12 Ways You Can Safeguard the Vote, Courtesy of YES! Magazine

YES! Magazine released today their 12 Ways You Can Safeguard the Vote tool. It contains links to lots of great resources, and tips for what you can do before, on, and after Election Day to make sure that your vote is properly counted.

Checklist for a Fair Election

Here is their checklist:

  1. Check Your Registration. Make sure there are no errors, mistakes, or discrepancies which would prevent you from being able to vote.
  2. Vote Now. Vote early, in person or by mail, if you can in your state. Check if you can using Know How To Vote.
  3. Learn how to vote. Read your voter pamphlet to understand how your paper ballot works, and if voting using an electronic machine, get a clear demonstration first.
  4. Identify State & Local election officials. Get their names and numbers because these are the people to call if there are problems.
  5. Vote as early as possible on Election Day to avoid long lines & hassle.
  6. If you have ID, bring it with you. If you have a cell phone, bring that too.
  7. Avoid straight-party voting. Vote for each race individually, to make sure your votes each count exactly as you want them to.
  8. Verify your vote, especially when voting on an electronic voting machine. There have already been cases in states like West Virginia where people used the touch screen to select Barack Obama but had the machine count their vote for John McCain. Just like at the store, get a receipt.
  9. Observe, Document, Report. If you or anyone else that you see has issues voting, take good notes & inform the authorities using resources such as 866-OUR-VOTE.
They save the most important pieces of advice for last. These are the steps we can take to make all future elections exercises in democracy, not insanity.
  • Call your candidate. Encourage them to challenge results you don’t trust. Sign up to help.
  • Call your election officials. Hold them accountable to their responsibility to ensure clean elections 
  • Work towards fair and transparent elections. Learn about election & voting issues, and take action before the next election.

One Love. One II.

P.S. I recently joined the Communications Advisory Board of YES! Magazine.

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About Garlin Gilchrist II

I am the City of Detroit's first ever Deputy Technology Director for Civic Community Engagement. My job is to open up the city's public data and information for the consumption and benefit of all Detroiters. I currently live in Detroit, my hometown, with my beautiful wife Ellen and our twins Garlin III and Emily Grace. I'm from Detroit. I created Detroit Diaspora, and was formerly the National Campaign Director at MoveOn.org. I also co-hosted The #WinReport on "The Good Fight," a an award winning, nationally syndicated radio show that was one of Apple's Best of 2013. After graduating with degrees in Computer Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Michigan, I became a Software Engineer at Microsoft. By day, I helped build SharePoint into the fastest growth product in the company's history. On my personal time, I sought out opportunities to connect my technical skills with community building efforts across the country. This led to my co-founding The SuperSpade: Black Thought at the Highest Level, a leading Black political blog. I served as Social Media Manager for the 2008 Obama campaign in Washington, and then became Director of New Media at the Center for Community Change. I spent two years creating and implementing a strategy for the Center to take it's 40 years of community organizing experience into the digital age. I speak before diverse audiences on effective & responsive government, empowerment in revolutionary new organizing spaces, increasing civic engagement & participation through emerging technologies and protecting civil rights in the age of the Internet. Full bio here.

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