Voter Intimidation

To make sure you get to vote and your vote counts, you can prepare yourself possible intimidation tactics. Voter intimidation and suppression have been around for a long time. We've seen an increase in these tactics over the past six years. When a qualified voter is prevented from voting, democracy is the real loser. Here are things to watch out for, and ways you can protect your vote if someone tries to intimidate you to stop you from voting.


You might see flyers, notices, signs or door hangers whose information conflicts with what you read on Protect My Vote. You could be told that the date to vote is different from the actual election date of November 7th. You may hear reasonable sounding information on TV or in radio ads that could be in error. If in doubt about information being correct, contact one of the hotlines listed on this website. Or call your local political party office.

If someone comes to your home and offers to collect your absentee ballot to deliver to the Elections office, do not give them your ballot under any circumstances. If you are visited by individuals that question whether you are legitimately registered to vote, or that hassle you in any way, call a hotline number and explain what happened. Also contact your local political party office with your story.

If you should receive any intimidating phone calls where someone is trying to scare you or keep you from voting, hang up immediately and call the police if you feel comfortable doing so, or call a voter hotline, and then your political party office to report the call.

If someone tells you that if you have outstanding parking tickets, or court related matters, you could be arrested when going to vote - contact a hotline number and your political party office as soon as possible.

If you are in line at the polls and it is closing time, you still can vote. So don't let anyone dismiss you before you exercise your right. Call toll free for help in English and En Espanol: 1-(866) our-vote / 1-(866) 687-8683.

When you receive your sample or absentee ballot in the mail, please look it over carefully and make sure that your name, address, and your chosen party is printed accurately. If anything is in error, please contact your local party office as soon as possible to receive advice.

If you are at home when a registered letter arrives, do you sign it or not? If you don't it is possible that the “undeliverable” letter will serve as proof that you don't really live at that address and therefore are not a legitimate registered voter - if the intent is to keep you from voting. By signing the letter your chances of being “challenged” at the polls are far less.

Tip: Take a cell phone, camera and / or video camera with you when you go to your polling place. Call to report problems and video the interaction between you and anyone who tries to “challenge” your right to vote.