How to Tackle Problems at the Polls
October 28, 2008, 1:00am

Americans can’t take anything for granted on Tues November 4th.  In the 2000 and 2004 elections, voter fraud, voter suppression and voter intimidation were rampant, especially in the critical swing states Florida and Ohio. This year, we are likely to break voter turnout records.  Hundreds of thousands of voters have lined up to vote early around the country, and we have already heard numerous accounts of electronic voting machine glitches, registration and ballot issues and long lines.  The information posted below is from Michael Scherer’s Time Magazine cover story “7 things that can go wrong on Election Day”  explaining what voters can do to insure that their voices are heard and their votes are counted.

On Nov. 4, the overwhelming majority of Americans will cast ballots without a hitch.  But for some, troubles will occur.  Here are a few simple steps you can take to make sure your vote counts:

  • Before going to the polls, check to make sure your registration is in proper order by contacting your local registrar or going to  (There is still time to fix problems.)
  • Polling places can change.  Make certain you know your proper polling location and the ID requirements for your state, especially if you are a first-time voter.
  • Once at the polls, don’t take no for an answer.  You should not leave a polling place without casting some sort of ballot.
  • If you encounter problems, request an emergency paper ballot or, as a last resort, a provisional ballot.  (Provisional ballots should be avoided whenever possible because they are less likely to be counted.  If you must cast a provisional ballot, ask polling officials what steps you can take to ensure your vote is counted.)
  • If you still have questions about polling-place locations or ID requirements, or if you encounter any problems at the polls, call Election Protection (866-OUR-VOTE), the nation’s largest coalition of poll watchers and lawyers.  The nonpartisan call center will be staffed through Election Day.

Here is the link to the whole article, which is also posted in the “Articles of Interest” section:        

7 Things That Could Go Wrong on Election Day” by Michael Scherer, TIME Magazine