VOTERS: What to do at the polls


For guides to voting machine types by state and county, see: The VERIFIER


  • Register and Vote
  • Call the local elections office to verify the location of your polling place. Make sure you cast a vote. If you are in line when the polls close, stay in line. You are entitled to vote.
  • Bring ID to the polls, preferably a government issued ID with your name and address.
  • Ask your clerk to ensure that all citizens are aware of their paper ballot option on Election Day. Encourage her/him to order enough ballots to avoid shortages, and to allow all voters equal access to paper ballots in case of power failure or voting machine breakdown.
  • Ask for a paper ballot when you vote on Election Day. If poll workers try to convince you otherwise, politely insist on it. Unverifiable numbers on Touchscreen voting machine print-outs are not verifiable paper trails.
  • If you don't have the paper ballot option where you live, request an absentee ballot if possible, and then deliver it on Election Day personally in order to maximize the chances of your vote being counted accurately.
  • If you are offered a provisional ballot, ask if you can cast a regular ballot by providing additional ID.
  • Report all problems you encounter while voting on Touchscreens
    • Try to capture it with your cell phone camera.
    • Call poll supervisors to observe the problem.
    • Fill out a problem report.
    • Refuse to vote on that machine.
    • Request that the machine be taken out of service.
    • Get the serial number of the machine if possible
    • Tell other voters in line which machine it was and that they should not vote on that machine.
    • If your ballot is rejected by an optical scanning machine, or a Touchscreen machine shows you voted for a candidate other than you intended, OR, if you witness a machine malfunction on election day, call 1-866-OUR-VOTE
    • Report it to county/town election office.
    • Report it to the Secretary of State.
    • Call local reporters and tell them the story.
    • Call 866-OUR-VOTE and tell them.

NOTE: if it’s a minor problem like a paper jam we encourage people to first ask the chief inspector (clerk usually) the status and if it is being fixed, some of those issues can be quickly resolved