Maybe you’ve been slacking on keeping up with the news. Maybe you’re conflicted about who you really trust in this election. Or maybe you’re like me, and thought you’d be voting in a different state, only to have that change at the last minute, and now you’ve got to play catch-up!
No matter what your situation is, voting can be stressful, and if you know anything about me and stress, we don’t get along. I was scrolling through Facebook this evening, just minding my own business and putting off being an active, engaged citizen, when I stumbled upon a post my friend Francesca made. She was encouraging people to check out this website that would give information on their local candidates, no matter where they were located in the United States.
Obviously, I got excited and checked it out. It was an amazing, easy to use site, that gave you information on all of your candidates, including direct quotes on specific issues, as well as their resume, so to speak. This resource is so valuable, and I encourage you all to check it out immediately.
On the site, you simply have to enter your address so it knows what district you’re in, and all of your candidates will pop up on your screen. Simply click each one to learn more about how they stand and have voted on issues you are about. Once you decide on the candidate you like the best, you can save them to your ballot (this isn’t an actual vote, but it will email you your “ballot” that you can then reference on voting day).
After you email yourself your completed “ballot,” you can choose a time to head to your polling place, which by the way, is also given to you when you enter your address! It can give you directions there and even create a calendar event that will text/email you to remind you on the day of.
I’m excited about this website because it also gives information regarding what you need to bring on the day of so that you can make sure you’re able to vote. For someone who has never voted in person before (only by absentee ballot!), I had no idea what my state required. Now, I do! Wow! Look at that!
If you’re in Pennsylvania like me, you can also take a look at this handy guideto read exactly what will go down on November 6th. And if you’re not in PA, here’s another resource you can use to check things like eligibility, if you’re registered, and more, all in your state of residence (or rather, where you’re registered to vote).
And that’s that. I hope to see many of my local friends at the polls, and can’t wait to hear about everyone else’s polling experience.
Also, if someone is making you uncomfortable at the polls, please report it. Here is a link from ACLU that clearly states what your rights are, and what voter intimidation is.
Here is a little excerpt on what to do if someone tries to turn you away at the polls:
Always ask the pollworker to double check to whether you are not on the regular list of registered voters. If you are not, then ask if there is a supplemental list of voters (sometimes, voters who register closer to Election Day are processed after the pollbooks are printed, and then subsequently placed on a supplemental list of registered voters). You may also request that they check a statewide system, if one is available, to see if you are registered to vote at a different polling place.
If they still cannot find you, ask for a provisional ballot. All voters are entitled to a provisional ballot, even if you are not in the pollbook. After Election Days, election officials must investigate whether you are qualified to vote and registered; and if so, they must count your provisional ballot.
And another excerpt on if your qualifications are challenged (if someone questions if you are eligible to vote):
Laws vary from state to state. In many states, if your qualifications to vote are challenged, you can give a sworn statement to the pollworker that you satisfy the qualifications to vote in your state, and then proceed to cast a regular ballot.
As you can see, there’s a lot of information to take in in regards to voting. But that doesn’t mean it needs to be a scary thing. Set aside a few minutes (or more!) of your time to prepare yourself for voting on November 6th, and find out what you need to do and bring in order to cast your vote.
You’ve got this!