Hi folks! Welcome to the first installment of the Tiny Troubleshooting Manual, a series I just made up because it’s Election Day in 2018 (and let’s face it, we’re likely to need it). I do a lot of social troubleshooting in my day-to-day work as an advocate, and though my ordinary bag is social determinants of health, civic engagement is more important now than ever! Obviously I cannot fix all forms of voter suppression, but I wanted to take the time to address some of the more common fixable voting problems people encounter.
(Note: This guide is not intended to be legal advice; rather, it is a resource compilation designed to point people towards appropriate entities for assistance.)
If your trouble is…
- Needing to identify your polling place: You can check that through chat or text via Resistbot or by going to Headcount.org.
- Needing to check if you’re registered to vote: You can check that at vote.org or by the same Resistbot program.
- Needing a ride to your polling place: Several ride sharing programs will have free or reduced-price rides to polling locations all day today.
- Needing info on who and what’s on your ballot: You can get good, detailed information on your specific ballot at BallotReady.org or at HeadCount.org.
- A technical issue at your polling place: Call the hotline run by 866 Our Vote (which, conveniently, is 866-VOTE-OUT) to document the issue and see if it can be addressed today. You may also be able to work with staff at your polling location to get it addressed.
- Needing time off from work: Thirty different states require an hour or more of leave time be provided on request on Election Day; you can learn more about your state’s rights at WorkplaceFairness.org and get assistance in exercising your rights by contacting the Voting Rights branch of your local ACLU or 866 Our Vote.
- Needing an absentee ballot: You may have missed the boat on this, but Resistbot can connect you to info on your local process.
- You’ve encountering obstacles due to the “Exact Match” rules in Georgia: This issue was just addressed by court order; your legal right to vote by providing proof of identity can be protected by contacting the Voting Rights branch of your local ACLU, the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, or the Georgia State Conference of the NAACP.
- You’re encountering obstacles due to the address/ID requirement in North Dakota: Several programs are helping connect voters with IDs to counter the recently-upheld address requirement; contact the Lakota People’s Law Project or the Four Directions nonprofit for assistance.
- Something else went wrong with your registration: Check whether your state will permit same-day registration; fourteen states and the District of Columbia do!
If you have an additional question, feel free to leave a comment below or reach out to me directly! I’ll try to keep this a living document or at least point people in the right direction. 🙂