5 Things to Do During the National Political Conventions

picture of vote 2016 buttons Get out the vote in 2016 with a macro photo of electioneering campaign vote buttons.


History will take place this month with the first gavel thumps of the national presidential nominating conventions in Cleveland on July 18 and in Philadelphia on July 25. While thousands will be descending on those cities to participate, we have five things you can do to catch the spirit right here in Fairfax County.


1. Discover Our Past Presidents on a Walk

Take part in this summer’s presidential edition of the Discovery Trail Map at selected parks, learn about past presidents and their administrations and (bonus!) you could receive a prize package.


Among our county parks’ ties to past presidents – George Washington owned the Colvin Run Mill property and the house at Hidden Pond has bricks from the White House.

Here’s what to do:

  • Print this online map.
  • Before Sept. 5, visit eight of the 12 selected sites in the program, and collect a sticker at each one to put on your map.
  • Turn in your completed map at any of our three lakefront parks – Burke Lake, Lake Accotink or Lake Fairfax – to get the prize package and be entered to win one of three bikes.
Get Started on the Discovery Trail


2. Check Your Voter Registration Status

If you are a registered voter and plan to vote Nov. 8, the most important thing you can do right now is to check your voter registration status.

There are many things that can impact your registration status, including a change in address (even if nearby) or getting married and changing your name. It only takes a few moments to check and will ensure that you get in and out of your poll location quickly on Election Day.

Check Your Voter Registration Status/Register to Vote


3. Go To The Library

Come in from the July heat and learn more about the national conventions and our election process. Children and teens can read books about our election process and past presidents as part of the Summer Reading Challenge – and win prizes.

A few reading suggestions:

  • National Party Conventions, 1831-2004
  • Chicago ’68
  • What Are Elections?
  • Voters: From Primaries to Decision Night
Find a Library Branch


4. Apply To Be An Election Officer

Get a front-row seat and get paid $175 to participate on Nov. 8 – it’s easy to apply to be a poll worker (we call them election officers). We need thousands of poll workers – support our democracy, meet new people and get paid, too!

Apply to be Election Officer


5. Look Into Absentee Voting

Do you have a long commute to work? Are you a caregiver?  The state permits nearly 20 valid reasons why you may be eligible to absentee vote; look over this list below and see if you qualify.

In-person absentee voting begins Sept. 23. Your absentee ballot is counted after polls close on Nov. 8 and is included in the results.

Reasons You Can Absentee Vote


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