Monday, October 20, 2008

Fact: It Takes More Than a Condom to Protect Your Vote

Posted by Greg Hambrick on Mon, Oct 20, 2008 at 9:43 AM

The League of Women Voters is providing a wealth of resources to prepare everyone for election day. Here are the steps to take before Election Day. This is what we call wrapping it up. There's lots of talk this year about shady stuff going on in trying to keep people from voting or to keep them from having their vote counted.

As a reporter, I have sat through those election board hearings as ballot after ballot is thrown out because the Is and the Ts weren't taken care of. I also know that it's near impossible to get any mistakes fixed on election day. So, take these two weeks and take the advice below and make sure your vote counts.

Here are steps you can take before Election Day:

·       Check your voter registration card to be sure the information is still current. If you recently registered to vote or changed your registration information, you should receive a new voter registration card in the mail with your registration number, precinct and polling place. If your card does not arrive, call your county’s Board of Elections and Voter Registration (Berkeley: 719-4056, Charleston: 744-VOTE (8683), Dorchester: 563-0132).

·       Check to make sure you are on the list of registered voters and to find the location of your polling place. You can do that online at the LWVCA website (http://charleston.sc.lwv.org) or by calling your county’s Board of Elections.

·       Become informed about the issues and the candidates. In addition to the Presidential race, there are many other candidates running for offices at local, state and national levels and three SC constitutional amendment questions. The LWVCA website has a complete listing by county for all candidates running for office. This same website also has nonpartisan voters’ guides, links to recent debates and candidate forums, and easy-to-understand explanations for the three proposed state constitutional amendments. In addition, there are links to the websites for the Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester County Boards of Elections, and voters can view a sample ballot at the Charleston County website, www.charlestoncounty.org/departments/BEVR/index.htm. Other sources of useful information are the candidates’ websites and nonpartisan sites such as http://www.factcheck.org, which has information to separate fact from fiction in all of the political ads, debates and speeches.

·       Decide now if you want to vote absentee before Election Day either by absentee ballot or in person at your county’s Board of Elections office. All three county election offices have voting machines on site for your use, and you can vote absentee in-person up to 5:00 p.m. on November 3. To request an absentee ballot by mail, contact your county's Board of Elections. For more information on who is eligible to vote absentee, check the LWVCA website or the website for the South Carolina State Election Commission,        www.scvotes.org .

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