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2004 MTV Video Music Awards - Show

Source: Frank Micelotta / Getty

Threats or Intimidation

It’s illegal under federal law for people to conspire to injure,oppress, threaten, or intimidate” you to get you to vote a particular way .

Getting shut out of the polling place after waiting in line

Regardless of how long the line is you must be allowed to vote as long as you are in the line before the poll closes.

Overzealous ID checks

In Michigan you can verify your identity by signing an affidavit or poll book, or by providing personnel information like address or birth-date.

No polling place can accommodate your disability 

Polling places are required by federal law to be accessible to people with disabilities.  If your own polling place isn’t suitable- unable to accommodate wheelchairs for example- The Voting Accessibility for the Elderly, and Handicapped Act of 1984 requires election officials to make sure you have an alternate way to cast a ballot.

Some states will allow  curbside voting (a poll worker runs a ballot out to you and you complete it in your car) if you can’t make it inside.


The only thing you should ever allow anyone to give you in exchange for casting your ballot is the little “I Voted” sticker that lets you show off to your colleagues that you’ve done your civic duty.

Laws vary by state, typical statutes prohibits anyone from giving you (or offering,lending, or promising to give or lend you) anything to get you to vote, refrain from voting or vote a certain way.

You and anyone who bribes you could each pay up to $10,000.00 and spend up to five years in jail.


If someone is making voting difficult for you in away that doesn’t seem right, don’t just give up and go home. Let the poll worker know that you understand your rights and pick up the phone.

Contact: County Board of Elections

               State Board of Elections

               Secretary of State’s Office



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