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Guide For Navigating The Polls Released

Reform Institute, October 30, 2008

Guide for Navigating the Polls Released

Checklist Helps Prepare and Inform Voters for Election Day

WASHINGTON, DC – The Reform Institute, a non-partisan public policy organization, today released a checklist to assist voters in casting their ballots. The checklist provides helpful tips for voters, especially those going to the polls for the first time, to facilitate a voting process free of complications.

“Election officials predict record voter turnout on November 4, including a substantial number of new voters,” stated Reform Institute Executive Director Cecilia Martinez. “With the high level of interest in this election and so many first time voters getting involved, it is essential that the voting goes as smoothly as possible. The checklist, along with the 877-GO-CNN-08 voter hotline, can be a vital resource to voters as they prepare to go to the polls.”

The checklist is available at http://www.reforminstitute.org/uploads/publications/Voter_Checklist_Final.pdf. The checklist provides straightforward and valuable advice for voters, including:

Know where your polling place is in advance

Confirm your voter registration before heading to the polls

Know your ballot in advance

Bring identification with you where necessary

Try voting during non-peak hours or consider alternative means of voting

Ask to vote a provisional ballot if you are not allowed to vote a regular ballot

Have the 877-GO-CNN-08 number handy

“Informing voters will empower them to head to the polls with confidence and help ensure that their voices are heard in this critical election,” added Ms. Martinez. Voter assistance hotlines in recent elections have demonstrated that the lack of basic information is the greatest barrier to voting. The overwhelming majority of calls are from voters seeking to ascertain their polling location or to inquire as to their registration status.

Voters calling 877-GO-CNN-08 (877-462-6608) can find where to vote using the automated polling place locator. The hotline can also transfer callers to their local elections offices to ask questions such as confirming registration status.

Getting the proper information before Election Day will be beneficial because elections authorities will be swamped on November 4. Voters in most cases can also obtain information such as polling place location and hours and registration status by visiting the website of their state or local elections board.

Callers to the toll-free hotline can also record messages reporting problems at the polls. Real-time updates on voting problems based on calls to the hotline will be available throughout Election Day at http://www.reforminstitute.org.

The 877-GOCNN08 national hotline is now active and will remain so through November 4. The hotline also has Spanish language capabilities.

The Reform Institute has been a leader in advancing reforms that promote open and fair elections and enhance transparency and accountability in the political process.

ENDS

The Reform Institute is a non-partisan, not-for-profit educational organization working to strengthen the foundations of our democracy and build a resilient society. The Institute formulates and advocates valuable, solutions-based reform in vital areas of public policy, including homeland and national security, energy and environmental progress, economic opportunity and competitiveness, immigration policy, and governance and election reform. Visit our website at www.reforminstitute.org.


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