How we vote depends on the country where we live. In this video I explain the process here in America.
Hey there. I voted yesterday. Where did I go? For whom did I vote? I’ll tell you about it.
(Intro: English without Fear where you can learn to speak English naturally, through listening to stories)
It’s July, not a normal time to go vote. But yesterday there was a special election here in Alabama. Alabama is where I live. That’s the state, one of 50 American states.
And the candidate for…. the Republican candidate for Senate had been narrowed down to two men. So, we had to choose, we had to pick, which of the two Republican candidates we wanted, we voters wanted, to run against the Democratic candidate in November.
What is a candidate? A candidate is somebody who says, “I want to run for office.” Whether it’s a candidate for the presidency, like Donald Trump and Joe Biden, or whether it’s a candidate for a local judge or the school board, the people who make decisions about the schools in the local area.
So, I drove to the polling place, the place where I could vote. It was a new place for me because in March four months ago, we moved houses.
We moved from a rental house in Huntsville, Alabama, and we bought a house. When we moved the closest place to go vote, the closest polling place was different.
In America, voting takes place on Tuesdays. I know in other countries, people vote on Sundays, but here we vote on Tuesdays. Often elementary schools or churches get turned into polling places.
I went to a church. The people who were there to assist me, to help me, were all volunteers. They did not get paid. They had set up and were ready to go at seven in the morning and were going to stay all the way through the day until seven at night.
When I went in…..to the polling place in the school…..no, in the church meeting hall, I had to show my driver’s license. Then they checked, “Yes, you are registered to vote here at this place.”
(They)…. handed me the ballot. I picked up a pen and walked over to a booth. It was a little table with sides for privacy, so no one could watch what you were doing, who you were voting for.
There were three choices to make. I had to pick between two candidates for the Republican senator candidate who was going to run against the Democratic senatorial candidate. Republicans and Democrats are the two biggest, largest political parties here in the States, in America. There were two men who were candidates, who were running to be the one Republican candidate in March. We had voted from a whole list of people down to two. And today was the runoff – the two who had the most votes. So, I took my pen, filled in the little circle next to the name I wanted.
Then the next choice was for a judge, a district judge.
And there were two candidates, a man and a woman. I filled in the circle for the one I chose. And then there was somebody, just one person running to be on a local committee. Nobody was a second candidate. So this person, I filled in the circle, but it was clear, it was obvious they were going to be elected.
When I finished – that took one minute – I took the ballot, a piece of paper, walked over to a machine, there was a man standing there who said, “Slide your ballot into the slit, into the machine so that we record your vote electronically by a computer.”
So, I took the piece of paper, the ballot, I slid it into the slot and waited a moment. And then the screen, the computer screen, showed ‘Check!’. My vote counted, my vote was registered. I turned to the man. He handed me the sticker and said, “Have a nice day!”
And that was it. That was it. There were not very many people there in the big meeting hall of the church, of the voting place, the polling place, but it was a small election.
The next election, as you probably know, is in November, on a Tuesday, when all Americans will choose who they want for president. Right now, the two main choices are Donald Trump the Republican and Joe Biden the Democrat. There will be other people to choose, other candidates for senators and for representatives and for judges and all sorts of other positions, both in America, in Alabama, and in my county, Madison County.
It’s important that citizens vote. It’s a responsibility. It’s a gift because we have a way of influencing the government by voting. And it’s a privilege. Many people would like to be citizens so they could vote.
What about you? Do you vote in your country? And when you do vote, do you go on Tuesdays or Sundays or a different day? Tell me about it, leave me a comment below this video. Well, that’s it for this episode. I’m Maria from English without Fear. Talk to you next time.
(Outro: Thanks for watching. For questions or comments, here’s my email.)