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The 2018 U.S. Midterm Elections are finally here and already proven by record voting numbers to be one of the most important elections in the nation’s history. There are 35 seats being decided, of which 26 are held by Democrats. That party will need to gain 2 seats to be the majority. Voters will also choose all 435 members of the US House of Representatives. Democrats need a net gain of 23 seats to take control of the House of Representatives from the Republicans.

Before you head to the polls today, here are a few tips to ensure a smooth voting experience:

(1) Confirm your voter registration status

If you have registered to vote, check your status with your State or local elections office.

(2) Know your polling place location and hours

If you vote at a polling place on Election Day, confirm your polling place location. Make sure you know what time your polling place opens and closes. Find your polling place here

(3) Know your State’s voter identification (ID) requirements

Some States require voters to show ID to vote. Here’s what to bring in Georgia:

  • You will need to show photo ID to vote in Georgia. Acceptable forms include: any valid state or federal government issued photo ID, including a free ID card issued by your county registrar’s office or the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS); Georgia driver’s license, even if expired; valid employee photo ID from any branch, department, agency, or entity of the US Government, Georgia, or any county, municipality, board, authority or other entity of this state; valid US passport ID; valid US military photo ID; student photo ID card issued by a Georgia public college, university, or technical school; or a valid tribal photo ID.
  • Voters without ID: If you are unable to provide ID, you will be able to vote a provisional ballot. If you are a first-time voter, you will need to provide a copy of your ID within three days after the election to your County Board of Elections and Registration. As long as you do so, your provisional ballot will be counted, as long as you are otherwise eligible to vote.

(4) Understand provisional voting

Federal law allows you to cast a provisional ballot in a Federal election if your name does not appear on the voter registration record, if you do not have ID, or if your eligibility to vote is in question. Your State may provide other reasons for voting by a provisional ballot. Whether a provisional ballot counts depends on if the State can verify your eligibility. Check with your State or local elections office to learn how to tell if your provisional ballot was counted.

(5) Check the accessibility of your polling place

If you are a voter with minority language needs or you are a voter with special needs or specific concerns due to a disability, your polling place may offer special assistance. Contact your local elections office for advice, materials in a specific language, information about voting equipment, and details on access to the polling place, including parking.

To get help at the polls, you can contact your local elections office or call the nonpartisan Election Protection coalition for help at 866-OUR-VOTE.

Election Day Tips to Enhance Your Voting Experience was originally published on atlantadailyworld.com

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