Monday, November 3, 2008

Election Day Tips for MA Residents

In case you haven't heard, there's a presidential election tomorrow, not to mention several important state ballot initiatives up for decision. Here are a few tips to help make your voting day a little easier:

1. Not sure where to vote? Find your local Massachusetts polling location by simply inputting your street address.

2. Not registered to vote? If you live in MA, you'll have to wait to vote until the next presidential election. There's no same day registration here. :-(

3. When are the polls open? Most polls are open 7 AM to 8 PM. Contact your town hall to find out specific hours for each location.

4. Will I have to show ID? You may have to show ID, depending on when you first registered to vote and whether or not this is your first time voting. Acceptable forms of ID include a driver's license, current utility bill, bank statement, or some sort of government document with your address on it.

5. What happens when I walk in? You simply check in at the front desk - tell them your name and address. You will then be given further instructions.

6. What do I do if I'm not on the voter registration list? This happened to me once - you may be on the list of voters at another precinct in the same municipality (like if you moved from Brighton to Allston), in which case you can vote once this is confirmed. You also could be on the list of "inactive" voters. You may need to cast a provisional ballot if you're not on either list.

7. What kinds of voting machines does Massachusetts use? The type of ballot and machine used varies by town. In my experience, it has always been the standardized test type, where you simply color in the circle that corresponds with the candidate or answer you want. See a demonstration of the ballot style you'll be using tomorrow on the League of Women Voters site.

8. What else should I bring besides ID? If you live in Boston, make sure to bring non-perishable food items for the mayor's Food and Fuel drive!

9. I want to campaign at my polling place - Can I? Sure! As long as you stay at least 150 feet away from the polling place. And keep it respectful, people.

Make sure to check out this list of Voter's rights before you go. Heck, you can even print it out and bring it with you!

If you live in my 'hood, I'll see you at the Washington Street Elderly complex in the Rosalind B. Freed community room tomorrow morning.

Happy Voting!

Related Posts: Food and Fuel drive during the election; Casting About: Your Massachusetts State Ballot; Presidential Election and Free Speech; 2008 Vote: Whys and Hows of the Electoral College; Are you making your decision based on looks?; Passive Electioneering; Presidential Election, Registering to Vote, and the Ballot Questions; Google wants you to vote
Photo courtesy of Muffet.


Krystle said...

I plan to vote early at Somerville's Elementary School.

Yeah voting day!

Casey said...

Also - if possible, see if you can vote at an odd time during the day (mid-morning or mid-afternoon) to avoid the rush.

John R said...

Starbucks is giving away a free tall coffee on November 4, if you tell them you voted...

Anonymous said...

Now now, rewarding voters with free coffee is illegal. Anyone can get a free cup of coffee today.

Krystle said...

I waited and hour to vote but I am still glad I did it!