Don’t assume you’re registered, even if you’ve been voting in the same place for years. I looked up my own registration — just to show people how you do it — and I wasn’t on the rolls. So I had to reregister.
If your registration is missing, don’t fill out a stupid piece of paper (which may not get entered into the system for months, or worse, completely disappear). Do it online — that’s vitally important.
And make sure you have ID with you when you go to vote — even in states that say you don’t need it. That means your driver’s license — and it better have your correct address on it. If you’ve moved, bring lots of documentation with you so you can prove where you live.
5 Tips To Make Sure Your Vote Counts
1. Go to your Secretary of State’s website or your County Board of Elections website and check if you’re registered.
2. Vote early if you can, so if there’s a problem you have time to correct it.
3. Avoid using mail-in ballots. Around a third of Americans mail in their ballot — boy is that dangerous. I understand the convenience of it, and in Oregon it’s the only way you’re allowed to vote, the problem is you need to make sure your signature exactly matches the signature they have on file from when you registered. If you didn’t use a middle initial when you registered, don’t use it now. If you used an initial instead of your full first name, then make sure it matches on your ballot. Also, in places like Ohio, they may ask you to include your Driver’s License number. And if you don’t have a license and you leave that space blank, your vote is thrown out. You have to put “No Driver’s License” — otherwise they can disqualify you. These are the games they can play with mail-in ballots, which is why I don’t like them. So don’t do it if you don’t have to.
4. Make sure you sign in all the places you’re supposed to sign, and if it says fill in the bubble, FILL IN THE BUBBLE. Don’t put a check mark, don’t put an X. If you watch my film, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, you’ll see my parents lot their vote that way. So if it says put a check, put a check. If it says fill in a bubble, fill in a bubble. Don’t use red pen. Don’t use green pen. (And certainly don’t use pink sparkly pen.) Do whatever it says. They are trying to trick you out of your vote. Don’t let them do it.
5. If your ballot’s more than one ounce, remember you can’t put one stamp on it. There’s a quarter million ballots thrown out each year because of postage due.
It’s never talked about, but we have a massive non-count of votes in America. I’m not talking about some guy with machines changing a vote from Democrat to Republican on a computer. I’m talking about if you mail in your ballot, they can challenge it and toss it.
People worry about getting their vote stolen by a machine, so they mail it in. But you just went double or nothing with your vote, because that makes it easier for them.
The number one way Kris Kobach won the Kansas primary was by disqualifying ballots that were mailed in, saying their signature didn’t match or they failed to correctly do some procedure.
Over one million ballots nationwide — in any election — are never counted. They are disqualified for cockamamie technical reasons. And it’s not random. They know who you are, they have your zip code, they know how you vote. They know your race, they know your preference, and they know how you’re registered.
You have the GOP mostly, sometimes it’s Democrats, going through mail in ballots challenging, and challenging, and challenging. And in most states you don’t have the opportunity to challenge the challenge. In Oregon, if someone challenges your ballots, you have a right to defend it and fix it, but in most states it’s impossible, so I think the trend towards mailing in your ballot is really bad. Don’t go postal!
This episode of the Jeff Santos Show was first broadcast on September 10, 2018
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