Monday, November 7, 2016

Everything You Need to Know to Vote This Tuesday

This Tuesday, November 8th is Election Day. Our country will be visiting the polls to vote for a variety of positions, including who will become the next President of the United States of America. So, here is everything you need to know to fulfill your civic duty this Tuesday.

First of all, you must be registered to vote this Tuesday, to make sure that you are eligible to vote. Verify your status here. Once you have verified that you can vote you need to find out where you have to go to vote, to find out where to vote click here. Once you have established where to go, you need to figure out what time you will be going. The polls will officially be open from 7 a.m. - 8 p.m. tomorrow. Set your alarm to wake up early or make sure that you can leave work a little early to ensure that you have enough time to cast your vote. Michigan is one of the only states in the country that does not have early voting (do not confuse this with absentee voting which we do have), so the lines can be long at certain times in different areas.
Once you have figured out when and where to vote, you need to make sure you know what you are voting for. You can view your local ballot here. Once you find out what is on the ballot make sure you do a little research and figure out who you want to vote for and takes some notes so you can get in and out quickly tomorrow. This is not a test! You are allowed to bring a cheat sheet in with you, and we highly suggest that you do. There are a lot of names on that ballot and it might be difficult to keep them all straight once that pen is finally in your hand.

Finally, if you are asked to show ID at your polling place, you need to be aware of your rights. All first time voters or voters who registered by mail are subject to being ID-ed at the polls. If you fit in this category you may hear something like this when you get to the polls, "Our records show that you are subject to the new federal identification requirement. The requirement applies to any voter who 1) registered to vote by mail and 2) has never voted in Michigan. To meet the requirement, you must show a copy of any current and valid photo identification or a copy of a paycheck, government check, utility bill, bank statement or a government document which lists your name and address".  If you are unable to provide this information , "you can receive and vote a “provisional” ballot. As an alternative, you can leave and come back with one of the required identification documents. If you leave and come back with one of the required identification documents, you will be permitted to vote under regular procedure".  If anyone tell you otherwise, they are wrong, it is very important to know your rights!

Do your research, know your rights, and get out and vote tomorrow!


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