October 28, 2004
Where to Vote
In the U.S., many people don’t vote because they’re not sure of their polling place. This year the Internet will help, with sites like MyPollingPlace. Also, this year people who are told they aren’t registered to vote can cast “provisional ballots.” As electoral-vote.com tells us, “If you are sure you are in the correct polling place and the officials claim you are not registered, ask for a provisional ballot and fill it out correctly. You are entitled to one by law.“
October 28th, 2004 at 4:33 pm
Noah, thanks for the links. Finding polling places can be an arcane ritual for those who have moved recently; they change at times, too.
I wanted to note that the official website of your state government is probably a better place to get current information about provisional ballots and state voting regulations. The file of the Election Reform Information Project that was cited is from July 2001 (it says this in a rather subtle note at the bottom of the page) and is out of date. It says that voters in Pennsylvania “Must obtain an order from the Court” to get a provisional ballot. The Pennnsylvania Department of State page on provisional voting, on the other hand, indicates that “New Federal and State laws provide voters with the opportunity to cast a provisional ballot under certain circumstances” and gives three other situations in which a voter is allowed to vote provisionally: if your name cannot be found on the rolls, if you show up lacking ID, or if an election official asserts that you are ineligible to vote.
October 29th, 2004 at 4:59 am
Do make very sure you’re in the right precinct though. Many states (27 of them) won’t count provisional ballots cast in the wrong precinct, even if they were in the right county and the voter is correctly registered.
October 30th, 2004 at 3:14 pm
Very cool post! Thank you for the links I just posted in my blog about this.