As I went to check my email this morning, a headline on MSN caught my attention, “Dirty tricks increase as Election Day nears.” I’ve been following voter suppression stories for more than a month and couldn’t be more angry about the legalized disenfranchisement that is happening in states all across the nation. This story isn’t about legalized disenfranchisement, though. Instead, it focuses on illegal, misleading or downright false fliers, pamphlets, and phone calls that people are receiving days before the election. From threats about police being at the polls to arrest people with parking tickets to lies about when the election will happen, people who don’t believe in real democracy are out in force this year.
Most of us know that we can’t believe everything we read or hear, but a few things deserve mention about elections:
- Election Day is Tuesday, November 4th, whether you are a Republican, Democrat, or independent voter.
- Police will not be at polls to arrest people with parking tickets or a criminal history.
- In some states, you do need photo identification to cast your ballot; in others you don’t. Call your local election board to find out.
- In some states, there are regulations about wearing campaign gear to the polls. Call your local election board to find out (or just don’t wear any campaign gear to be on the safe side).
- You cannot cast a ballot by phone. Anywhere.
- Even if you’ve voted on other measures earlier in the year, you can still vote in the presidential election.
And finally, if you see evidence of voter suppression and intimidation tactics, don’t stand idly by! Contact your local Election Board and report what you’ve seen to Election Protection, a nonpartisan advocacy group. Their hotline is 1-866-OUR-VOTE.
Voting is not just a right. It is the voice of the people and the foundation of democracy. Protect it.
Cross-posted at The Externalist Blog.