Election Day can be a confusing, yet exhilarating time. Whether this is your first or fiftieth time voting, you should know what to do in case you are turned away for a technicality.
First of all, don't panic. Laws are changed all the time, and your state may have instituted a mandatory identification check on a day when you forgot your wallet. If you take a minute to check with your state's regulations, you should be all ready to cast your ballot.
Are you registered to vote?
If you are not registered to vote, you may have time to register in person on election day. Vote.org is a great resource for all voters to check their registration status. In the DMV, you can only register to vote in person on Election Day in D.C. Voter registration is already closed for this election in Maryland and Virginia (online, in person, and by mail). For other states, check this list for registration deadlines.
Courtesy of Vote Osceola
Do you have the right identification with you?
Surprisingly, D.C. and Maryland do not require any sort of documentation to cast a ballot. Virginia employs a strict photo I.D. policy. That means that to vote in Virginia, you need a valid photo I.D. which matches the name in which you're registered to vote. If you have recently married or changed your name, be on the safe side and take documentation with you. A new Social Security card and notarized marriage certificate should do it. This website summarizes each state's identification requirements.
Are you at the right place?
Before you go, use this website to check the address of your polling place. Make sure you know what hours you can vote, and arrange for a ride if you are unable to make your way there yourself. Media outlets are reporting that some rideshare companies are giving discounts on Election Day.
Courtesy of Unsplash
If you're in the right place, you are registered to vote, you do have the proper identification, and you're STILL turned away, keep your calm. Election workers are under close scrutiny and immense pressure to make sure they're doing their jobs correctly. You have the right to request a provisional ballot.
If you have any additional questions, you can call the Election Hotline at 1-866-687-8683.
Are there any other voting tips we forgot to mention? Let us know in the comments below.