What You Need to Know for Election DayNovember 02, 2012
The AAUW Action Fund’s It’s My Vote: I Will Be Heard voter education and turnout campaign represents an unprecedented investment in making women’s voices heard in the 2012 election. Follow us on Twitter, on Facebook, and on Tumblr for the latest updates, and check out our weekly Campaign Update for news, resources, and ideas.
Election Day is around the corner! You have been preparing for months to ensure that women’s voices are heard on Tuesday, November 6 — now is the time to make sure your vote is counted.
AAUW is proud to partner with Election Protection to ensure that all voters have an equal opportunity to participate in the political process. Before you head to the polls, learn how to protect your vote and what to do if something goes wrong. Even if you have already taken advantage of early voting, you can strengthen your impact by sharing this information with friends and family members.
Be Prepared on Election Day
- Know your polling place. You can locate your polling place online at www.866OurVote.org.
- Find out the hours of your polling place and which forms of identification your state requires by checking your state’s voting checklist.
Know Your Rights
If you are an eligible voter, you have the following rights:
- If your name is not on the official voter list but you believe you are eligible to vote in that precinct — even if an election official challenges you — you have the right to cast a provisional ballot.
- If you are in line when the polls close, you are entitled to vote no matter how long it takes to get to the voting booth.
- In many states, employers must allow you time to vote at some point during the day. Check your personnel policies with your employer.
- You have the right to vote without being intimidated by anyone.
- If you are elderly or if you have a disability, you have the right to vote using an accessible voting method, and you may have the right to receive help with voting by an election officer or any other person of your choice.
- Visit the Election Protection website for more information on your rights.
Know the Issues
- Find out where the candidates stand on issues that are important to women and girls. The AAUW Action Fund’s VoteHER Toolkit is an essential guide to how candidates and elected officials stack up on the issues this election year. The toolkit includes
- The Congressional Voting Record for the 112th Congress (January 2011–September 2012)
- Voter guides for the presidential and select Senate and House races
- A report on the Obama administration’s first term
- If you live in Florida, Idaho, Maine, Maryland, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, or Washington, read our summaries of key ballot initiatives in your state and explanations of AAUW’s position.
- The AAUW Action Fund has also created fact sheets on access to birth control, college affordability, women’s employment, and the gender pay gap.
Encourage Others to Vote
- Make voting a social outing — bring your friends, family, and neighbors with you to vote, and help others get to the polls by arranging rides.
- Wear your “I voted” sticker the rest of the day to show your co-workers that you voted, and encourage them to vote, too.
- Send this blog post to your friends and family.
- Take our “3 x 3” challenge by calling three millennial women ages 18–31 and asking them three simple questions:
- Will you pledge to vote this year?
- What is your plan for getting to the polls?
- Will you call three young women and ask them the same questions?
What if Something Goes Wrong?
First, document it. If there are specific individuals challenging your right to vote, intimidating voters, or interfering with the process, try to get their names. Write down exactly what happened, including the time of day, descriptions of the people involved, and any other details you can remember.
Then, report it. There are many organizations that will be working to respond quickly to complaints of voter intimidation, suppression, and fraud. Here’s who to call:
- 866.OUR.VOTE (866.687.8683). This hotline has been set up by the nonpartisan Election Protection coalition to ensure that all voters have an equal opportunity to participate in the political process. They have hundreds of lawyers standing by to immediately respond to problems at the polls. Call as soon as possible after you encounter problems.
- Voters who believe they have been the victims of racial discrimination in voting should contact the U.S. Department of Justice at 800.253.3931 in addition to 866.OUR.VOTE.
For more voter resources, visit the AAUW Action Fund website. Together, we can ensure women’s voices are heard on Tuesday, November 6.