The 2018 midterm elections promise to be one of the most historic in the nation’s history. The makeup of both the House and the Senate are up for grabs, which means that much hangs in the balance for LGBTQ Americans. There are also many elections on the national and state levels that could contribute to a “rainbow wave” on election night.
Your vote is your chance to make your voice heard, and help make history in this election. Here’s what you need to know to make the most of your vote this year.
1. Where to vote
Your state’s board of elections is the best place to find out the location of your polling place. This US Vote Foundation directory can help you locate the website for your state and county, to point you in the right direction.
If you’re differently-abled, you have a right to an accessible polling place. Your local elections board should be able to help you locate one.
2. How to get to the polls
Once you know where to go, you’ll need to know how to get there. You can get directions to your polling place by entering your voting address at the Get To The Polls Voting Information Tool.
Need a ride to the polls? Now you can get a Lyft. In cooperation with former First Lady Michelle Obama’s When We All Vote initiative, Lyft is offering free and discounted rides to the polls.
3. What you need to vote
Your state laws determine whether you need an ID to vote, and what kind. About half the states with voter ID laws only accept photo IDs, while some states accept non-photo IDs.
4. Who’s on the ballot
You can learn more about the candidates and issues on the ballot in your area by entering your voting address and email at Ballotpedia’s Sample Ballot Lookup tool.
5. What to do if you have problems
Unfortunately, several states have passed laws that, intentionally or not, place obstacles in front of the voting booth. Several seem to impact marginalized communities disproportionately.
The ACLU has a Know Your Rights resource for this election season, with a printable card spelling out what to do if you face voter intimidation.
Your vote is your voice. Use it well, and often. See you at the polls!