Voter suppression efforts have been all over the news, and rightfully so.
However, today is Election Day in the U.S., and in the end that means voters may be put in the position where they have to be strong advocates for themselves. Just be aware that if you live in a swing state, your chances of witnessing or being a victim of voter suppression at the polls increases exponentially.
So, here are a couple of helpful links should you run into static at the polls.
Before you go to the polls, make sure you're prepared. MSNBC has dedicated a Web page to making sure your vote counts. To bullet point the highlights:
- Make sure you know where your polling place is
- Vote early in the day if you can
- Bring ID that shows your correct name and address, especially if you're a first-time voter or recently moved (just in case)
- Don't give anyone an excuse to bar you from the polling place — so lay off partisan clothing and/or buttons
- Don't use a provisional ballot unless you absolutely have to
Pam's House Blend has a more extensive prep list, but here's the best one:
Bring a camera, whether it's the camera in your cell phone, or the little point-and-shoot you keep in the drawer at home. This could be especially important if you're one of the unlucky voters who are stuck with electronic voting. If your vote is not properly recorded, use your cell to take pictures so you will have a record or what happened. In addition, you can use that camera to make a record of any voter suppression effort you may witness.
Both You Tube and Video the Vote is asking citizen journalists (that means you) to use those cameras to record any voter suppression efforts you may witness or may happen to you. You can upload pictures and/or video to either the Video the Vote page, or You Tube's Video Your Vote page.
In addition, there are two Wikis dedicated to voters rights and what to do if you find yourself on the verge of disenfranchisement:
Both the Obama and McCain campaigns have "incident report" Web pages and emergency phone numbers for voters in distress:
- Obama/Biden Campaign Incident Report: Report a Problem with Voting page; or call 1-877-US-4-OBAMA (1-877-874-6226)
- McCain/Palin Campaign Honest and Open Election Page: Report a Problem with Voting page; or call 1-866-976-VOTE
Twitter will be networking voters nationwide, with an eye to finding emerging patterns of voter suppressions efforts. Go to the Twitter Voter Report for more information.
Election Protection will also be collecting incident reports. You can report voting problems online, or you can call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683). You can also download a flyer that will give you a helpful list if Web sites and phone numbers here (Warning! PDF!).
Voters Unite is keeping a running log of election problems here, and are encouraging people to report any election problems they experience or witness here.
Other phone numbers to register a voting rights violation:
- American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Hotline: 1-877-523-2792
- CNN Voter Hotline: 1-877-GOCNN-08 (1-877-462-6608)
- The Velvet Revolution voter fraud tip line: 1-888-VOTE TIP
And that's all folks! Good hunting. And let's be careful out there.