Know Your Rights
If you are an eligible voter, you have the following rights:
- If your name is not on the official voter list but you believe you are eligible to vote in that precinct, even if an election official challenges your vote, you have the right to cast a provisional ballot.
- If you are in line when the polls close, you are entitled to vote no matter how long it takes to get to the booth.
- In many states, employers must allow you time to vote at some point during the day. You can't be fired for being late due to long polling lines. Check your personnel policies with your employer.
- You have the right to vote without being intimidated by anyone.
- Visit the Election Protection website at 866OurVote.org for more information on your rights.
What if Something Goes Wrong?
First, document it. If there are specific individuals challenging your right to vote, intimidating voters, or interfering with the process, try to get their names. Write down exactly what happened, including the time of day, descriptions of the people involved, and any other details you can remember. A cell phone camera could be very useful in this process, if you have one.
Then, report it. There are many organizations that will be working to respond quickly to complaints of voter intimidation, suppression, and fraud. Here's who to call.
- 1-866-OUR-VOTE. This hotline has been set up by the nonpartisan Election Protection coalition to ensure that all voters have an equal opportunity to participate in the political process. They have hundreds of lawyers standing by to immediately respond to problems at the polls. Call as soon as possible after you encounter problems.
- Share your experiences with others and ensure that the media and watchdog groups are aware of any problems by using the citizen-driven election monitoring platform Twitter Vote Report.
- Voters who believe they have been the victim of racial discrimination in voting should contact the U.S. Department of Justice at 1-800-253-3931 in addition to the 866-OUR-VOTE number.