Have You Completed Your Pre-Election Checklist?

Election day is tomorrow! Are you ready to make a difference? Ms. has put together a list of last-minute items to ensure that all citizen’s voices are heard on November 6.

Hopefully by this point, you’ve successfully completed the first (and most important) item on the election checklist: Register to vote, which has never been easier thanks to the Internet. Check and double-check to make sure you are successfully registered.

Find Your Nearest Polling Place

If you enjoy the crowds and find the jittery aura of excitement at the polls invigorating, get out there and vote on Election Day! Just make sure you know where your polling place is: Just imagine the frustration of driving around frantically looking for it!

Also be sure you know when your polling place opens and closes, and whether it will allow you to vote if you are waiting in line when the poll is scheduled to close. (Many states, including Wisconsin and North Carolina, do allow this, but some may not. Of course, it’s best to avoid this situation all together and arrive with plenty of time to spare!)


Provisional Voting

If your voter eligibility is questionable for any reason (for example, if your registration is inaccurate, you no longer live in the county in which you originally registered, the polling place doesn’t have your name or you cannot provide photo ID in states that have enacted voter ID laws), you can vote via provisional ballot. Whether or not provisional votes are counted is contingent upon the voter’s eligibility. Provisional voting is not ideal, as these ballots are not counted until several days after the election, but if you believe you have the right to vote be sure to ask for and fill out a provisional ballot. Thanks to the Help America Vote Act of 2002, your voice should still be heard. This election, these ballots will be in the spotlight in swing states such as Ohio, Florida and Virginia.


Know Your Women’s Issues!

There is a lot at stake for women this election. Ballots across the country will feature initiatives covering everything from abortion rights to health care to same-sex marriage to workers’ rights. Ballot language can be confusing, so be sure you are informed about different amendments before heading to the polls tomorrow, and encourage friends and family to do the same.



If you’re an election junkie and want to get involved beyond voting, there are many ways to contribute to the election process. An easy, last-minute way to do this is to volunteer as a local poll worker. It’s also never too late to voice support for and contribute to the campaign efforts in which you believe.

Election Checklist designed by Lisa Huynh. Thumbnail via League of Women Voters of California, licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.


Rachel Kassenbrock is a writer who works at the Feminist Majority Foundation and blogs for Ms. Follow her on Twitter at @rkassenbrock.