What to Do If You’re Turned Away at the Polls (TL;DR: Cast a Provisional Ballot)
Vote to see how others feel about this issue
by Countable | 11.2.18
You’ve waited in line, maybe for hours (maybe with free pizza), only to reach the ballots and be told you’re not on the voter roll.
Even if you’re registered to vote, you may still find yourself purged from the record. Here’s what to do…
Double Check If You’re Registered
Head to Countable’s Voter Center, click on your state, and enter your info.
Know Your Voter ID Requirements
Not all states require an ID to vote. To find out whether you need your ID, and what kind of ID you should pack, click here.
Tell the Poll Monitor “But I voted in three other locations with no problem”
Don’t. This is why I wasn’t allowed to cast a ballot in 2016.
Vote – No Matter What
Even if you don’t have a valid form of voter ID, your registration is pending, or you find you’ve been purged from the voting rolls, you are still allowed to cast a provisional ballot.
Some states may, instead, have you sign a sworn statement saying you meet your state’s voting requirements and allow you to cast a regular ballot.
Remember, your right to vote is protected by federal law:
“If an individual declares that such individual is a registered voter in the jurisdiction in which the individual desires to vote and that the individual is eligible to vote in an election for Federal office, but the name of the individual does not appear on the official list of eligible voters for the polling place or an election official asserts that the individual is not eligible to vote, such individual shall be permitted to cast a provisional ballot...” §15482, CHAPTER 146, TITLE 42 OF THE 2009 UNITED STATES CODE
Who Can I Complain To?
If you experience voter intimidation, contact:
- 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
- Local and state officials, including poll workers; your county clerk, elections commissioner, elections supervisor; or your state board of elections
(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / YinYang)
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