50 years ago today the Voting Rights Act passed that allowed everyone to be able to vote despite race. Wrap your noggin around that! People of color have only been able to vote for 50 years. Like, your mom was just a baby.

You don’t need us to tell you that voting is important (wait… do you? okay, we will). The big vote coming up is the presidential election in 2016. Though the actual election isn’t until next year there are a lot of milestones to hit along the way that you should be mindful of. There’s also a ton of info so we thought we’d make things a little easier. Here’s aaaall you need to be a polling place princess this election!

Brigade App

Figure out where you stand: It can be hard to find the candidate that aligns most with your viewpoints. Napster founder Sean Parker’s new app Brigade wants to be the Tinder of politics by helping you figure out where you stand, where the candidates stand AND how you, your friends, neighbors and others fall into place. Sign up for beta on Android or iOS

Presidential Candidates Gather At Western Conservative Summit In Denver

Make a date: Here are some important dates to know for each party’s debates (we only included info about the two major parties so if you’re a green party person or a libertarian or anything else cool please leave us a link in the comments so we can check out those sites as well!). Watching the debates is important on a practical level because it keeps you informed on how the candidates think and on a silly level because it will help you understand all the late night comedy jokes about the debates that are sure to follow.

Republican debates

August 3 2015 in Ohio: watch it here

September 16 2015 in California

October 28 2015 in Colorado

December 15 2015 in Wisconsin

February 6 2016 in New Hampshire

February 13 2016 in South Carolina

February 26 2016 in Texas

Democrat debates

October 13 2015 in Nevada

November 14 2015 in Iowa

Dec 19 2015 New Hampshire

January 17 2016 in South Carolina

The Democratic National Convention takes place July 25-28 in Pennsylvania in 2016 and the Republican National Convention takes place July 18-24 in Ohio in 2016.

Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton Gives Economic Address In New York

Rock the vote with tech: You’re a busy lady and sometimes you just don’t have a second to thoroughly and thoughtfully consume a million articles about politics (where is Hermione’s time turner when we need it!). Luckily there’s a lot of tech that can help keep you up to date even if you only have a few minutes. The Skimm is a newsletter that LITERALLY skims the news for you to give you just the most important, juiciest bits in your inbox. These Instagrams are a good resource for quick browsing as well.


Make it fun: Okay, we’ll admit, politics can sometimes need a little extra entertainment. Luckily some kind soul has turned the debates into games. Here’s a bingo card and here are rules for a drinking game to play during the debates tonight. Please celebrate your right to vote responsibly.

Who do you think you’ll vote for? Tell us in the comments!

(Photos via Spencer Platt and Theo Stroomer/Getty)