Election Day is today, November 6th, in the United States, and the 2018 midterm elections are likely going to be some of the most contentious elections in recent history. While President Donald Trump isn’t up for reelection yet, the House of Representatives and Senate are in play for both parties, along with gubernatorial races, attorney general elections, and marijuana legalization initiatives in four different states.
It’s a lot to take in, but the internet is here to help. Here’s everything you need to get ready for the big day, complete with registration information, polling locations, ride-sharing deals, and more.
Check your registration
You can’t vote if you’re not registered, so be sure to check that your registration is set and that it’s in the city and state you think it is. Use tools like nonprofit Vote.org’s online registration check to confirm things are set, or check directly with your state’s election office using the list compiled by Headcount here.
The deadline to register has passed in most states, but some states still allow you to register with a local election office on the day of the election. Check The New York Times’ guide to see if your state is still open for registration and what your options are.
Find your polling place
Once you’ve confirmed your registration, you’ll want to find out where your assigned polling location is and what hours it’s open. There are a variety of tools out there to help you find your polling site. Even Snapchat and Google have updates to encourage you to go vote!
Get to the polls
In a perfect world, your polling place is somewhere near where you live, but we don’t live in a perfect world. Fortunately, we do live in a world with ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft, both of which will offer in-app tools to find your polling place.
More importantly, Uber, Lyft, Lime, and Citi Bike are all offering discounts to get you to the polls, making it easier than ever to vote:
- Uber is offering $10 off a ride to the polls. Just use the promo code VOTE2018, and request a ride using the company’s in-app election tool. (This only is good for a ride to the pools, not a round trip, so you’ll have to pay the full price for a ride home.)
- Lyft is partnering with BuzzFeed for up to 50 percent off of your ride to the polls (up to $5). Head over to BuzzFeed’s landing page and enter your zip code to claim your promo code.
- Prefer to bike or scooter to the polls? Lime is offering a free 30-minute ride to your polling location with the code LIME2VOTE18.
- New Yorkers can use the code BIKETOVOTE in the Citi Bike app for a free day pass on Election Day to get the polls.
Preview your ballot
Voting can be stressful! There are a lot of candidates and a lot of issues and questions that can come up. The good news is that you don’t have to wait until you show up on Election Day to decide. All of the ballot information is public, and plenty of sites have sample ballots so you can plan ahead. It’s also important to note that most states have additional initiatives that are open on their ballots, too, so make sure to read up ahead of time!
- Vote.org’s sample ballot guide
- Ballotpedia’s sample ballot guide
- Vote Save America’s sample ballot guide
Know your information
Election seasons are contentious, and social media makes it that much easier for misinformation to make its way around the world. Keep an eye out for sensational stories from news sources you’ve never heard of, and take advantage of fact-checking organizations like Politifact and Snopes.
A good place to start is Politifact’s reader election Q&A, which examines some of the biggest issues that have been making headlines in the last few weeks.
Additionally, The New York Times has removed its paywall for election day, making it available to anyone for free for tracking election news and results.
Know your rights
Don’t let anyone intimidate you to not vote. If you run into an issue at the polls, contact the Election Protection Hotline (866-OUR-VOTE) or the Department of Justice Voting Rights Hotline (800-253-3931) for help.
The ACLU also has a comprehensive guide to voter intimidation and how to report it.
If you’ve made it this far, you’ve got everything you need to go out and vote. But you still have to actually do it. If you’re reading this, and are a US citizen, chances are you probably also have some opinions about this country. So go out and make those opinions heard!
Update November 6th, 9:10am: Added additional details on Google’s voting location tools and NYT paywall.