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Where to Vote on Tuesday

Some of you fine Americans out there have already hit the polls to vote, fulfilling your civic duties for another two years. But if you haven't there are a few handy tips you can follow to make sure you hit the polls in simple fashion.

Before Heading Out

Before you head to the polls, you want to make sure you know what polling place you are assigned to. That means popping onto the old web browser and either heading to your state's easy-to-use site for finding your polling station. You can also use GetToThePolls.com or just use Google.

The main idea is to find out where it is if you don't know. You sadly can't just walk into any polling station -- some will allow it, but don't assume you're going to be allowed.

Note The Times

Along with finding out where you need to go in order to vote, you should mark the times the polling station is open. Most will stay open until 8 PM in order to collect all votes.

This should help you to navigate those nasty rushes and any crowds of people attempting to make their way to get in their own last-minute vote.

Never Assume You Can't Vote

Even if you didn't register, the door isn't completely closed to you in at least 17 states and the District of Columbia. You might think all is lost because you missed the deadline, but you are dead wrong.

Give it a shot. You never know what might happen!

Try To Avoid The Lines

Look at your schedule and see what you can do about skipping the busiest times of the day.

The morning rush, lunch, and evening are the worst times to go according to the New York Times. That means the more flexible you can with your schedule or the more off-hours you can swing towards the polling place, the better you will be with the crowds.

Bring Your Photo I.D.

Lordy, this is important. If you don't have a driver's license, make sure you have a valid and official picture I.D. with you. You'll need one in order to actually vote once you figure out all the preliminary stuff according to the NYT:

Some states accept only photo IDs, while others accept alternatives. Some are strict, others more lenient. Voters who forget their IDs may still be allowed to vote using a provisional ballot.

Inform Yourself

You also might want to take a few moments to read up on the folks running in your state and the initiatives that'll appear on the ballot. You can even do this in the line while waiting to vote. It only takes a few moments to zip to Ballotpedia or Vote411.

All of the info on the candidates and their political history is right there in easy to digest form.

Avoid And Battle Intimidation

Voter intimidation is something that does happen, just likely at a lower frequency than some parts of the media would like you to think. According to the New York Times, it can include many things:

Examples include aggressively questioning an individual’s citizenship or qualifications to vote, falsely claiming to be an election official and spreading false information about voting requirements...

It is very illegal and you can report it to the Election Protection Hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE or the Justice Department at 800-253-3931 ( TTY line 877-267-8971).

Don't Hesitate To Ask For Help

If you can remember back to the 2000 election and the disaster it ended up being, asking for help should be a requirement.

If you can't understand the ballot, need help using the machines, have no clue how to work through the voting process, or just generally feel like you'd be more comfortable with some help, you need to ask.

It doesn't make you less of a person because you need help. Volunteers work at polling places for a reason and they are there solely to help people like you.

Don't Get Out Of Line

This is a big one for those folks who can't make it to the polling place until right around closing time. Think of it as a yellow light when driving on the road or making it inside the store before closing time -- only the major difference is you won't be a menace or kicked out due to this decision.

Polling places will stay open until everybody that is in line can vote. So don't get out of line. Stay there and place your vote. You made it this far, so don't give up.

Check And Double Check

It might not be the SATs or a pop quiz with the correct answers waiting at the end, but voting still demands your attention.

If you're voting for candidates you believe in, then you'll want to make sure those votes are cast correctly. If you're making a protest vote by writing in everyone, you'll want to be thorough to send the message across.

Never forget 2000. If you do, you might end up voting for Pat Buchanan when you meant to vote for an actual person.

Don't Immediately Go To Social Media

This isn't an official guideline, but just hold off on the social media postings for a bit. At least wait until you've left the voting booth or the polling place entirely.

You'll look foolish and you might end up going viral if you did things incorrectly.

Get Out And Vote

That's about it. The main thing is to just go and vote. It doesn't matter if you vote for the "wrong" candidate or decide that you want to change your answers midway through. It is the act that matters in the end, at least in terms of the least you can do as a citizen.

Not voting at all gives power to those who think you don't care.

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