How To Make Sure Your Vote is Counted
The Women Donors Network put a great full-page ad in papers across the country this morning, an ad in which they make four concrete suggestions for voters who want to make sure their vote counts. Frustratingly, their website — stopcounthackula.com — contains nothing but a spiffy animation of a voting booth and a request that visitors come back later to find out about fighting vote fraud. Searches of Google and Technorati indicate that the text of the Women Donors Network’s four-point guide hasn’t made it online. I assume it will get online at some point, but with the elections being only a week and a day away, there’s no time like the present. So I’ll quote the four excellent points of the WDN right here. I’m a busybody, so here and there I’ve added my own comments in brackets:
1. Worried about your registration? Call your county election board before election day and confirm you’re registered. We’ll publish all the county numbers in your district. [presumably at stopcounthackula.com — but they aren’t there yet. I’ll check back on this.]
2. If you confront long lines at your polling place, complain to a poll worker. Poll workers are paid by you. Their job is to help you vote. If they won’t help, take names. Use the toll-free Election Protection hot line, 1-866-OUR-VOTE.
3. If your voting machine doesn’t work right, demand an emergency paper ballot — not a provisional ballot! [Provisional ballots are only counted if the race is otherwise close. Unfortunately, the right to an emergency paper ballot only exists in some states, such as California and Pennsylvania. Legislation to establish a nationwide right to an emergency paper ballot was introduced but not passed in the 109th Congress.] Then demand that the offending machine be taken out of service.
4. Any voter or poll-watcher who witnesses what appears to be a crime can call the whistle-blower’s hot line: 1-888-VOTE-TIP. Remember you can create a photographic record on your cell phone.
I for one am not convinced that there will be widespread voter fraud across the country. But it never hurts to be prepared, just in case. Thanks to the Women Donors Network for helping us to be prepared. And as soon as they actually get their website up and running in some kind of working shape, I’ll let you know.