Vote Confidently, Knowing Your Rights

( – Voters have the chance to make their voices heard in a variety of local, state, and federal elections. Casting your ballot gives you the chance to choose elected officials who have your best interests at heart. Most Americans, 18 or older, have the right to vote, and it’s important that you know your rights.

Before you head to the polls, you have to be registered to vote, and you can check your status online. If you’re not, you can do this on, but be aware that each state has a deadline to register before an election.

If when you arrive, the poll worker says your name isn’t on the list of registered voters, ask them to double-check or see if there’s a supplemental list. They can check to ensure you’re at the right polling location. If you are, and your name still isn’t on the list, ask the worker for a provisional ballot.

Disabled people have the right to specific accommodations. Those with help reading and/or writing can ask for in-person help from the person of their choosing, except their employer, an agent of their employer, or an officer or agent of their union. Federal election law requires that federal elections have at least one private voting system and machines that either read the ballot out loud for people with dyslexia or have buttons for those with mobility issues.

On election day, you are legally entitled to cast your vote, even if problems arise. For example, if the machines are down, you have the right to ask for a paper ballot. If you make a mistake on your ballot, simply ask one of the election workers for a new one. If the polls close while you are standing in line, do not leave. You can still cast your vote as long as you were there before they closed.

Anyone who runs into an issue on election day is advised to call the protection hotline at 1-866-687-8683.

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