The right to vote only matters if we exercise it! Showing up at the polls and encouraging others to do so is a critical way to use your voice during Election 2016. Use the links below to find polling place hours and locations in your area, learn about volunteering as a poll worker, know your rights regarding taking time off to vote and voter ID laws, find tips and strategies for encouraging others to vote, get information about provisional ballots, and know where to turn for support on Election Day. #PWNVotes!
2. Volunteer as a poll worker. One way you can show up for your community on Election Day is to volunteer as a poll worker. Poll workers play an important role in facilitating individuals’ ability to vote on Election Day, and you can help ensure that your polling place is a friendly and welcoming space for everyone in your community. Find out more about working at the polls here (Spanish version here).
3. Get Out the Vote (GOTV)!
To find grassroots voter engagement groups for your chapter to partner with on voter registration and getting out the vote, visit Movement 2016.
There are many resources geared toward non-profit organizations seeking to increase voter turnout. For example, Seven Tips on Getting Out the Vote discusses strategies such as personalizing voter outreach efforts and using positive messaging, which can be readily applied within PWN-USA Chapters or in individual GOTV efforts. Additionally, Encouraging Staff and Volunteers to Vote – Tactics and Strategies provides tips and strategies that may be useful in encouraging other PWN-USA Chapter members and supporters in your community to vote.
Consider other ways you can reduce barriers to voter participation. Can you provide transportation or organize a carpool to help people get to the polls? Be creative and use the resources you have – something as simple as offering to go to the polls with someone could make a big difference in whether they vote!
Social media is another great tool to elevate the issues and encourage others to vote. Use your social media platforms to remind folks what is at stake nationally and in your area, inform them of deadlines, and let them know where and when they can cast their vote. #PWNVotes
4. Know your rights! Familiarize yourself with the voting laws in your state so that you can help community members overcome any barriers to voting that may arise on Election Day.
Taking Time Off to Vote: Most states have laws that require employers to allow employees to take time off to vote. The laws vary from state to state regarding how much time off is required, whether the time off is paid or unpaid, and other details. Click here for a summary of state laws regarding taking time off work to vote.
Voter ID laws: 34 states require some form of identification in order to vote, but the laws about what kind of identification is required vary from state to state. You can find more information about voter ID laws, including a list of acceptable forms of identification in different states, here.
5. If there is uncertainty about your eligibility to vote, you will be given a provisional ballot. This could occur if your name does not appear on the voter list, if you’re missing a required ID, or for other reasons. In general, your provisional ballot will be kept separate from other ballots and will be counted once an election official determines that you are eligible. Click here for information about provisional voting rules in different states.
If you are given a provisional ballot, many states have tools for checking whether your vote was counted after Election Date. For example, California allows you to check the status of your provisional ballot online. Check your your local board of elections find out what tools are available in your state.
6. To address any problems or questions that come up on Election Day, have the phone number for your local board of elections ready.
Additionally, for questions about the voting process, where to find a polling place, or to report problems with the election system, call these national hotlines for free support:
866-OUR-VOTE ( click here for hotline hours)
888-VE-Y-VOTA (Assistance in English and Spanish M-F from 8 AM-8PM ET)
888-API-VOTE (Voters can leave a message in Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Bengali, Urdu, Hindi and Tagalog and the call will be returned in 1-2 business days.)