Voting in-person on Election Day? Here are some tips

Nov. 3 is Election Day, and SEARAC encourages all Southeast Asian American voters to have a plan in place to vote safely! A record number of mail-in ballots and early votes have already been cast, but if you haven’t yet been to the polls, tomorrow is your last opportunity to cast your vote for the 2020 election.

Tips for voting on Election Day

Many voters may still elect to vote on Nov. 3, and some states even offer same-day voter registration. If you are voting in person on Election Day, remember to wear your mask over your mouth and nose for the entire time you are at your polling site. Utilize hand sanitizer, and avoid touching your mask or your face. Maintain a 6’ distance between you and others at the polling site. If you still have not submitted your mail-in ballot, be sure to check your state’s specific deadlines for taking it to an official ballot dropbox or having it postmarked.

The Fair Elections Center provides guidance about what ID documents you need to vote in your state, where your polling place or ballot dropbox is located, and important deadlines to ensure your ballot is counted.

Know your rights
Here are some important reminders about your rights as a voter courtesy of the ACLU:

  • If you are questioned about your political beliefs by anyone at a polling site, you do not need to respond.
  • If you are in line to vote and polls close, you have the right to stay in line and cast your vote.
  • If you make a mistake on your ballot, you have the right to request a new one.
  • If the machines are down at your polling place, you have the right to a paper ballot.
  • If your eligibility to vote cannot be verified at your polling place, you have the right to case a provisional ballot.
  • If your loved one has difficulty reading or writing in English, they may receive assistance and may bring a person of their choice into the voting booth with them for help casting their ballot.

If you encounter any issues while voting, we encourage reporting them to your local election officials. Additionally, you can call 1-888-API-VOTE with any questions or concerns, and bilingual assistance is available through this hotline in English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Urdu, Hindi, and Bengali.

We want to hear from you!

To inform future voter education materials, we would like to know about your questions, concerns, and experiences around this non-traditional election season. Please take a moment to fill out this form. We appreciate your time!

In-language voting resources

Do you, your family members, or others in your community need election guidance in a language other than English? Check out this list of in-language voting resources from APIAVote.

What to expect on Election Day

Every eligible voter should have their voice heard and their vote counted. Because of early voting and voting by mail, it is going to take longer to count the votes and verify a winner in this year’s election — and that’s okay. Absentee ballots take longer to count because of security measures to verify the accuracy of those ballots. Some states can’t even start counting absentee ballots until after polls have closed on election night. Plus, due to the pandemic, election officials will be working with reduced staff. We need to be patient so election officials can take the time to make sure every eligible vote is counted accurately.