Voting is the most cherished of our political rights. It determines our national and local leaders! It sets our collective positions on issues from marriage to money for school bonds. Please, vote! This year, America will elect a President who will be faced with grueling challenges at home and abroad. Your local elections will have people and issues important to you. Take advantage of your opportunity, exercise your God-given right! Please put your cynicism aside, quit saying it doesn't matter, and vote-even if it's your first time!
Here is general information for you to review.
When is the national election?
All states vote for the US Presidency on Tuesday, November 4, 2008. In most states, polling places are open between 6 am and 8 pm. Please check by calling the Office of Voter Registration in your county.
What should I bring to the polls?
Bring a photo ID. Driver's license, student ID card, passport, state ID, in some cases, a utility bill with your address. Also bring a MP3 player or books and magazine to listen to or read as you wait. AT peak periods, lines may be long.
If the polls close, but I am in line, will I be allowed to vote?
YES. If you are in line, you WILL be permitted to vote.
If my name is not listened on the voter's rolls will I be allowed to vote?
YES. You may cast a provisional ballot. Do not let any person tell you you cannot vote.
May I vote early, before November 4?
YES, absolutely!! All 50 states allow voters to cast early ballots. Call your county's voter Registration office to find out how. The Office's phone number is listed in the blue pages of the telephone directory, under your county's listings. (To avoid the lines, and to prevent any emergency or weather condition from preventing you going to the polls, I recommend voting early! Do it now, if you are sure who you want to vote for!
At the poll, may I request assistance to read the ballot and to make sure it is properly marked?
YES. Voters may request assistance and technical help. If you do, do not let any person influence your vote or actually mark your ballot. The persons are there to assist you, NOT to tell you how to vote or who to vote for.
Is there an age limit on voting?
Persons under 18 years old are not allowed to vote. There is no limit on how old you can be.
What should I not bring?
DO NOT bring any campaign materials. That includes tee shirts, buttons, signs, pamphlets, flyers, ribbons, or other material that show support for a candidate.
What happens once I am at the polls?
Usually, check-in lines are formed according to the first letter of your last name. Find your correct line, and check in. At check-in, a worker will find your name on the roll, check you in, and tell you how to proceed.
How is voting actually done?
Voting is done in private, by secret ballot. You step into a curtained booth and vote. In the booth, you mark a paper ballot. If you ballot is paper, mark only the names and positions you are voting for. Don't make any other marks on the ballot. If you make a mistake, take you ballot and ask for another ballot. Make sure your first ballot is destroyed.
What if my poll place or precinct has voting machines?
Voting machines vary in their procedures and operation. You local newspaper should publish a voting guide before the election that describes the steps taken to vote by machines. Call your county office of voter registration to find out.
What if I have problems with voting or check-in?
The most common problems are: a) Voting in the wrong precinct or polling place. If this is the case, you will be directly to the correct polling place. b) Not registered to vote. You may cast a provisional ballot. In some places, you may have to fill out a registration form. Some states now permit same day registration-in these states, you may vote and register on the same day, right at the polling place.
May I vote if I have physical or mental disability?
YES! You may require assistance, but you right to vote is absolute. CAST YOUR BALLOT!
What if I have trouble, and I am not permitted to vote?
Contact the captain or poll manger. Tell them what has happened. Make a written record of an incident, include the time, place, and specific persons involved. Tell party officials as well. You may also call a hot line, 1- 866 OUR VOTE.
Now, go vote. You can actually cast your ballot today! Remember to encourage your friends to vote!