Monday, November 3, 2008

Where Do I Vote?

Are you one of the people wondering where to vote? Well, here's the answer: On election day you must vote in the precinct where you are registered. However, during the early voting period, you can vote at any early voting site within the county.

One thing for sure though, make sure you get out and vote. Please don't let anything stop you. Make sure your vote count. A record number of voters are suppose to turn out for this presidential election.

Google Maps has a special area and search shortcut to help you find where you’re registered to vote, voting location hours and more.

Searches like "where can i vote" or "polling places" make a special “shortcut” box appear at the top of Google’s results. Enter your address into the box:

If you would like help click here, you will be taken to Google maps so you can find out where to vote.

Voters can avoid many hassles by checking online at their local government's Web site to determine where they should go to vote, when the polls will open and close, and what they may need to bring.

Voters can often learn of the location of their proper polling place for their precinct by entering their home address., a Web site run by the League of Women Voters, can also provide voters with their correct polling location.

Voters can often check their voter registration information online. Unfortunately, the opportunity to correct the voter registration records has passed in most states.

If a voter is missing from the the voter rolls, or if his or her address is out of date, most states allow voters to cast a provisional ballot. Provisional ballots, however, are often the first to be contested in close elections.

Voters can also avoid headaches by bringing valid government-issued identification to the polls. State regulations on voter ID requirements vary, but most at least require first-time voters to show an ID.

If a voter cannot meet a state's voter ID requirements, poll workers may ask him or her to fill out a provisional ballot, which will be counted if election officials verify that it was cast by a legitimate voter.

And voters should avoid wearing campaign T-shirts, hats or buttons to the polls. Many states, including Virginia, bar campaigning near polling places, and a voter could be sent home if he or she tries to vote while wearing campaign paraphernalia.

Election officials are expecting record turnout, and many voters who have voted early, such as those in Florida, have already had to wait hours before they could vote.

Voters can avoid long lines by avoiding the polls at at peak voting hours before work in the morning, during the lunch hour and just after people get off work. Most states require employers to give workers time off to vote on Election Day.

Voters also can avoid hassles by being familiar with the ballot before they enter the voting both. Many states and local governments post sample ballots on their Web sites.

Once at the polls, make sure you are familiar with the voting system used in your precinct. Many polling places have demonstration machines that voters can try before they vote, and poll workers are usually willing to explain how a voting machine works if a voter has any questions.

Many voters are skeptical of new using new electronic voting machines. Problems with such machines have already cropped up during early voting in Florida, where voting glitches led to a highly contested recount in 2000.

If a voter does have a problem with one of the electronic voting machines, he or she should contact a poll worker on site. In most states, voters who use electronic voting machines should also receive a paper receipt of their vote that they can check.

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