Election day is coming this November and everyone is preparing to cast their votes when the day is here. You may have voted numerous times and have smooth voting transactions every time. However, we will never know when an unwanted scenario suddenly happens. Doing a little research to learn how to handle unexpected mishaps may save you from any possible violation of your right to vote.
Here are some uncommon, but possible, worst-case scenarios that could happen to you during election day:
Your name is not on the list of registered voters
First thing to do is to ask the poll personnel to double check your name on both the list of registered voters and on the supplemental list (if available). You can always ask the poll station personnel to check the statewide system, or the main election office (if available) and locate your correct poll station. If worse comes to worst, you have an entitlement to a provisional ballot even if you may be at the wrong polling station. Once election officials determine that you are registered to vote and are qualified then the provisional ballot will be counted.
You made an error/erasure on the ballot
This is very simple, just ask for another ballot.
You don’t speak English well
The US does not require it citizens to fully understand English to be able to vote. People who have difficulty navigating the ballots due to language issues can ask help from any person of their choice, given a specific list of rules and a promise of privacy.
Polling machines suddenly went down
There are many reasons why voting machines can break during election day, it does not mean your chance to vote is gone. It could really be just a machine error or a simple paper jam, and not a cyberattack. If suddenly the machine in your polling station broke and the waiting in line can mean waiting hours for your turn, you confirm with the polling station personnel if you may go to a nearby station to cast your vote. Some states allow this. Other wise, you can ask for an emergency paper ballot so you could cast your vote.
Someone questioned your citizenship or criminal record
Voter intimidation is against the law and is punishable depending on severity. It could be in forms of harassment or even threats. If someone questions your ethnicity, gender, or even criminal record, you may surely report them to authorities. Although it is quite rare, anyone interfering with your right to vote is already considered voter intimidation.
The polls have closed and you’re still standing in line
If the polling place closes and you are still in line – STAY. As long as they are on the line during closing time, poll workers would have to wait for the last person to cast their vote.
FOR ANY CONCERNS ON ELECTION DAY, CALL 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683).