Thursday, October 29, 2020

What to Expect When You Vote

 From the Office of Diversity and Inclusion:

What to expect when you're *electing*


Whether it's your first time voting or you've submitted many ballots, there's no denying this election may look a little different from what you might anticipate. Let's get into what you can expect at the polls.

 First, make a plan! 
Will you be voting early or on Election Day? Mail-in ballot or in-person? Will you need to bring anything with you (ID, sample ballot or list of candidates you wish to vote for, a friend for moral support...)?

 Be prepared for an election-focused atmosphere  
If you vote in person:
  • There will likely be signs for all candidates around your polling place.
  • Other voters may be wearing buttons, t-shirts or stickers with political messages.
  • There will likely be electioneering—people handing out fliers, holding signs, and encouraging voters to support or oppose a candidate or ballot question—close to (but not in) your polling place.
Some of this is allowed, whether you agree with the signs/messages or feel comfortable with the electioneering. It might be stressful, but your vote matters! You can report any behavior that is harassing, intimidating or interfering with your right to vote to the Election Protection Hotline (1-866-OUR-VOTE) and to your local election officials.

 Know your rights and make sure your vote counts! 
There may be long lines on Election Day, so show up prepared (snacks, water, clothes for the day's weather...)
  • If the polls close while you’re still in line, stay in line—you have the right to vote.
  • If you make a mistake on your ballot, ask for a new one.
  • If the machines are down at your polling place, ask for a paper ballot.
  • If the poll workers can't find your name on their list of registered voters, you can ask for a provisional ballot.
  • If you have a disability, reasonable accommodations must be made so you can vote.
  • If you have questions about your right to vote or need to report anything, contact the Election Protection Hotline (1-866-OUR-VOTE) and your local election officials.
  • For more, visit the ACLU's Know Your Voting Rights page.

 The results might take a while... 
Election results might not be determined on November 3, for a variety of reasons. There may also be confusing and/or conflicting information circulating for some time afterward. Prepare to be patient and make some plans to find any support you need during what might feel like a turbulent time.

 ...but we are here for you! 
Regardless of the results of the election or your feelings about them, we—and tons of other campus resources (scroll down to "Campus Resources")—are here for you.


Yellow button with the text 'Report voter intimidation'
Red button with the text 'report a hate-bias incident'
Red button with the text 'U-M-D election resource hub'
Yellow button with the text 'Terps vote'