There will undoubtedly be some long lines today at the polls. It is incredibly frustrating that in recent years long voting lines have become commonplace in many counties around the U.S., but it has never been more critical that we stay in line. If you aren’t sure about where you can vote, go to vote.org and use their Polling Place Locator. Here are a few tips to remember when going to vote today:
1. Dress comfortably and neutrally
Depending on the length of the line, which for some in early voting was up to ten hours, you could be outside for a while. Remember to dress for the weather as well as wear suitable shoes that you would feel comfortable standing in for some time.
It’s also a good idea to dress neutrally. “States ban electioneering (a.k.a. campaigning) within a certain radius of a polling place and, depending on where you live, that can include simply wearing political garb, such as buttons, T-shirts, and hats…” InStyle points out. Most importantly, don’t forget your masks.
2. Bring something to do
Bring a book or headphones. Today is stressful, and sometimes there’s nothing better than getting lost in a book or one of your favorite artist’s new albums. You could even listen to BUST’s podcast, Poptarts!
3. Don’t forget snacks and water
Unfortunately, there are no breaks for meals at polls. You may have to stand in line past dinner time, so bringing snacks could be a good idea. If you are in a long line and forget, all hope is not lost! You can report it to Pizza to the Polls, an organization that collects reports of long lines from people around the country and finds local pizza places to deliver food to voters.
4. Have the “Election Protection Hotline” on hand
If you need help or see any form of voter intimidation, you have rights! You can call 866-687-8683 or 866-OUR-VOTE. This hotline provides all Americans with comprehensive information and assistance at all voting stages, don’t hesitate to call if you need help. If you are turned away at the polls because your name can’t be found on the voter rolls, it is your right to ask for a provisional ballot with a receipt.
5. Whatever you do, stay in line!
It is okay to feel angry with what feels like an outdated voting system, but your vote counts. If our votes didn’t make an impact, our government would not try so hard to deter us from it. If you are in line before the polls close, it is your right to make your voice heard.
Top Image via Unsplash/ stevehb
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A 22-year-old student journalist from Dallas based in New York City. Interested in words of all forms. More work: https://laurenawilliams.com/