We are three weeks away from one of the most important election for ocean lovers. Whether you’re Republican, Democrat, Independent or party-free, it’s important to know which candidates and measures help protect the ocean and which ones hurt the ocean. So, this November, follow these steps to vote for the ocean.

Do Your Homework

A good ocean voter is an informed ocean voter. If you’re already received a sample ballot, open it and start doing your research. At the national level, if your current representative is seeking reelection, check out his/her environmental voting record. Organizations like the League of Conservation Voters have a scorecard that rates representatives on their votes.

If it’s a new candidate or if they’re running at the local level, check your candidate’s campaign website. Look for their plan to protect the environment. If the candidate does not mention the environment, they’re most likely not passionate about it and won’t make it a priority to protect it.

Understand How Voting Works

Just like everything else, voting will be a little different this year. Make sure you understand how voting will work in your district this year. This is the best way to make sure your vote will count.  Vote.org has information for every state on how to vote.

Make a Plan

Now that you understand how voting will work in your district, make a plan! If you plan to mail in your ballot, make sure you thoroughly read the instructions. Don’t forget to do these:

  • Use black ink
  • Fill the box correctly
  • Sign the back
  • Drop it in a mailbox or ballot drop box well before the due date

If you plan to vote in person, make a plan for if there are long lines. What time do you plan to go? Bring some water or snacks if you plan to vote around meal times. A little bit of planning will help you avoid a headache and will help ensure your vote counts!

VOTE!

Finally, the most obvious. Don’t do all the prep work only to skip out on the actual voting. Make sure you mail your ballot in early or show up at the polls on November 3rd to cast your vote for the ocean!