Voter Rights

Learn Your Rights

Watch these videos to learn your rights as you cast your vote this year. Special thanks to the National Education Association for making the production of these videos possible.

Factsheets

Find in-language factsheets from AAJC on Section 203 (Language Access) here, and factsheets on Section 208 (Language Rights at Polls) here.

Hotline

Call 1-888-API-VOTE if your right to vote is being threatened. For resources on sharing the hotline, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I am told I am not registered to vote at the polling site?

Verify your registration by contacting the local elections office before Election Day. If you are registered and a poll worker says you are not, ask the poll worker to double-check the list and confirm you are at the correct polling site for your address. If you are at the correct polling site and your registration cannot be verified, the poll worker should offer you a provisional ballot. It is your right to request and receive a provisional ballot. Many poll workers have not been properly trained with provisional ballots. The provisional ballot allows you to cast your vote, but will only be counted after the election and once your voter eligibility has been verified.

Do I need ID or proof of citizenship to vote?

Most states do not require ID to vote, unless this is your first time voting and you registered by mail. Some states, such as Ohio, Texas, Virginia, and Washington, require some form of ID, while states such as Georgia and Michigan require a photo ID. You should check with your state elections office before you vote, or simply bring ID just in case.

If you show up on Election Day without an ID and your state requires ID, you can still vote using the provisional ballot. A provisional ballot allows you to cast your vote, but will only be counted after the election and once your voter eligibility has been verified. It is your right to request and receive a provisional ballot.

NO poll worker or monitor may ask about your citizenship status or require proof. This is illegal.

I don’t know how to use the voting machines or ballots. What should I do?

You may ask a poll worker for a demonstration of the voting machine or ballot. Voting instructions should also be posted at the poll site. You may also bring a person of your choice (except for your employer or union representative) into the voting booth to help you.

Do I need to speak, read, or write English in order to vote?

No, you do not need to speak, read, or write English in order to vote. No such requirement exists to vote. You only need to be a registered voter.

If you need help voting, you may bring a person of your choice (except for your employer or union representative) into the voting booth to help you interpret the ballot. You may also ask the poll workers for assistance.

Also, Section 203 requires certain counties and jurisdictions to provide bilingual voting materials in communities with language minorities and limited-English proficient residents.

The polls are about to close, and I just got in the line. A poll worker or someone pretending to be a poll worker is telling me to go home. What should I do?

Everyone in line when the poll closes has the right to vote. You cannot be turned away because of a long line. If you are turned away, contact your local election officials immediately. You can call the toll-free multilingual Asian Hotline managed by APIAVote and Asian American Advancing Justice at 888-API-VOTE (888-274-8683). You can also call Election Protection at 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683).

Poll workers or election campaigners are trying to force me to vote in a certain way. What should I do?

You have the right to vote for the candidate of your choice. You have the right to vote in secrecy. If anyone is threatening you with physical violence, report this at once.You can call the toll-free multilingual Asian Hotline managed by APIAVote and Asian American Advancing Justice at 888-API-VOTE (888-274-8683). You can also call Election Protection at 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683).

What do I do if I think I’ve been treated unfairly on Election Day?

Write down all relevant information about the incident: the date and time, polling location, name(s) of the individual(s) involved, summary of what took place, and any names and contact information of witnesses. You have several options to report voting rights violations. You can report the incident to election monitors that may be stationed at your polling site. You can call the toll-free multilingual Asian Hotline managed by APIAVote and Asian American Advancing Justice at 888-API-VOTE (888-274-8683). You can also call Election Protection at 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683).