Stories about election rigging and voter fraud have been flooding the news lately, but what’s the truth? The Brennan Center for Justice, a nonpartisan law and policy institute that works on voting rights issues has done the research so you don’t have to. Here’s what we think you should know before getting out your vote.
1. Voter Fraud is NOT a Real Problem
The Brennan Center’s ongoing examination of voter fraud claims reveal that voter fraud is vanishingly rare, and doesn’t happen on a scale even close to that necessary to “rig” an election. In fact, you are more likely to be struck by lightning than impersonate another voter at the poll.
2. Glitches may happen while you are voting, but it is not because the election is rigged. Instead, it’s because most voting machines are old, outdating your first iPod. Don’t worry, your vote will still count.
Truth is, technology has changed dramatically in the last decade, so America’s voting machines are rapidly aging out. The Brennan Center’s Larry Norden told Time Magazine that “the majority of the machines in use today predate the iPhone or the iPad, and most of them use technology from the late ’90s.” So, if a malfunction appears, it is not because the election is being rigged or that your vote is lost. If you have troubles with your voting machine at the polls, just alert an election worker at your polling place who can help solve the problem or call 866-OUR-VOTE.
Don’t believe us? Check this out.
3. Make sure you are aware of the voting guidelines in your state
The voting rules are different in every state. Some require a photo ID, and some don’t. Some states allow voters to register or change their address at the polls, and others have deadlines in advance. In recent years, some states have tried to limit access to voting, but you can’t let anything deter you from making your voice heard. To find out what the rules are in your state, check out the Brennan Center’s Voting Guide.
4. Know your rights at the polling place
You may have heard about recent efforts to “watch” the polls. Every American has the right to vote free of intimidation and discrimination — regardless of political affiliation, race, disability, sexual orientation, or gender. See our full guide on what is and isn’t legal at the polls so you can know your rights!
5. There are resources to help you on Election Day – so make your voice heard and vote!
If you have questions about whether you are registered to vote, where to cast your vote, or what’s allowed and not allowed at the polling place, do not fret. Contact Election Protection at 866-OUR-VOTE where thousands of trained volunteers will be ready to take your calls and help you vote. Your voice matters — make your vote count.
6. EVERY VOTE WILL COUNT
This election is one of the most important yet, so sign the pledge to vote and spread the word! By signing the pledge, you and your friends are guaranteed to be the most prepared this Election Day.
For more information about voting and the elections, check out our Election Controversies page.