PLAN, PREPARE, VOTE
A guide for young adult voters with learning and attention issues
MY PLAN TO VOTE
1. Register to Vote:
2. Find Your Polling Place
Vote where you live most of the year!
3. Request an Absentee Ballot
Can be completed at your pace and submitted prior to election day
1. What issues do I vote on?
• You will vote for more than just big races (president, governor, senate). The ballot may include names of people who want to be judges, county commissioners, and other jobs.
• You may also be asked to vote for things like bond issues (funding) for projects that need public approval to raise and spend money.
2. What will the ballot look like?
There is no single way that polling places collect votes. You could be asked to push a small lever, tap a touch screen, color in a box/circle/oval, or punch a hole in a card. And you’ll almost always have a place to write a name for someone who is not officially on the ballot.
To see what voting format your state uses, check out www.verifiedvoting.org/verifier
Feel confident in fulfilling your civic duty.
- You can choose to mail in your vote by requesting an absentee ballot. Voting by mail allows you time to prepare for the election, but know that there are strict cutoff dates by which these “absentee ballots” need to be requested and submitted. www.866ourvote.org
- Some states may require ID in order to vote. This is a contentious issue, so be aware of requirements in your state.
- If your voting place doesn’t have you on their list of registered voters, ask for a ”provisional ballot.”
- Don’t assume that the poll workers know about your need for accommodations. If you disclose a disability, the poll workers must provide help. Don’t be reluctant to ask for clarification or assistance if you need it.
- It’s OK to bring someone with you when you vote. You may be required to swear under oath that you have difficulty speaking, reading, writing, and/or understanding English, and have asked this person to help you.
- You can have the ballot read aloud. Some polling places have text-to-speech technology. Or you can use your phone to access read-aloud software (with earphones).
- There’s no reason to feel rushed during the voting process. Even if other
people are waiting, your vote is important. You are entitled to the time you need to cast your ballot.
Voting Terms to know
Absentee ballot: A way to vote if you’re not able to make it to the voting place.
Ballot: The menu of choices of people and issues for which you will be voting.
Casting a vote: Making your selection.
Platform: The ideas and opinions that candidates feel strongly about.
Polling: Another word for “voting.”
Provisional ballot: A ballot submitted by someone who, for some reason, is not listed as registered at the polling place. After Election Day, election officials conduct an investigation. If you are qualified to vote and have registered, your provisional ballot is counted in the election.
Race: A contest that is decided by voting.
Ticket: The list of candidates endorsed by a political party.