Top 3 Tips for Surviving Election Day

Worried that this year's trip to the polls will be a repeat performance of 2004's long lines and faulty ballots? Here are our top three tips to make this year's experience better.

1. Arrive Prepared.

Know that proof of residence requirements vary by county. So, if you've moved recently, you'll want to double-check with your polling site that you have everything you need. Some counties will require valid photo IDs while others will allow a bank statement, bill, or nonphoto ID. Just to be safe, make sure you have a driver's license, passport, or school ID at the ready. To get the official poll requirements, type in your ZIP code at the League of Women Voters Education Fund website, Vote 411 .

2. Time It Right.

During the 2004 election, some voters waited up to 10 hours in line before filling out a ballot. Though many states have put forth serious efforts to increase the number of voting machines and ballots at each site, you may want to consider avoiding the after-work rush. Get to the polls before work as soon as they open, which is between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. across the country. Or head to the polls during the off-hours; lines are usually lightest between 10 to 11:30 a.m. or 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Take an early or late lunch that day or come in a little later if possible.

3. Vote Before You Go.

If you know you're going to be out of town on Election Day, then make a plan to vote early. Request an absentee ballot from your local town or city and send it in before you go. (Again, you can find all the need-to-know info at If you're living in a state temporarily or you missed the voter registration deadline in your new state, send away for a ballot from the state where you're registered. Request an absentee ballot as soon as possible so you have enough time to send it back and get your vote counted.

Share your political views with other brides on the Election 2008 message board !

-- Cassie Lo

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