Casting Your Vote

Voting at the Polls

Picture of Voting Place

Locations where you go to vote in person are called polls or polling places. Check with your city, town or village clerk's office to find out the locations of your polling place. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on election day.

Sample ballots and instructions on how to vote are posted at every polling place. They may also be printed in your local newspaper before the election. You may ask for instructions at the polls on how to use a voting machine or how to mark a ballot.

Assistance in Voting at the Polls

Any voter who needs help at the polls has a right to assistance. By law, a polling place must be accessible to a person with disabilities. It is a good idea to check the accessibility of the polling place ahead of time. You may find the building not accessible or have trouble getting to the polling location inside the building. If so, you may request that a poll worker bring a ballot to the building entrance or bring a friend along to assist you. If your polling place is not accessible, notify your city, town or village clerk’s office and the State Elections Board.

You can have help in casting your ballot if you have problems reading or writing, have difficulty with the English language or have a disability which prevents you from being able to mark the ballot or operate the voting machine. Ask for help when you give your name and address to the poll worker. Anyone you choose can help you, except your employer, an agent of your employer, or (if you belong to a labor union), an agent of your labor union.

Taking Time Off Work to Vote

You may ask your employer for time off your job to vote at the polls. State law says you may take to up to three hours off, but your employer does not have to pay you for the time off. You must ask your employer for time off before election day. Your employer can decide the time of day for your absence.

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In 1916 Woodrow Wilson won by less than one vote per precinct in one state.
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