Holy crap, we made it. It’s finally Election Day. After a campaign filled with racism, misogyny, bullying, protesters getting beaten up by guys wearing flag shirts, what sounded to many of us like confessions of sexual assault, a call for war crimes, oh and some emails, it’s Election Day. Many people have already voted, but in case you have not, do you know where to vote? Do you know what to do if you’re voting in what Cheeto Mussolini calls “certain neighborhoods,” and a neo-Nazi decides to harass you? Or a member of the Oath Keepers? Both of these groups have stated they will be sending unofficial poll watchers out and about to make sure minorities are too scared to vote.
First, where do you vote? Thanks to the Supreme Court, Republicans have been able to severely limit hours and locations of polling places. Google has stepped up with a very easy way to learn where and when you can vote. Just a few clicks, and you are on your way to casting your vote!
Secondly, who do you contact if someone engages in voter intimidation? Well, if you’re in Loudon County, Virginia, don’t call the police. So what are your options? The ACLU has set up a hotline to call if you see, or are the victim of, voter intimidation. You can also download the ACLU’s mobile app, to make it easier to report. The Washington Post has a great article about voter intimidation, what it is, and why people are afraid today. The Post gives a few more resources as well:
Voters also can call the Election Protection hotline led by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (866-OUR-VOTE), the hotline led by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Education Fund (888-Ve-Y-Vota), or the hotline led by APIAVote and Asian Americans Advancing Justice (888-API-VOTE). The Arab American Institute Yalla Vote Hotline is 844-418-1682. In addition, voters can report intimidation to county poll workers, the county clerk, elections officials, local and state officials, or the state board of elections.
In some states, police officers are allowed inside polling places. Voters can report harassment and intimidation incidents to the police, who are subject to voter intimidation laws.
Republicans also introduced laws in many states about the identification you need in order to vote. If you are unsure what your state now requires-a DNA sample, your firstborn child, a severed limb, a pint of blood-go to Rock The Vote. Click on your state in the interactive map, and learn what you need to bring to the polls to prove you are who you say you are.
Do you want to take a “selfie” with your completed ballot? Does your state allow you to do that? Can you even bring a cell phone into the voting booth? The Associated Press has a handy map (gotta love these maps!) to help you out.
Vote wisely and safely today, young grasshoppers. Bring your resources with you, make sure you have the ACLU hotline number, the forms of ID you need, and know if you can take a photo of your ballot. Many states, like Minnesota, are offering voters the chance to preview their ballots according to district, so folks know precisely what they will see when they step into that voting booth.
Now get out there and VOTE!