Voting 101 - How to be prepared when you go to the polls tomorrow - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Voting 101 - How to be prepared when you go to the polls tomorrow

After two grueling years and one billion dollars in campaign expenses, the fight for the White House is almost over. But, there are a few things you should know before you cast your ballot tomorrow. For instance, what are the rules? What's allowed and what's not allowed at the polls? KLTV 7's Courtney Lane goes over what you can expect tomorrow and how you can be best prepared.

Election offices are busy, getting ready and answering your questions. You'll have 12 hours to vote tomorrow. As long as you're in line by 7:00 pm, you will get to vote.

"The polls close at 7 but if there's a line, an election clerk will be out there to mark the line and anyone in line at 7 will get to cast their vote," said Karen Chaney, the Smith County election administrator.

Bill Liebbe has formed a group of election protection lawyers in Smith County. They'll be at some polls, making sure you know your rights - for instance, what to bring if you don't have your voter registration card.

"If you don't have your voter registration card, you still get to vote. Go to your precinct, look up your certification number and you're only required to show one form of identification."

And that doesn't have to be a driver's license. It can be things like a bank statement, utility bill, student ID card, or passport.

Something you can't do is wear any form of advertisement for your candidate.

"You can't wear any political advertisement within 100 foot distance marker. So if you have t-shirt on, you'll be asked to turn your t-shirt inside out. If you have a cap or a button you'll be asked to remove that," said Chaney.

Also, if you're 65 or older or have disabilities, you can vote curbside. Just call your precinct ahead of time and let them know you're coming. And language does not have to be a barrier.

"If you don't speak English, you have the right to have an interpretor of your choice to go in there to the voting poll booth with you, to assist you," said Liebbe.

Interpreters must be registered voters. Here's what those electronic voting booths will look like.

"They'll have 3 pages of ballot to go through and 2 pages of when they get to that last page of review, this vote button on the top will flash red and they push that to cast their vote," said Chaney.

Many election offices have also set up phone banks, to answer additional, last minute questions.

You can find more answers to your questions about voting at Vote Texas, the Secretary of State's website for Texas voters.

Courtney Lane, reporting.

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