Confused about where to vote? Search for your polling place and learn what to do should an unforeseen circumstance arise on Election Day.
The anticipation is high as mid-term voting has begun with Tuesday, November 6 marking the official election day in the United States. While many have already submitted their absentee ballots or participated in early in-person voting in states like Alaska, Georgia, and Oklahoma—the majority of voters will find themselves at their local polling station to cast their votes. A few obstacles may arise in the process, but don’t let that deter you from practicing your right to choose your elected officials.
If you think you’re registered to vote, but aren’t sure, visit vote.org’s Am I Registered to Vote page, at (www.vote.org/am-i-registered-to-vote/). Once on that page, enter your full name, address, email address, and phone number to check if you are indeed actually signed up to exercise your right to vote.
If you’re not too sure about where your local polling site is, there are a number of ways to figure that out in a few easy steps. First, figure out where your local polling station is. New York City residents can search Poll Site Locator (nyc.pollsitelocator.com/search). Another way to look for where you’re going to be voting is to head to your state’s or local election office’s website. You can find them at usa.gov (www.usa.gov/election-office). Another website where you can search for your polling place is Voter Information Tool (gettothepolls.com).
Another problem that may arise when you do arrive at your voting station is that your voting status has been challenged, or aren’t registered at the precinct at which you’ve arrived. Don’t fret.
“Most of the problems that people call in about are fixable,” said Ami Gandhi, director of the Voting Rights Project at the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights to The Chicago Tribune. If there is a problem, Gandhi suggests to “speak up rather than leave,” because there is still a way to vote. “Stay in your spot, and stay where you are.”
Seventeen states, including Illinois, Vermont, California, and the District of Columbia offer same-day registration, or grace-period registration, for those not registered by election day.
Those who can’t confirm their status can also submit a provisional vote pending on the outcome. This ensures a record of your choices and your right to vote.
If all else fails, know that there is help out there. Pick up your phone and contact one of the hotlines that provide election protection, via a multilingual, non-partisan coalition, like 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)
Your voice counts. Make sure to use it and vote on November 6.