Top 3 Tips for Surviving Election Day
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 Vote411.org.) 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.
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-- Cassie Lo