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Protect Yourself: What Every Voter Needs to Know Before Nov.4

  1. PROTECT YOURSELF
    WHAT EVERY VOTER NEEDS TO KNOW BEFORE NOV.4

    Given the unprecedented registration and excitement during this election season, and the reports we’re seeing on Early Vote, we can expect a record high turnout on Election Day, November 4. A higher turnout, particularly with lots of first time voters can also increase the number of problems at the polls. To make sure everyone gets the opportunity to vote and has their vote counted, we are asking you to MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A PLAN FOR ELECTION DAY. Here are some simple questions you should answer BEFORE you head out to vote.

    1. AM I REGISTERED AND WHERE IS MY POLLING SITE?
    Whether you are a regular voter or not, you should verify whether you are still registered. You also need to know where your polling site is as it may have changed.
    VERIFY YOUR REGISTRATION and FIND YOUR POLLING SITE by:

    -calling 1-866-OUR-VOTE
    -going on line to: govote.org
    -calling your local Board of Elections
    If you are at the correct polling site but your name is not on the register, you can request a provisional ballot. If election officials don’t allow you to cast a provisional ballot call 1-866-OUR-VOTE. You should only vote with a provisional ballot as a last resort after you’ve confirmed you are at the correct polling place.

    2. WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO THE POLLS?
    BRING ID. Not every state requires ID but it’s a good idea to bring ID just in case. For a complete listing of what kinds of ID are accepted in your state, call: 1-866-OUR-VOTE or log on to govote.org.
    You should BRING YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS!! This election will be made even more historic if we urge all of our friends and family who are registered to go to the polls with us.

    3. WHAT SHOULD I DO IF THE LINE IS LONG?
    The reality is the lines probably will be long. But that’s a good thing. To stand among the many of us who have never voted before who are waiting to be counted and heard is your chance to be a part of history.

    -If Early Vote exists in your state, then VOTE EARLY. To check where to do Early Vote in your state: call 1-866-OUR-VOTE.
    -If you are voting on November 4, vote as early in the day as you can.
    -If you need to make arrangements for childcare, to eat, to take a couple of hours from work, then do so.
    -Most states require employers to provide time for employees to vote on Election Day. While they vary in each state, they generally require time off for employees if the polls are not open two or three hours outside of your regular shift. You may have to request that time so make that part of your plan! For more information, go to: justvote08.org.
    -Dress appropriately for long wait. You don’t want to say you couldn’t wait to vote because your feet hurt. Don’t wear campaign paraphernalia; if you do you might have to turn it inside out or cover it up to walk into the polls.
    -Please do not leave the line until you have cast your ballot. If you are in line when the polls close, you can remain in line until you vote.

    4. WHAT DO I DO IF I NEED HELP VOTING?
    If you have language issue, or you have a disability, you are allowed to bring someone into the voting booth with you. If you have questions, ask your poll worker or call: 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

  2. But the election was two weeks ago! What are you talking about, fool! I'm telling Ottawa on you.

  3. Wait a second ... the election was on May 16th!

  4. lol dj, you have officially been hazed (ridiculed for assuming everyone here is american)

    that being said, as an American, i appreciate your post, as the American election will have profound implications for the global community

  5. Oh man. What if I don't have a plan for election day? What if I forget my ID... What if...

    Wait a minute...

    Isn't this the country that was going to introduce drive through voting LOL

  6. do you have a link to that? in our crazy election system i wouldn't be suprised...

  7. thetatteredflag
    Member

    "Not every state requires ID"

    This is kind of scary!

  8. not really...there are many individuals without ID's who are eligible to vote, and to deny them that would be even scarier.

    usually these individuals without ID are of low income, and have limited access to resources/ability to obtain ID.

    For instance, while at a rally for housing for the homeless in Philadelphia I met a man who didn't have an ID. He couldn't get an ID because he didn't have a birth certificate. He couldn't get a birth certificate because he was delivered by a midwife in the deep south.

    If we required an ID at the poll, he wouldn't be able to vote :(

    most voter fraud occurs on the other end of the spectrum- usually people aren't showing up under false names and aliases, rather voter registrations are "lost" or "purged", individuals are intimidated, or given misinformation, voting machines "malfunction" and "crash", and absentee/provisional ballots are not counted...

  9. Woah.

    It's because it's not compulsory to vote in America, I guess, and they want you to vote, so they wouldn't turn you away.

    And here, funny stuff;

    http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/usa/news/article_1438311.php/Only_in_America_Drive-through_voting_

  10. I worked as a poll clerk in the latest federal election in Canada and I can tell you that the incidences of honest people being prevented from voting by ID requirements FAR outstripped any attempts to vote using fraudulent ID. The ID requirement is a bogus move designed to protect the election process from cries of PC-ism when they ask people wearing veils to remove them. Frankly.

  11. Not that there's a law against wearing a veil to vote. There is not. It's just completely bogus.

  12. thanks for the canadian perspective rain coster....

    here in america attempts to suppress the vote is historically a conservative move, because the more low income, elderly & minority voters disenfranchised, the better the chance for the conservative candidate to win...

    lizii- hilarious, although it is a good idea for disabled people. i imagine its cumbersome & difficult to be in line with hundreds/thousands of people & get in/out of a voting booth quickly if you have a physical disability...

  13. thetatteredflag
    Member

    @ kevin-
    I sympathize with the plight of the homeless who do not have acces to their birth certificates, but how do you prove that somebody without any form of identification at all is even a U.S. citizen? While we must do everything we can to ensure that all eligible voters are given access to the polls, this must be done in a responsible way, one that ensures that all who do vote meet the state and federal requirements, i.e. U.S. citizens, non-felons, etc. By addressing one concern we must not eclipse another.

  14. okay, couple of things:

    -first off, why should someone have to be a citizen to vote? there are 12 million LEGAL "non-citizens" in this nation who pay taxes, work & contribute to society & aren't allowed to vote...up through the 1920's non-citizen voting was a common practice, only once we began our xhenophopic immigration quotas did we start denying non-citizens the right to vote. within the past decade movements have been made to give "non-citizens" the right to vote in local & state elections in states such as maryland, massachussets, and california

    -2nd, i never advocated "no form of identification". I just objected to requiring photo identifications. As i mentioned earlier, poor people & elderly often have a hard time getting id's whether it is because they cost money, or other circumstances. The alternative is to allow people to use a voter registration card, a piece of mail with their address on it, a social security card...etc This is done in numerous states...In fact, only 15 states in our country require a photo ID for return voters..

    -3rd, just a correction to the notation that only US citizens, non-felons would meet criteria for voting. In many states, felons are permitted to vote- it is actually a minority of states that do not permit them to vote. To deny a convicted felon the right to vote after he/she has served their jail time is completely wrong- they have done their time.

    -"by addressing one concern we must not eclipse another" Depends on which side of the issue you stand. Presumbably your comment meant that to address the concern of homeless/others being able to vote, we can't ignore the issue of making sure people are valid voters...I submit you can look at this situation in the complete opposite way: By addressing the concern that people are valid voters, you cant ignore the issue that many are being disenfranchised...the homeless/low income/elderly etc...

    What we need to address this issue is a federalized system of voting...very few nations in the world have such a decentralized and fragmented process where voting equipment/voter registration/ voting rules/procedures vary from state to state

    There should be ONE type of voting machine, ONE set of voting rules, ONE set of voter registration requirements, etc

    (as a suggestion, i would submit that anyone proving residency in America for 1 year should be able to vote)

  15. thetatteredflag
    Member

    Hello again Kevin!

    #1) Because it is the law. If the laws needs to be changed, then let them be, but let it be through the proper channels such as the state legislatures or a Constitutional amendment vs biased/controversial judicial interpretation of the Constitution.

    #2) I would imagine that most people with a voter registration card also have a photo I.D. If not, supporting documention such as utility bills in addition to a voter registration card would seem appropriate if they are a return voter.

    #3) I believe I did specify state and federal requirements being met. I am aware that felons are allowed to vote in some states (not mine, however).

    #4) I agree that the voting needs of lower-income and homeless populations as well as the elderly and disabled should be addressed. You guys done yet!

    re: Non-citizen voting rights. We may be able to compromise on this. I propose that any legal immigrant pending citizenship be granted voting rights if they meet the following criteria;
    1) They have not been convicted of any crime in the United States.
    2) They pass a basic knowledge test about U.S. History and Government similar to the one given by INS to actually become a citizen.
    3) They swear an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and abide by our laws.
    4) They have been a resident of the United states for at least three of the five years required for citizenship.

    Fair enough?

  16. hmmm.

    re: non-citizen voting rights:

    1- why should they have not been convicted of a crime? Plenty of American's commit crimes and still are eligible to vote? If they commit a crime there is a criminal justice system to handle that, which may or may not deport them...

    2-Why do they need a basic knowledge test about US history or gov't? I think if a person lives in this country & can speak english that is all the perquisite they need. I think if you tested the average american on US History/Gov't the results would be embarrassing. Most people's knowledge of the government/elections & candidates occur through dialogue with friends, and consuming media- print/web/radio/tv. requiring a knowledge test is reminiscent of the days when various methods were used to prevent blacks from voting: like literacy tests...

    3-The swearing of this oath is required during the citizenship process. It shouldn't be a pre-req to voting. Americans don't need to swear to uphold the constitution and abide by our laws- plenty of us do just the contrary....

    4- Why the lenghty time requirement? One of our nation's principle objections to british rule was "taxation w/out representation". Why should any "legal" individual working, paying taxes, raising a family, and contribution to society be denied the right to vote? I think a nominal waiting period of a year, is enough to establish intent to remain in the US, but a period of three years seems punitive?

    In short, i think the question is: are Americans inherently blessed with virtue, a strong knowledge base, loyalty, and a desire to uphold the constitution upon birth? Or do they have to do more with personality and experience? IF we can admit that there are no virtually no prerequisites for Americans to be able to vote, why all these hoops for someone just because they immigrated?

  17. OHMYGOD you're both EVERYWHERE. This is going to go on forever.

    Anyway, Kevin, I agree with you on most of your points, but I think there should be a time period before someone can become a citizen too. Here in Australia it's 2 years, and I think it's reasonable; 2 years is just enough time for people to figure out if you're a terrorist or not. Okay, seriously though, even though these people contribute to society they're not necessarily completely and utterly weaved into society. They need time to develop understanding of a different world (this is taking foregranted the fact that they moved to go to a different world in the first place).

    There are people who have lived here for 30 odd years, possibly more, who can't even speak English. And as much as I hate to admit it, and as much as I'd like to be politically correct and multicultural, I HATE IT. I believe when in Rome, do as the Romans do. And when in Rome, understanding of Romans may take a year or two :P

  18. lol lizi
    okay, ill think about the 2 year bit. i guess its a compromise between 1 & 3

    (nice closing line btw) ^_^

  19. Romans are the basisn of everything :)

    I don't know. I'm not sure there's much difference between 2 and 3 years.

  20. since house of representative elections are held every 2 years, a 3 year voting period would make individuals unnecessarily miss an election cycle

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