Thursday, October 28, 2010

Vote early and often

The midterm elections are just around the corner, so I thought I’d post my usual links to information about voting as well as the usual reminders about what you can and cannot do at the polls. Also, if you’re voting absentee, don’t forget to mail in your ballot!

First, some notes about voting in person in Michigan:

Remember that you are allowed to bring whatever you want with you to the polls, as long as there is no campaign material visible. This means it's perfectly legal to print out a ballot, mark all of your preferences and notes, and carry it in your pocket to the polls. If you have a button, t-shirt, etc with a candidate's name on it, you can still vote, you just have to cover the item when you get within 100 ft of the polling place.

Michigan requires identification in order to vote, but if you don’t have ID you can simply sign an affidavit and vote anyway. Details from the secretary of state about the law and how to get a state ID card if you’d like one can be found here.

Second, if you aren’t sure where to vote, how to do it, or who to vote for, check out these resources:

Michigan Voter Information Center: Find out where you are registered to vote, find your polling location, contact your local election official, learn to use your voting equipment, and view a sample ballot.

ACLU Voting Rights Guide: This has information on what to do if you're told you can't vote at the polls, including the Election Protection Hotline: 1-866-OUR-VOTE Get your whole ballot and use their nifty side-by-side comparison to see what the candidates said and their background information.

Ann Arbor Chronicle Article about candidates for the board of the Ann Arbor District Library.

League of Women Voters: They collect information about the candidates and line it up so you can compare their views on different questions.

Citizens Research Council of Michigan: Look here for nonpartisan analysis of the ballot initiatives that we'll be voting on here in Michigan.

Still have questions or didn’t find what you were looking for? If you don’t live in Michigan, visit to print out a ballot, find your polling place, and find contact information for local officials, or check your local Secretary of State website for details on how to vote near you.

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