For Immediate Release
12 Ways You Can Safeguard the Vote
BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, Wash. - YES! Magazine has published "Checklist for a Fair Election: 12 Ways You Can Safeguard the Vote." The list appears below and can also be viewed here.
12 Ways You Can Safeguard the Vote
Are you worried that we
will wake up November 5th to find that, once again, election results in
key races are in question? Here's what you can do.
These recommendations from the staff at YES! Magazine
are simple ways you can protect your own vote-and the fairness of the
system, based on the recommendations of leading voting integrity
Please forward this checklist to others to help make our election system work.
BEFORE ELECTION DAY
1. Check your registration. Even if you think you're registered, you may not be. Check online at www.CanIVote.org.
2. Vote now. Check if early voting
is possible in your state. If you're voting by mail, check carefully
where you need to sign, how to seal the envelope, and how to mark the
ballot. And note: Some ballots require extra postage.
3. Practice your vote. Electronic voting machines can be difficult to use. Verifiedvoting.org
is preparing links to video demos of how to vote on the machine you
will find at your polling station. If you'll be using a paper ballot,
check out the sample included in your voter pamphlet.
4. Find out who's in charge. Make a phone list of your county and state election officials-it may save valuable time on Election Day if you need to get registration verification or other information.
ON ELECTION DAY
5. Vote early.
Avoid the frustration of long lines. Also, if you encounter problems,
you'll have time to sort them out and may be able to help others.
6. Take your government-issued ID and your cell phone,
if you have one. If you have problems, or see problems, call a hotline
immediately (see point #9). You may not need ID to vote, but it's best
to have it. If you have trouble with your registration, ask for a
7. Avoid Straight Party Voting, if it's an option in your state. Vote for each race individually, even if it takes a little longer.
8. Verify your vote.
If you're voting on an electronic voting machine, check the review
screen to make sure it reflects your vote. If the machine produces a
paper record, check as you go along that everything is working
correctly. If not, speak to a polling attendant-don't leave until
you're sure your vote has been properly recorded.
9. Document and report.
If you encounter difficulties, or see others experiencing difficulties
(excessive lines, voter harassment, malfunctioning machines, etc.),
make a detailed record. Get all the facts you can-location, names,
The best way to report problems is to
call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683), which has volunteer lawyers in 15
locations standing by to provide rapid-response assistance. You can
also contact your party of choice. We have more suggestions here.
AFTER ELECTION DAY
10. Call your candidate. If there are questions about an election result, urge your candidate to ask for an audit. Ask how you can help.
11. Call your election officials.
If you have concerns, let your county and state election officials
know, and monitor their response. Ask them not to certify the election
before all challenges and recounts are finished. And send a copy of
your message to your local newspaper editor. If you're confident about
the election result, thank the officials for a difficult job well done.
INTO THE FUTURE
12. Work for fair, transparent elections.
66% of Americans don't trust the electronic voting machines many of us
will be voting on this November. Join the movement for election reform
in between elections. Use our YES! Tools to find out how.
Yours for democracy,
Publisher, YES! Magazine
Read more about the key issues we'll be voting on in the Purple America issue of YES! Magazine.
This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.
Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Won't Exist.