November 8 Is (Finally) Here: An Abridged Election Day Resource Guide
Where do you vote? What's on the ballot? And what to do if your access is denied?
After a national election season that many called "interminable" and where the trending phrase to describe the contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump became "dumpster fire," the citizens of the United States (at least those who haven't already done so) are finally heading to the polls on Tuesday.
With focus on overall turnout (and apparently the weather) as well as heightened attention on the outcomes in key battleground states, the nation should know by day's end who the next president will be, which major party will control the House and Senate, and how scores of state and local ballot measures fared from coast to coast.
As those who have yet to vote head out, a number of tools are available to help people find their polling place or answer their election day quandaries.
In addition to a "polling place locator" created by the Democratic Party (here), which allows voters to type in their address to find the location and times for their local site, the League of Women Voters Education Fund (LWV) has a similar online tool (here) called "Voter411.org." The site also provides phone numbers to multilingual hotlines to call if you have any trouble voting. And, yes, the National Rifle Association (NRA) also has a polling location map for its supporters (here).
Google has also created an easy map-style locator (here) for voters, which offers exact directions to your polling station. In addition, the search engine giant has also teamed up with the Pew Charitable Trusts to create the Voting Info Project, which has both a website (here) and an app that can be downloaded to a smartphone or tablet. According to the website, the system is designed to make sure "voters have the official information they need to answer basic questions like 'Where is my polling place?' 'What's on my ballot?' and 'How do I navigate the voting process?'"
For anyone concerned that their voting rights (or the rights of others) are being violated on election day, the ACLU has posted this "Know Your Rights" resource (here), which includes both downloadable fact sheets and numbers to call if you have questions or want to report an incident.
If voters are looking for breakdowns of ballot questions in their specific states there is likely no better resource than Ballotpedia, which has detailed and searchable information on referendums in every state as well as information on state legislative races. For state ballot fights that caught the attention of Common Dreams this year, check out our special coverage page here.