking for a great place to start, we recommend visiting vote.gov, where you’ll get more information on how to register, registration deadlines, and so much more.
You can also register through your local Secretary of State or state election board, or voter services website. Find your state’s link on Ballotpedia.org. At a more local level, your city’s government website will have voter registration info and a portal where you can sign up and check your voter status.
Wondering if you’re already registered? Or maybe you registered at an old address a few years back? You can easily check if you’re already registered on most of these sites.
Here’s a few other quick hits about voting registration:
- 49 states require registration to vote (except North Dakota). So make extra sure you’re registered before you go vote.
- You can register in person at the DMV. Most let you register while applying for a drivers license.
- Keep your eye out for local voter registration drives, especially events put on by organizations you know and trust. As we ramp up closer to November 8, you’ll probably find many voter registration events near you.
Find Your Polling Place
Okay, so now that you’ve registered to vote, you need to find out where you go to vote. Our friends over at vote.org made it easy to find your nearest polling location. Just enter your address and they’ll tell you the address and building. Note that Information about upcoming elections is usually available 2-4 weeks before an election, so check in closer to November 8 for the most accurate info.
In or Away from Home: Absentee Ballots
If you can’t vote in person or you just want to vote from home, you can request an absentee ballot for your elections. Remember that each state has different rules around these, so double check with your local elections office to ensure you mail your ballot on time or find out where to drop it off.
Important Dates and Deadlines
First things first. Election day in November 8, 2022. And yes, that is the day you go vote. Not the 7th, not the 9th. So mark your calendars, take an extra long break from work, and roll with your buds.
When it comes to registration, early voting, and poll times, each state has their own rules and regulations. And while we’d love to break down all 50 states for you, we’ve decided to focus on the states where Old Pal is available. Below you’ll find info for AZ, CA, MD, MA, MI, NV, OH, OK, and PA.
Tips for your Ballot
When it’s time to fill in those circles on your ballot, it pays to know about all the people, props, and bills you’ll be voting for. Remember that knowledge is power, and the more you can learn about the candidates and initiatives, the better impact your vote can have–especially for your wants and desires. Here’s a few things to consider:
- Take your time. Think of it as your city, county, state, and country just mailed you 2 years worth of law-making homework – because they did. With a little research, you can vote confidently and know you supported the people and causes that matter most to you.
- Make the most of your practice ballot. Fill out the parts you feel certain of, and then circle, underline, or take note of measures and candidates you have questions about. As you research the gaps, cross out or note something important. When it’s time to vote, we recommend writing all your selections on a separate piece of paper (or your phone), because your practice ballot can cause confusion for the volunteers at the polling stations.
- Society is a group project, so ask questions and share the work. Reach out to people you trust and politely invite their opinions. Or ask if they know websites where you can learn more about the candidates and their platforms. This could help you gain insight into a perspective you didn’t have before, especially for measures and candidates you’re on the fence about or have no opinion about.
- Set reminders in your phone or write deadlines on a calendar. This is extra important if you’re mailing in your ballot, as each state has different dates for submission.
You’re Protected Against Intimidation
This is a real thing and it’s extra important. If you feel marginalized or nervous to vote in your community, we recommend you bring a friend (or many friends) to vote together. Not only will this make you feel safer, but solidarity in voting is a pretty rad feeling. Trust us. If you’d like to learn more about this, the ACLU is a great resource, along with this fact sheet from Georgetown Law. Remember that it’s your right to cast your ballot free from intimidation or coercion. It’s a foundational principle of a free and democratic society and it’s protected by federal law.
Volunteer at The Polls
Yes, you can be a volunteer at the polls and help further democracy. For most states, you just fill out a poll worker application in order to be selected. Why is this great? You get involved and assist voters in your community, you contribute to your local democratic process, and you may earn extra money (amount depends on state). It’s also a great way to spread some healthy positivity on a day that can be sometimes stressful for others–especially in marginalized communities where voting has strategically become more and more difficult.
One Final Toke
Not only does voting make a difference with laws, props, and elected officials. The act of voting also helps to protect our right to vote. Being active in democracy is a pretty rad thing, and we hope you’ll show up to the polls this year more educated, more inspired, and more ready to make the change you want to see in the world. Remember to check your registration, make a plan, do your research, and GO VOTE!