What To Do If You Run Into Problems At The Polls

(Photo by Skyler Burton/Flickr CC) (Photo by Skyler Burton/Flickr CC)

Election Day's upon us and, for many people voting at the polls, things will go smoothly. But as the June primary proved, things can also go wrong.

Perhaps your name's not on the voter roster or you ended up at the wrong polling spot.

Here's some information so you can know your rights (and what to do) in case the unexpected happens. Read on:

MY NAME IS NOT ON THE ROSTER

First, make sure you're at the correct polling location. You can check your sample ballot for the right location or if you vote in L.A. County, you can look up where to vote here.

If you're at the correct place, ask the poll worker to check the supplemental roster if they can't find your name. Those are printed later and have additional names on them.

If all else fails, you can vote provisionally. With a provisional ballot, you cast a ballot and your county election officials check your eligibility to vote. Once you are verified, your ballot will be counted.

In Los Angeles County, you can track the status of your provisional ballot 30 days after the election.

I WAS TURNED AWAY AT THE POLLS

Again, don't leave without asking to vote provisionally. It's your right to ask to cast a provisional ballot if any issue arises at the polling place.

I NEED A BALLOT THAT'S NOT IN ENGLISH

In L.A. County, election assistance is available in Chinese (Cantonese/Mandarin), Hindi, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai and Vietnamese.

In certain communities, help is also available in Bengali, Gujarati, Russian, Armenian, Punjabi, Urdu and Farsi.

If a translator in your language is not available at your polling place, ask that one be reached by phone.

You can also bring a friend or family member into the voting booth to assist you, along with any notes or resources that you may find helpful.

I'M DISABLED. HOW CAN I VOTE IN PERSON?

In L.A. County, every sample ballot pamphlet indicates if a polling place is accessible to voters using wheelchairs. Presently, 95 percent of the county's polls are accessible and have wheelchair-accessible booths.

If your polling place is not accessible, you can vote at a nearby accessible poll. You can use the county's polling place locator to check for accessibility.

If you can't reach the voting area because of barriers or other reasons, you can opt for curbside voting. A pollworker will bring a ballot and a voting device to you, assist you if need and place your ballot in the ballot box.

SOMETHING ELSE WEIRD HAPPENED

If you run into any problems at your polling place on Election Day, keep in mind that California's laws generally favor voters. You can ask your poll workers questions or raise any concerns that you have with them directly.

If you still need help there are various hotlines available on Election Day. California's Secretary of State runs a hotline that offers help in various languages.

You can also reach out to KPCC/LAist for help. Our Human Voter Guide team will be answering your questions from 7 am to 8 pm on Nov. 6. You can reach us via email at humanvoterguide@kpcc.org or call 424-377-8683.


Get ready for the Nov. 6 election. Here at LAist, we want to make sure Angelenos have all the information they need to cast their votes. To get prepped on deadlines, candidates and ballot measures, check out our Voter Game Plan. And if you liked this election guide, consider supporting us! You can donate here.