February 3rd marks the anniversary Congress ratified the 15th amendment granted African American men the right to vote in 1870, it wasn’t until 1920 when African American Women we able to vote in the United States. When you add the years, African-Americans have been able to vote for longer than most have been living but this did not end suppression at the polls.
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Over the years voters have been turned away at the polls while trying to vote for various reasons. But there are things you can do to make sure your vote counts. Below are ways you can make sure you aren’t turned away at the polls.
- Ask the poll worker to double-check for your name and make sure they are spelling it correctly.
- Ask the poll worker to check the state-wide voter system. This is available in some states and could help if you are trying to vote at the wrong location.
- Ask for a provisional ballot. According to the ACLU, “All voters are entitled to a provisional ballot, even if they are not in the poll book.” After election day, an investigation on your voter status is conducted and if you are in fact a valid voter, your vote will be counted.
- If you are denied a provisional ballot, you have the right to call the Election Protection Hotline (1-866-OUR-VOTE or 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA) and the U.S. Department of Justice Voting Rights Hotline: 800-253-3931; TTY line 877-267-8971.
- If you are having issues during regular business hours, call your county clerk, elections commissioner, elections supervisor; or your state board of elections for further assistance.
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