For voters having a hard time casting a ballot in Tuesday’s primary, help is just a phone call away.
Lots of things can go wrong when you show up to vote. The polling place might not be open because there aren't enough workers to staff it. Or your name might not be on the list because your registration hasn’t been updated. Or maybe it has been purged for some reason. During one primary a few years ago, polling places across Virginia had to shut down after an earthquake.
Marcia Johnson-Blanco at the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law says each election cycle brings a new set of problems.
"In recent elections, we've had calls from voters who complain about intimidation," Johnson-Blanco says. "And what we find is that there’s electioneering that happens at polling places, and sometimes it’s done in such an aggressive manner that voters see that as them being intimidated."
Many times, when voters have a hard time casting a ballot they're tempted to just walk away without voting. Alexandria Bratton at the Civic Engagement Table says there's no need to do that.
"Don't walk away. It is important for you to participate in your democracy, and we want to make sure that you do that," Bratton says. "We want to make sure that you know what you’re voting rights are as a voter.”
If you’re having problems at your polling place, dial 866-OUR VOTE for the Election Protection Hotline. Help is available in English, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese and several other languages.
Polls open at 6:00 am Tuesday and close at 7:00 pm.