Effecting positive changes in public health: Voter basics
Public health measures are often a result of policy decisions at federal, state and local levels. A small margin of votes can alter the outcome of our elections, especially in municipal elections with lower turnout. Every voter should recognize his or her potential to shape our community’s public health policies. The pandemic has underscored the critical need for an informed electorate, especially as anti-science candidates work to limit vaccine and masking requirements in the community we share. Freedom from illness is a human right and a reasonable expectation we should encourage our representatives to uphold. Being an informed citizen is every voter’s responsibility. Find links below for voter basics, including how to find your representative, and ways to stay up-to-date on current issues.
Register to vote, update your address or change your party affiliation: Make voter registration updates on the Oklahoma Election Board’s website. Find your polling place: Not sure where to go to vote? Enter your name and date of birth on OK Voter Portal to look up your assigned location.
Review the steps of the legislative process: Read an overview of what to expect and review the broader picture with the Oklahoma Policy Institute’s 2022 Legislative Primer.
Be a more informed voter with these five tips: Know key dates for Oklahoma elections: Mark your calendar with key dates of elections coming up this year so you can prepare.
View a sample ballot: Visit Ballotpedia.org for a sample ballot to know what state questions will be asked and where to find the candidate of your choice on the ballot itself. Familiarize yourself with candidates’ platforms and voting record: Visit candidates’ websites to better understand their positions on public health and other important issues. Check their voting record on GovTrack.us.
Broaden your sources of information: Beyond social media or even the candidates’ websites, consider facts from a variety of sources, including viewpoints differing from your own. See what other news channels, magazines and newspapers are saying about the issues, the candidates and implications of possible outcomes. Be aware of certain words and phrases anti-vaccine proponents use to highlight their stance. Read between the lines to better understand intentional messaging aimed at defining their positions on matters of science and medicine.
Listen with an open mind: Rather than straight party voting, seek facts and make your choice based on what matters to you. If you have a specific question, call or email the candidates with your concerns. You may get a personal response or hear your question covered at an upcoming public forum.
Protect public health by getting involved. See our list of how to help whether you have five, 10, 15 or 30 minutes. Thank you for supporting public health in Oklahoma and working for our community’s wellbeing one election at a time.