The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) created a concise Election Day guide in an effort to ensure that all voters are aware of their rights on Election Day this year.
“With so many of our rights on the line in these elections, we know just how many countless hours of hard work that dedicated people like you have put in. Now, it’s finally time to vote for a democracy we can believe in and show elected officials what ‘We the People’ means,” the organization stated.
In their guide, the ACLU lists the rights that individuals have on Election Day. These rights include:
- If the polls close while you’re still in line, stay in line. You have the right to vote.
- If you make a mistake on your ballot, ask for a new one.
- If the machines are down at your polling place, ask for a paper ballot.
- If a poll worker says your name is not on the list of registered voters, you can ask for a provisional ballot. (You’re entitled to this provisional ballot, even if you’re not in the poll book).
- If you run into any problems or have questions on Election Day, call the Election Protection Hotline:
- English: 1-866-OUR-VOTE / 1-866-687-8683
- Spanish: 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA / 1-888-839-8682
- Arabic: 1-844-YALLA-US / 1-844-925-5287
- For Bengali, Cantonese, Hindi, Urdu, Korean, Mandarin, Tagalog, or Vietnamese: 1-888-274-8683
A provisional ballot is a regular ballot that is placed in a special envelope prior to being put in the ballot box. Provisional ballots are cast by voters who:
- Believe they are registered to vote even though their names are not on the official voter registration list at the polling place.
- Vote by mail and instead want to vote at their polling place or a vote center, but they did not receive their ballot or do not have their ballot with them (and the elections official is unable to verify that they have not returned their vote-by-mail ballot).
“Our legal and advocacy teams are at-the-ready to protect your civil liberties at the polls – and wherever we may be needed on Election Day and beyond. Remember, the ACLU has national reach: We’re in all 50 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico. We’ll be here to defend democracy no matter what. Count on it,” the organization said via email.
The ACLU also encouraged those planning to vote to create a plan before going to the polls:
- Double-check your state’s voter guidelines for your poll site location, and materials you might need to bring with you like your state ID, ballot return deadlines, and other details.
- Be sure you’ve researched what’s at stake in your local races and ballot measures.
- If you have a mail-in ballot that you have not returned yet, use a drop box or return it in person, if your state allows.
- If you are voting in person, pack a few essentials in case your line is long: water, food, and entertainment (a book, music, podcast, etc.)
“It’s unlikely that the election results in every single state will be clear on Election Night. That’s okay and completely normal. Have patience,” the ACLU team reminded voters. “Remember with absentee ballots, mail-in ballots, and other considerations, it takes time to count every vote — and that is what’s most important.”
For more information on exercising voting rights, resisting voter intimidation efforts, and accessibility assistance at the polls, check out the ACLU’s Know Your Voting Rights resource.
For guidance on where to find more help with voter information, your plan to vote, the issues at stake, and any other last-minute voting questions, visit the ACLU’s Vote Your Values page.
“Let’s vote our values tomorrow – and then, together, we will continue our critical fight for a nation that is truly just and equal for all,” the ACLU team stated.