Monday, November 3, 2008

Be Practical, Be Wise, Protect Your Rights on Election Day

This is what Election Day will probably look like at the voting booths.

I want to be practical here and prepare all of you who are going to vote in person today. My personal advice, from what I've read in various publications and older people's words would be:

Do your research. Know who the candidates are for Senators and House Representatives. They are just as important as the President, sometimes even more important because they control the law-making.

Know what propositions are being brought up. For example, Prop. 8 is being brought up in California that has controversial support for and against it. It's important for you to know what to vote on so you may not make a mistake and vote for something that you do not support.

Bring a pen and paper. If you have NOT requested it in advance, forget the request for interpreters, I'm sorry to say. Unless you're lucky enough to bring along a friend who may interpret for you, CODA family members, or meet random people who can interpret for you. The reason is practical - Election day is going to be VERY CHAOTIC. Expect it.

Don't get frustrated at the long lines. Be prepared. Bring a book, homework, or whatever else you think may keep you occupied.

Let know your school or work place in advance. Laws currently allow only two hours of absence from work to vote but frankly, I'd say that casting your vote in this pivotal election is much, much more important than few hours of work/school. Communicate with your superiors. Work it out.

DON'T EVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, BE FOOLED!!! Check out this story about dirty tricks whose only purpose is to confuse or prevent voters from exercising their most basic American right. DO NOT BE A VICTIM! Report anything that looks fishy and be brazenly stubborn in your quest for the voting booth.

Don't be afraid to ask questions. The stupidest one is the one who stays silent. It's better to ask questions and be careful rather than casting the wrong ballot or finding out later that your vote wasn't counted because of some mistake.

Last but not least: Talk to your peers, friends, and family. Encourage them to vote as well. If you know anybody who can vote and isn't voting, pester them to get their bodies over to the polling places! No vote should be uncast.

Bring your identification and/or voter registration.

Use your common sense. Vote.

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