100 days before the elections of this November 3: that day will decide whether Republican Donald Trump will continue to be president for the next four years, or whether former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden will take his place to turn the country’s direction.
In addition, they will be chosen the 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 35 seats in the Senate. Eleven governorates will also be contested, as well as other state and local elections.
[Siga nuestra cobertura de las elecciones presidenciales 2020]
We answer some of the most important questions you may have about voting.
Why is voting important?
An estimated 32 million Hispanics will be able to vote this year, making them the largest ethnic group eligible to vote.
Voting is helping to determine who will be our leaders, who will make the decisions in times of crisis, such as the pandemic we are experiencing today.
It is also helping to decide, through these representatives, new legislation, public works, regulations (or lack of) of the environment, education, culture, and countless other aspects of our daily life, both for the present and for the future and that of future generations.
Who can vote?
To be eligible to vote, you must be a US citizen and be 18 years old.
However, some states allow 17-year-olds to vote in the primaries before the November election, by which time they will be 18 years old.
Other states allow 17-year-olds to register to vote, as long as they turn 18 at the time of the general election.
In addition, each state has its own residency requirements to vote.
For general information on state-specific requirements, contact your state or local election offices, or visit their website.
How do I know if I am registered to vote?
Visit our page, The Power in You, and select your state. From there, you will go to the website of your state electoral office to check if you are registered.
It is important to check with your state or local election office at least seven weeks before an election to find out if you are registered to vote and what to do if you are not. It is important that you check before the registration deadline expires, to have enough time to register.
How do I register to vote?
You can do it online, by visiting your state’s page, or if you prefer to do it by mail, you can do it by downloading and filling out this form, the National Registration Form to vote.
You can also use the form to inform your voter registration office of a name or address change, or to register under a political party, if your state requires it.
[Telemundo lanza la campaña ‘Decisión 2020’ con el fin de informar a la comunidad latina en EE.UU.]
Both the National Voting Registration Form and state voting registration forms are available at public libraries, public schools, and at the offices of the City or County Clerk.
You can also register in person to vote at the following public centers:
• State or local voter registration offices and / or electoral offices
• The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
• Public assistance agencies
• Recruitment centers of the armed forces
• Government program centers at the state level that serve disabled people
• All public centers that a state has designated as agencies to register to vote
IMPORTANT: update your voting record information every time you move.
How do I vote by mail or absentee?
All states mail an absentee ballot to those who request it (and are eligible to vote).
The rules on who can participate vary by state. There are 16 states that ask to give a valid excuse to vote absentee, but the other 34 don’t, like California, Florida, Arizona, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico.
[Así va la carrera electoral en tres de los estados más afectados por el COVID-19]
However, many states that require an excuse to obtain an absentee ballot provide opportunities to vote early in person before Election Day.
Visit your state election office website and search for ‘Vote by Mail’ or ‘Vote by Mail’ (Absentee voting The vote by mail, in English).
What reasons are valid for absentee voting in states that ask for an excuse?
Some of the reasons that the 16 states that request an excuse consider valid are:
- Be out of your county on Election Day
- Illness or disability
- Being older than a certain age
- Your work shift is during all voting hours
- You are a student and live outside of your county where you normally live
- You are a poll worker or poll watcher
- For your religious belief or practice
- You are in jail (but still eligible to vote)
- You have to be part of a jury
How do I vote in advance?
Most states have early voting. This allows registered voters to vote in person on specific dates before Election Day.
You don’t need an excuse to vote early. Be sure to check the website of your state election office for early voting deadlines.
[Ocasio-Cortez: “Nuestra voz es nuestro voto y si no usamos ese derecho vamos a tener problemas”]
How do I vote in person?
Tuesday, November 3 is the designated day to vote in person for the entire country. Hours may vary depending on the voting center, but are usually from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.
Each state has different identification requirements, some more stringent than others (that the document includes a photo, a signature, etc.).
Be sure to visit your state’s electoral website to see what you need to bring with you on Election Day.
Where should I go to vote?
Voters are assigned to a polling place based on the residence they registered to vote with.
To find out the location of your polling place or available polling places, contact your state or local polling office or visit their website, which may have a tool to locate your polling place.
Is there language assistance when voting?
The Voting Rights Act requires certain jurisdictions to provide voting materials in languages other than English, when there are enough citizens there to speak other languages.
Language assistance may include equipping polling places with ballots and voting instructions in other languages, providing bilingual poll workers at polling places, and providing election information in languages other than English.
How do I report discrimination / harassment?
If you have problems at a polling place or with voting procedures, you can report the problem or file a complaint.
Contact your state or local elections office for procedures to file claims. You can also file a complaint with the Department of Justice by calling (888) 736-5551 or sending an email to [email protected]
Get more resources at: United States, LULAC and Hispanic Federation