Bring identification to the polls. If you are a newly registered
voter, California law requires you to bring an I.D. to the polls.
Acceptable I.D. may include a valid driver's license, a copy of
a current utility bill, a bank statement, a government check,
a paycheck, or another government issued document that states
your name and address. If you do not have any of these items at
the polls, you have the right to a provisional ballot.
Ask for a provisional ballot. If your name does not appear
on the voter registration list or you have forgotten to bring
I.D. to the polls, you can still vote by asking for a provisional
ballot. You should ask the poll worker how you can check to make
sure your vote is counted. According to California law, all voters
have the right to a provisional ballot if they request one and
the right to know if it has been counted. The poll worker is required
to provide you with a phone number or website that will tell you
if your provisional ballot was counted and, if not, why.
Look for the signs. Signs are posted at each polling station
to give public notice to each qualifying individual of his or
her voting rights, how to use the voting machines, and directions
on how to file a complaint if your rights have been violated.
If you have a question
Ask. The job of a poll worker
is to help with the process. If you have a question about how
to use a machine or need a provisional ballot, ask the poll worker
for help. If you are in the wrong voting precinct, the poll worker
can help you find the right one.
Call for help. Hotlines have been set up by government
agencies to assist anyone who thinks that their rights are being
violated or need help with the voting process. These hotlines
will be staffed by individuals who will be able to assist you
if you face hurdles at the polls. Most will be able to direct
you to the appropriate official to resolve problems.
Election Assistance Commission
(1-866-747-1471). The EAC will have staff and volunteers answering
phone calls on Election Day and directing voters to officials
who can determine where their polling station is located and other
Election Day questions.
B. U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Voting
Section (1-800-253-3931). DOJ has designated a phone line for
inquiries from states and other jurisdictions concerning the Help
America Vote Act.
C. County Registrars of Voters. For Santa Cruz County,
(831) 454-2060, for Santa Clara County (408) 299-VOTE, or San
Mateo County (650) 312-5222. They can help you identify your correct
polling place and are eager to hear about any potential problems
so they can be addressed.
D. California Voter Protection Hotline. 1-800-345-VOTE.
If you'd like more information about your rights as a Californian,
you can go to http://www.voterguide.ss.ca.gov/voter/voter-rights.htm.