Just about everything in 2020 is different, and this November, Election Day is no exception. As expected, there are several close races, including the presidential vote count in key electoral college states.
Every vote must be counted. Because so many voters voted with absentee and mail-in ballots this year, election officials need more time to verify and count the ballots.
Making Sure Every Vote is Counted
Right now, even though President Trump is posting Tweets saying states should stop counting, the vote count continues.
We know that election officials take their responsibilities very seriously. While we expect the count to continue until all the votes are counted, we are on the alert for any interference. To sign up for alerts in case action is needed in your area, visit protecttheresults.com.
Get Clear and Accurate Vote Count Information
The Election Integrity project - at 2020.dataforprogress.org - is a great source for accurate information about the vote count, that doesn't include spin or premature projections.
State-by-State Information and Ballot Tracking
While most states share many election regulations, the fight over voter access, enfranchisement, and unique state circumstances means that every state is different. Click on your state below to find what you need, including how to check the status of your ballot if that information is available in your state.
Quick state links:
- Arizona: Info | Ballot Tracker
- Georgia: Info | Ballot Tracker
- Michigan: Info | Ballot Tracker
- North Carolina: Info | Ballot Tracker
- Pennsylvania: Info | Ballot Tracker
- Wisconsin: Info | Ballot Tracker
You can look up voting rights and regulations for any state by clicking here.
If you had problems voting or at your polling location, use the hotline 1-866-OUR-VOTE, which will help guide you through the process of reporting problems to state and local election officials.
What is voter intimidation?
Voter intimidation is illegal. It is when someone attempts to sway a voter's choice or prevent them from voting by creating a hostile verbal or physical environment for example, questioning your voter rights by asking personal questions about your criminal record or citizenship.
Spreading false information about voter requirements, like the ability to speak English, is also considered voter intimidation, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (PDF). You can receive a ballot and election materials in your native language, according to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, as protected by the Language Minority Provisions of the Voting Rights Act.
What are the laws against voter intimidation?
Along with voter fraud like double voting and campaign finance crime, voter intimidation is a federal crime. It applies to anyone who "intimidates, threatens, coerces, or attempts to intimidate, threaten, or coerce, any other person for the purpose of interfering with the right of such other person to vote." If the law is violated, the perpetrator could be found guilty and sentenced up to one year in prison, up to a $1,000 fine, or both.
The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 also prohibit voter intimidation.
How can I report voter intimidation?
If you or someone else is being harassed or threatened at the polls, let a poll worker know. Then call and report it to the Election Protection Hotline (1-866-OUR-VOTE) or the U.S. Department of Justice voting rights hotline (1-800-253-3931). You should also contact your state board of elections. In some cases, a poll worker may call local authorities to remove the individual in question.
Is poll watching considered voter intimidation?
While voter intimidation is illegal, the process of poll watching, also called poll challenging, is legal. A poll watcher is a formal role for a partisan individual whose purpose is to observe a polling place in support of making sure their party has a fair chance, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
For example, a poll watcher may closely monitor the election administration and keep track of voter turnout for their parties. They shouldn't, however, try to persuade someone to vote one way or another.
There are necessary qualifications to become a poll watcher, but they vary by state. Legitimate poll watchers are not individuals who simply decide to show up at a polling place. Some states may require poll watchers to be registered voters or a U.S. citizen.