Have questions about how to make a plan to vote?
We’ve got you covered!
Why should I make a plan to vote?
It’s simple! Studies show you are more likely to vote if you make a plan to do it. Think through how you’re going to vote, when you will go, how you will get there, and who will join you. Depending on what options are available in your state, you can decide between voting by mail, voting early in person, or at your polling place on Election Day. State and local election laws vary so make sure to do your research.
If I want to vote by mail, what should I do?
Have questions about voting by mail? We’ve got you covered! Check out our full guide on voting by mail.
If I want to vote in person, should I vote early or on Election Day?
If you have the opportunity to vote early, do it! When you vote early:
Your early voting location may differ from your election voting location. Find your early voting location. Some states don’t allow for early voting. Find out if you are eligible to vote early.
Where do I vote early in person?
Your early voting location will typically be different than where you would vote on Election Day. Don’t get the two confused! Find out when and where you can vote early in your community and make a plan to cast your ballot.
Where do I vote in person on Election Day?
Where you vote is determined by what precinct you live in. Your friend might vote at one polling location and you might vote at another if you don’t live near each other (and even if you do!). Some counties are still finalizing their voting locations, so double check your poll’s address before you vote – it may have changed or moved since the last election.
When should I vote in person?
The best time to vote in person, is ahead of Election Day. Lines will be shorter and you can vote when it’s convenient for you. Be mindful that polling places may have different hours for early voting and Election Day.
If you are voting on Election Day, showup early to save time standing in line, and don’t plan to vote after business hours if your polling place closes early. If you are in line by the time the polls close, you can still vote – you have the right to stay in line as long as you need to. Bring anything you might need to wait in line — like water, snacks, a voter guide or a folding chair — and make sure your phone is charged before you show up.
If you experience any issues while voting in-person, including intimidation or other barriers to the ballot box, call or text the 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) hotline to connect with a trained, non-partisan Election Protection volunteer.
Should I bring my ID?
Many states require identification in order to cast a ballot. Some require government-issued photo ID. Others give you options to use different types of ID, including the ability to sign a form if you don’t have an ID. Check the rules for your state and specific kinds of ID you can use at VoteRiders.
If you show up to your polling place without your ID and your state requires one, or if the poll workers won’t accept your ID, ask if you can vote with a “provisional ballot.” That means you can vote, but your ballot will be kept separate and will not be counted unless you can confirm your identity. You will have a certain number of days to provide your elections office with an acceptable ID, so make sure you get instructions on how and when to do that.
If you have any questions about what ID to take to the polls or need help in obtaining an acceptable ID to vote, you can call or text VoteRiders at 844-338-8743 or you can chat with them through their chatbot HERE.
If anyone challenges your right to vote call or text 866-OUR-VOTE to connect with a trained Election Protection volunteer.
What do I do if something goes wrong?
If anything prevents you from voting, you should call or text 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) to get guidance from trained, non-partisan Election Protection volunteers about how to move forward.
After seeking support from Election Protection, you can request a provisional ballot as a last resort if anything goes wrong and prevents you from voting. A provisional ballot is one that is counted after review from an election official, instead of being counted on the spot. Provisional ballots are there to make sure you aren’t excluded from the voting process if your eligibility to vote is deemed uncertain. They can also be referred to as “challenge ballots” or “affidavit ballots.”
If you end up casting a provisional ballot, make sure you follow up with your local election office, because in some states, the burden falls on you to make sure your provisional ballot counts like a normal ballot. Here are some reasons you might need to request a provisional ballot:
What if I have a special circumstance?
If you have any special circumstances that aren’t reflected here, check out the following websites to find information.
Voting rules vary across each state and community. Our partners at Election Protection have compiled several of these laws or you can always go directly to the source to learn more about the options in your state.
Not only can they help you understand your rights & make sure you’re able to vote, it also helps voting rights advocates track problems across the country
Call or text: 866-OUR-VOTE
5 Days | 5 Actions
Register to vote or check your registration status
Request your mail-in ballot
Make a plan to vote
Learn what’s on your ballot
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