If you decide to straight ticket vote, don’t do it blind.

It may be tempting to pick your preferred presidential candidate, mark the party of your choice in the straight party section and turn in your ballot. However, just because you agree with most of the ideals of the Republican or Democratic Party, doesn’t mean you will agree with the policies and plans of action individual candidates for offices such as senator may have. If it turns out your favorite candidates all happen to be from one party, go for it, but always cast an educated vote. The <a href=’http://www.wakegov.com/elections/default.htm’>wake county website</a> has a neat feature where you can get a peek at your ballot, before you even vote.

Get to know those running for judge positions.

With all of the excitement over the presidential and gubernatorial hopefuls, it’s easy to forget about the judges on the ballot. Ever heard of a case presided by a judge you felt was especially harsh and unfair? Well, somebody voted that person into office – or didn’t vote against them so they obtained the spot. Take some time to research your aspiring judges. Indyweek.com has a <a href=’http://www.indyweek.com/gyrobase/Section?oid=oid%3A33533&category=oid%3A160812′>great section on its website</a> with questionnaires for each of the candidates so you can get a feel for who they are and what they stand for.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions at the polls.

There are people there on site to assist you if you have any questions about filling out your ballot. It’s better to ask than to incorrectly complete your ballot or misunderstand its instructions. Remember, it’s all about making your vote count.

Take a friend.

Even though this year’s election is considered to be historic and a voting location is right beside campus at Pullen Park, long lines, classes, busy schedules and procrastination can keep some students from the polls. If you and a friend (or a few!) plan to go together, you both can feel more encouraged to vote. It also gives you someone to talk to during the wait!