Know Your Voting Rights

Election Day is here!

After a flurry of two years of one of the most outlandish, offensively misogynistic, reality-show like elections we have ever had the chance for each American to cast his/her vote to determine the direction of this country has arrived. We’ve laughed, cried, and stared dumbfounded at the TV and online media and Twitter spats that have come to define the way we receive news as statement after statement, often vitriolic and false in their proclamations, have been thrown in our faces 24/7.

It hasn’t been a secret that voter suppression efforts are likely to happen tomorrow at the polls. From 2011 to 2012 alone 27 measures were passed and implemented in 19 states to make it harder for people to vote. In 2013 the Supreme Court struck down the Voting Rights Act and since then efforts by state to impact voting rights (voter ID laws, voter roll purges, and cuts to early voting rights and polling places) primarily aimed at suppressing minority voting have only increased.

Many people have used this movement to spread false information about a person’s right to vote and have emboldened groups to openly harass people at polling places.

So tomorrow make sure you know your rights!

You are allowed to vote if:

  • You are 18 years or older on the day of the Election (November 8) and are a U.S. citizen.

Make sure you meet your State voting requirements:

  • Check out individual State laws to make sure you are eligible under residency requirements and State felony restrictions.
  • 32 States have voter identification laws in place this year. About half of these States only accept driver’s licenses, state-issued ID cards, military ID cards, and passports. Make sure you have the proper identification to vote! (However, even if you do not have a form of ID that your State requires, you may be allowed to vote. You may be asked to sign a form affirming your identity or be allowed to cast a provisional ballot.)

Find out where to vote:

Paid time off to vote:

  • Some states have laws in place to make sure you get to your polling place during work hours. Check out this site for more information.

Federal law prohibits efforts to intimidate and suppress your right to vote. Below are some examples of voter intimidation efforts:

  • Being questioned or challenged about your right to vote.
  • Being photographed or videotaped without your consent under the pretext of uncovering illegal voting.
  • Any actions deemed threatening or coercive to change your vote or prevent you from voting.
  • Trying to buy your vote.
  • Having someone falsely present themselves as an elections official.
  • Spreading false information about voter requirements, such as ID or English language requirements.
  • Displaying false or misleading claims about voter fraud and criminal penalties.
  • Claiming to be a poll monitor inside the polling place and trying to interact with voters within the “enclosed space” that surrounds voting machines, voting booths or immediate area around poll workers’ tables to gain insight into how people are voting.

If you feel your rights or the rights of someone else are being violated, Notify Notify Notify!

  • The Election Protection Hotline: 1-866-OUR-VOTE or 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español)
  • The U.S. Department of Justice Voting Rights Hotline: 800-253-3931; TTY line 877-267-8971

I don’t know about the rest of you but I am ready for this election to be done. So tomorrow morning I am going to throw my hat in the ring and vote for our next President. And you should do then same.

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