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12 Surprising Things About Democracy You Won't Remember From School

It’s less than a month until the election! Here’s some important facts to know about how democracy works in the good ol’ US of A before you head to the ballot box.

1. Americans vote on Tuesdays because it took one day to drive a horse and buggy to the polls and one day to get back home, and, in the 1800s, you couldn't travel on Sundays.

2. The constitution does not say anything about how political parties choose presidential nominees.

3. But many interesting characters outside the two-party system make a presidential run each election year.

Support for President: Gary Johnson 6%, Harambe 5%, Jill Stein 2%

One Texas poll this year showed that Jill Stein, a real living human being, was tied with Harambe, a gorilla (RIP), and trailing "Deez Nuts," a fictitious politician, in her campaign for president. These characters won a percentage of the vote simply because they're famous, and people think it's funny to write them in.

4. Voting for a third-party candidate can change the results of the election — and not how you might hope.

5. Only two states (Maine and Nebraska) have a representational system where their electors vote in proportion to the popular vote in that state.

6. Important elections have come down to just a few votes.

7. Senators used to be chosen by old white men serving in state legislatures, not elected by the people.

8. One senator can bring government grinding to a halt by refusing to stop talking once they have the senate floor.

9. A filibuster can also prevent the Senate from performing other duties like appointing Supreme Court justices — simply because it's at odds with some senators' political agendas.

10. As of today, the United States currently has 99 judicial vacancies on federal benches, including the Supreme Court.

11. Who you vote for is secret, but anyone can find out if you voted or not.

12. And finally, despite being the world's most famous democracy, America's voter turnout is one of the lowest in the world.

If it's not already clear: It's extremely important to vote in both the presidential and senate races every election cycle.

And we can help you remember. Sign up today, and NextGen Climate will remind you next time an election is happening in your district. The country needs your vote to function! Seriously!

Paid for by NextGen Climate Action Committee;; not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.