I know I haven't posted much about the upcoming election here. Mostly because I haven't had much to say -- and what I thoughts I do have, I've gotten out of my system by reblogging stuff and sharing my thoughts on Tumblr -- and now I'm starting to hit a bit of overload. But one thing I won't let go, and that's voter fraud and voter suppression.Here are a few thoughts on what we, the electorate, can do to keep this election fair:
1. Vote! Vote, vote, vote, vote. The closer an election is, the easier it is for someone to steal it. The 2000 debacle in Florida was possible because the election was close enough to be within the margin of error. If a candidate gets an overwhelming victory, it's a lot harder to hide voter fraud within the margin of error.
2. Know your rights. Several recent voter ID laws have been thrown out by state courts (Texas and Pennsylvania for sure, and I believe there were others), but that information may not have trickled down to poll workers (or they may be willfully ignorant of it). This map shows which states require what kind of ID at the polls. If a poll worker insists otherwise, be calm but firm. Make sure that you cast at least a provisional ballot.
3. In general, don't leave without at least casting a provisional ballot. It's a federal law: if there's any question about whether you are legitimately registered, you have the right to cast a provisional ballot. This should be a last resort, because provisional ballots are often thrown out, but it's better than nothing.
4. If you don't trust the voting equipment, document your vote. If you have a cell phone camera, take a picture of your ballot. If you're on a voting machine that provides them, insist on a paper receipt. Clear up any irregularities before you leave your polling place -- even if your erroneous vote can't be changed, the poll workers and other voters are on notice that there is a problem.
5. If you're in line to vote before the polls close, you have the right to cast your ballot. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise!
6. If you have trouble, report it! Do it right away. The US Department of Justice has a hotline and an email form for reporting voter intimidation and irregularities. You can also contact your state election board. There are also many news outlets and political organizations tracking reports of voter intimidation and irregularities.
True the Vote is a non-partisan voter rights organization that's running a hotline: Except not, they are shills for the tea party. Stick with the DoJ.
7. Stand up for each other. If we support one another and our right to vote for our chosen candidate, it'll be a lot harder for poll workers to intimidate anyone.
8. Did I mention: vote? Please, please vote. Whomever you support. I've been hammering this hard for months now, I know, but only because it's so important. It's one of the most important things you can do as a citizen of the USA. So many of our elections are decided by such a small number of voters, and it's a shame. Get to the polls and make yourself heard, and don't let anyone steal your vote away.