Steve Martaindale

Author of the JP Weiscarver Mystery Series

1. Make it count

protect your vote

It is one day until Tuesday and the next U.S. congressional midterm election.

Election Day is tomorrow, which means early voting has ended in most states. If you’ve not voted yet, you must show up Tuesday and cast your vote. You’re down to your last chance. That means not walking away if there’s a long line, not going in unprepared, and not taking no for an answer.

Review the graphic above.

Know where you’re supposed to vote. It’s often not the same places where early voting was conducted. If you’ll be going after work, double-check the hours. Though 7 a.m.-7 p.m. is common, some differ. Carry a government-issued photo ID with you, more than one if you have them, even if your state doesn’t require it. Having one with a physical home address is preferable because it affects where you are eligible to vote.

If you get in line before the polls close, they are required to let you vote, even if it takes hours. Do not let them turn you away. If you have problems, ask for help. If that doesn’t fix things, call the Election Protection Hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683).

If you are in line to vote when your polling place closes, and anyone tries to keep you from voting, you may also contact the Department of Justice Civil Rights Department by phone (1-800-253-3931), email (voting.section@usdoj.gov), or submit a complaint on their website.

Finally, here’s some less technical advice.

Consider that you may be in line for a while. Carry a book or a well-charged cell phone. You’re also familiar with your bladder requirements; need I say more? Behave yourself. Don’t start talking politics. You might be tempted to persuade someone to your thinking, but don’t go there. If someone is challenging you, just refuse to participate.

Is there a friend or two who hasn’t voted? Ask them to accompany you; y’all can entertain each other and maybe even save spots during rest room runs.

With any luck, you won’t have to wait. Whenever you do vote, be sure and pat yourself on the back via social media and/or show off your “I Voted” sticker when you stop for an ice cream treat.

And, just in case you need to hear it again … Be sure to vote Tuesday.

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2 responses to “1. Make it count

  1. Marjorie Shenkir November 5, 2018 at 11:53 am

    It’s been quite a campaign! I voted very early, and took the training to be an election clerk at the polls. We will be starting at 5:30am and going until 8pm! Please keep ALL the election workers in your prayers for a calm, smooth, and safe day. And whatever the result, may we all promise to find the common ground, be civil and thankful that we Americans have the great freedom and privilege to determine our leaders by private ballot.
    Thanks for your diligent work!
    Marjorie Shenkir

    Like

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