Tuesday, November 02, 2004

ELECTION DAY - VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE - And Volunteer Next Election

Voting Information:

1) Go vote. You can find out where your precinct is at MyPollingPlace.com or call 1-800-OUR-VOTE (1-800-687-8683) or 1-866-MYVOTE1. You can also find out polling information (times, places, procedures) at the official elections site for your state here -- it may take a little digging.

[UPDATE: MyPollingplace.com is experiencing heavy traffic, so your best bet may be the 1-800 number or the elections website for your state (the second link above).]

2) Especially if you are a first time voter, bring some identification with you.

3) Polling times vary. See here for the official elections website for your state, which should provide polling times. As long as you are in line by the time polls close, you have the right to cast your vote, no matter how long it takes.

4) You have the right to request a new ballot if you make a mistake.

5) You have the right to ask questions. If you do not understand how the voting equipment works, just ask one of the poll workers.

6) If you are not listed as registered in your precinct, you have a right to cast a provisional ballot and should do so. However, because some uncertainty exists as to how and whether provisional ballots will be counted, if you believe you are registered and are at the right precinct, you should encourage polling workers to do everything they can to verify that you are not on their version of the voter rolls before filling out a provisional ballot.

7) You have the right to cast an absentee ballot at any polling station in the county in which you are registered. If you not yet sent in your absentee ballot, most elections officials are advising that it is too late to mail it in. Instead, take it to any polling place in your county of registration.

8) If your right to vote is unfairly challenged, call 1-800-OUR VOTE or 1-866-MYVOTE1.

Election News:

Ohio: Overnight, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the decisions of two separate federal district court judges which had barred the Republican and Democratic parties from placing challengers inside polling places in Ohio. With the decision, the GOP and Democratic challengers inside the polls can challenge voters for a number of reasons, including citizenship, residency, age, and whether they are voting in the right precinct.

Ohio: A woman has sued Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell and the Lucas County Elections Board, alleging that because she and others did not receive their absentee ballots on time, they should be allowed to cast at least a provisional vote. They claim that a Blackwell directive disallowing such voters from receiving a provisional ballot should be overturned.

Pennsylvania: Local GOP officials charged that voting machines in four Philadelphia precincts already had votes on them when they arrived at polling locations. The charges were discredited when City Commissioner Marge Tartaglione issued a statement dismissing the claims, stating that the number the officials had (mis)read was the equivalent of an odometer for the voting machines which showed the total number of votes ever cast on those machines, not votes cast in this election.

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