Last updated on May 20, 2019
Here are the basics:
- Keep your place in line. The lines may be long, but as long as you are in line when the polls close, you will be allowed to cast your ballot. If you leave the line, you may not be able to vote.
- Do everything you can to vote a regular ballot. Cast a provisional ballot only if you have no other option. In many states if you cast a provisional ballot at the wrong polling location it will not be counted.
If you experience any of the following, report it to Election Protection (866-687-8683) immediately:
- Harassment (including harassing questions about your qualifications to vote)
- False information about voting requirements
- People impersonating poll workers or election officials
If you are told you are not on the voter roll:
- Confirm that you are registered to vote.
- Confirm that you are at the right polling place.
- If you registered and are not showing up on the voter roll, call the Election Protection Hotline (866-687-8683).
- Did you recently move? If so and you didn’t update your registration, you are likely on the voter roll of your old polling place.
- Check with a poll worker to see if you can update your registration and vote a regular ballot where you are. Otherwise, you may need to vote at your old polling location or at a central polling place.
- Make sure the poll worker is spelling your name correctly and is looking in every place that you could be listed. Ask a poll worker if there is a separate “inactive” or “suspense” list of voters that you may be on. Many states maintain similar lists of voters who have not recently voted. If you are on this list, you can still cast a regular ballot.
If you are being turned away from voting for not having the proper ID:
- Figure out if you have anything on you that qualifies. Some states accept documents you may not think of as ID, like a paystub or utility bill with your address.
- Do you have something at home that qualifies that you can go back and get? If you can’t come back the same day, some states may allow you to come back and show your ID following Election Day. Ask a poll worker if this is an option.
- If you do not have any acceptable form of ID, does your state allow you to vote without ID by signing something under oath?
- In several states where ID is required (CT, ID, IA, LA, MI, MT, NH, SD, TN), you may be able to vote without proper ID by signing a something under oath.
- Cast a provisional ballot if that is your only option. In some states that require ID, your provisional ballot will be counted if your signature matches what is on file in the voter registry.
If you cast a provisional ballot:
- Ask for written instructions about what you must do to ensure the provisional ballot will be counted.
- Ask for a phone number you can call to confirm if your vote was counted.
- IMPORTANT: In 27 states, if you cast a provisional ballot at the wrong polling location, your vote will not be counted.