How To Vote For The Midterms: Tips For The Voters
And in order for the election process to go as smoothly as possible, The Daily News gives you some advice on how to vote.
1. If you do not know where is your polling location or your precinct number, you can always check out the polling locationsʼ list to guide you. Or you can simply turn to the old-fashion Google. This year, the famous website is trying to help voters find their assigned voting locations easier by zip code and by street address. So they developed an Election Center that, after introducing your exact address, shows you both your address and the polling location to which you have been assigned. But Google is not the only help you can get. The Democratic National Committee has put up a somehow similar polling locator under the name of Raise Your Vote, which, after introducing your address and zip code, provides you with both your assigned polling station as well as the best route to get there from your home.
2. The election process starts early in the morning, at 7 a.m., and it will go on for 12 hours, until 7 p.m. But if you want to vote be careful to be in the line at 7 p.m., as anyone waiting to ballot at that time will be allowed to vote and the polls will not close until the last person has expressed his or her option.
3. Any campaign materials such as T-shirts, hats, posters or buttons are forbidden inside the polling locations. So campaign volunteers supervising the election process should take them off before entering the polling locations, even if they simply want to use the facilities. So either be prepared to go somewhere else when in need, or bring a change of shirts and hats.
4. If you do not know exactly how or with whom you are going to vote or you do not know who the candidates are, you are allowed to take a sample ballot or even a list of candidates printed in the paper with you into the polling location. And you can even come with your own list, but be careful the item not to contain any campaign advertisements.
5. Fot those who are too old or too ill to vote themselves, the law allows assistance. So they can have a family member, a friend or a caregiver in the booth in order to help them cast the ballot. And even if you are alone but you are not sure about the election process, be not affraid to ask for assitance from an election official. You know how they say, better safe than sorry.
6. As the midterm elections are important for a great deal of people, be not surprised if many Americans will rush to the polls and youʼll have to wait a bit before voting. So be ready to stand in line. Neverthelss, once inside the voting booth you donʼt have to hurry anymore. There is no time limit for how long you can take to vote, so make sure you take the right decision.
7. Before voting you will have to identify yourself to the poll worker, so make sure you take some kind of ID with you to the poll location. A voter registration card, driver’s license, a passport or some other form of government ID should be sufficient, even if it is not a photo ID. You will also have to prove that you are registered to vote, so bring a utility bill or other documents to demonstrate your residency.
8. There might be some unfortunate cases when you cannot find your name on the list of the registered voters. So first make sure you are in the correct polling location and ask one of the officials to check if that is really the polling location you have been assigned to. Once you have determined that you are in the right place, verify if your voter registration has been correctly processed. Again turn to one of the poll workers and ask him to call the the voting registrar’s office and check if you are eligible to vote. If even this does not work, request a provisional ballot. You will get to vote, but your option will not be counted in until your voter registration status is confirmed. Provisional ballots are rectified and counted after the regular vote tally is complete a couple of days after Election Day.
10. Before voting make sure you understand how the eSlate voting machine works and be carefull not to cast your ballot wrong, because once you push the red “Cast Ballot” button there is no way back and you cannot change your vote anymore. Basically, you use a dial to select your candidates and continue until the end of the ballot. But if you do not want to vote in every race, you are not forced to. Just skip the races you are not interested in. If you have problems operating the machine, again ask for help from a poll official.
11. Finally, be careful and double check any pranck e-mail messages regarding the vote you receive. For example, some people got e-mails telling them the this year midterm elections have been split into two days: one for the Republicans and one for the Democrats. Or that those with last names A-M vote one day and N-Z vote another. Donʼt believe them, as there is only one day for you to vote and if you do not vote on November the 2nd youʼll have to wait two years before casting your ballot again.11