Today’s the day! The last day of the 2020 election. If you haven’t voted already, either in person or by mail, then it’s time to head to the polls and make your voice heard!
We’re here today with a quick guide to any and all last-minute questions you might have about voting. Once you’ve read through this, you’ll be totally prepared to get out there and cast your ballot. This is a big day, America. See you at your polling place!
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Item number 1
What if I’m not sure what ID I need in order to vote?
Before you leave your house to vote, make sure you have the right identification card or documents! Every state has different requirements, so search for your state right here and be prepared.
Item number 2
What if I don’t have the right kind of ID and they say I can’t vote?
Well, that depends on how strict your state is regarding its requirements. Some states let you vote if you sign a statement saying that you are who you say you are, or if you get someone to vouch for your identity. Other states may let you cast a provisional ballot that will be counted if you come back within a certain period of time with a valid ID.
Item number 3
What if I show up to vote and they tell me I’m at the wrong place?
No problem! Because of the pandemic (combined, in some states, with local voter-suppression efforts), many polling places have closed or changed locations this year, so the best thing to do is make sure you’re at the right site. If your polling place has changed, you’ll likely have to travel to that new location to cast your ballot.
Item number 4
What if I show up at my polling site and they tell me I’m not registered?
If you confirm that you’re at the right place but poll workers can’t find your name on the list of registered voters, then ask them if they’re able to consult a statewide voter database (not all states have such a thing). If they can’t do that or they’re unable to find evidence of your registration, then you have the right to request a provisional ballot. Also, be sure to check if you live in one of the many states that now allow same-day voter registration
Item number 5
What if someone is trying to intimidate me at the polls?
The answer to this question is very simple because the law is very clear: Voter intimidation is illegal. Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE and report it.
Item number 6
What if there’s a huge line and I’m still waiting when the polls close?
Long lines at the polls are another form of voter suppression—unfortunately, we’ve been seeing them a lot this election season. If you are in a long line and have to leave for some reason, you’ll have to relinquish your spot and head to the end when you get back. (Pro tip: Bring a friend or family member with you to hold your spot!). BUT, if it’s getting late and officials say that the polling place is closing, DO NOT GET OUT OF LINE. If you are in line before the polls close, you have the right to cast your vote—and officials are obligated to stay open as long as necessary to accommodate everyone who’s been waiting.
Item number 7
What if I have a disability and need assistance to vote?
Under federal law, all polling places must be accessible to everyone. You are entitled to cast your vote in private and you’re entitled to ask a worker (or bring along a family member) to help you. If you encounter any problems, anything from a lack of accessible parking to an unwillingness from poll workers to help you, call 1-866-OUR-VOTE.
Item number 8
What if the voting machines aren’t working?
Unfortunately, it’s pretty common for voting machines to break down, resulting in longer lines and delays. But don’t accept that you can’t vote if the voting machines are down! Ask a poll worker for an emergency paper ballot. You have the right to have your voice heard.
Item number 9
What if I make a mistake on my ballot?
Ask for a new one! We’ve all been there, cruising through the ballot happy as can be until we start filling in the wrong oval. Just ask the nearest poll worker for a new ballot and you’ll be back to voting in no time.
Item number 10
What if I finish voting and I want to celebrate?
What a great idea! You deserve it. And if that “I Voted” sticker isn’t doing quite enough to express your pride and joy, might we suggest some Justice ReMix’d? As our friend, the late Congressman John Lewis, used to say “the vote is precious, almost sacred. It is the most powerful nonviolent tool or instrument we have in a democratic society and we must use it.” A vote this year is a vote for justice, equality, fairness, and a stronger democracy. Thank you for doing your part.
Find Your Polling Place Now!