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Elections: Your Vote, Your Voice

A few weeks ago, I went to drop off my absentee ballot at the city-county building. I handed the elections volunteer my ballot and he said, “Oh! Oh! your ballot is not sealed. We would not be able to count your ballot if I accept it unsealed.” 

I responded “Really, and why wouldn’t you be able to count it?” to which he responded, “because we couldn’t assure that it has not been tampered with.” 

I thought to myself, “Well, of course that makes sense.” It is simple errors like  this that can affect your good effort to exercise our civic duties. 

Your voice matters and being aware of these little errors that can erroneously invalidate your voice is equally important.  Voter suppression is real, and the last thing we want is for you to accidentally suppress your own voice!

Here are a few things you must know ahead of the upcoming elections next week.

  1. When is the official Election Day? Tuesday November 3rd,2020

  1. Have I registered to vote? 2020 has been an interesting year. Days can be blurred and information can be hard to retained or remembered. So make sure you are registered to vote. Check here if you are registered to vote. Select your state and proceed. To Register: If you are not registered go here to find out how to register.

  1. Can I vote before election day? Yes, by Absentee or Early voting though this varies by state. Check your state’s absentee ballot information, here. Read about early voting for your state here.

  1. Where is my polling site? Be sure to know where you should be voting. Use this website to identify your voting location.

  1. What type of ID should I bring with me? Different states have different requirements for what type of ID you should bring or if you need one at all. Visit this website to know what ID you should bring.

  1. Know your rights (Reference: ACLU.org)
    • If polls close while you’re still in line, stay in line – you have the right to vote.
    • If you make a mistake on your ballot, ask for a new one.
    • If the machines are down at your polling place, ask for a paper ballot.
    • If you run into any problems or have questions on Election Day, call the Election Protection Hotline:
      • English: 1-866-OUR-VOTE / 1-866-687-8683
      • Spanish: 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA / 1-888-839-8682
      • Arabic: 1-844-YALLA-US / 1-844-925-5287
      • For Bengali, Cantonese, Hindi, Urdu, Korean, Mandarin, Tagalog, or Vietnamese: 1-888-274-8683

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