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Know Your Voting Rights & Election Scam Warning

September 04, 2017

No matter your political affiliation, it is important to understand your voting rights prior to November 8th. You should carefully review information on registration, voter ID laws, and early voting, as well as locate your polling place. You should also be wary of election scams that are widespread during the presidential election season. The following information will help you locate resources on election laws and recognize some common election scams. If you have questions about your state’s voting regulations contact your LegalShield provider law firm. If you are an IDShield member and have been the victim of an election scam contact IDShield right away.

While this article focuses specifically on U.S. voting rights, Canadian members can learn more about their election laws here.

  • Registration and Location – Launched by the nonpartisan League of Women Voters Education Fund, Vote411.org allows you to look up voting regulations, sample ballots and polling location information based on your home address. You can also verify registration status and locate contact information for your state’s election commission.
     
  • ID Laws – Numerous state voter ID laws have been or are currently being challenged in court. Understanding the current ID laws in your state prior to election day is vital. The National Conference of State Legislatures offers a state-by-state breakdown of current voter ID laws.
     
  • Intimidation and Voter Fraud – If anyone attempts to intimidate or interfere with your right to vote on election day, notify your state election commission and contact the Department of Justice Voting Section. If you witness voter fraud on election day do not attempt to interfere with the polling location or the polling staff. You should immediately contact your state election commission to report the matter.
     
  • Pictures or Video at Polling Places – State laws on taking pictures of ballots or photographing in and around polling places vary by state. In some states there are no laws, while other states make it a criminal offense. Just because you see others posting pictures of their ballot on social media does not mean it is legal. Be sure to check with polling officials before taking pictures or video on election day.
  • Election Scams – There are a number of election season scams that seek to separate you from your money and personal information. Watch for these common scams:
     
    • Campaign Contributions - Beware of fraudulent phone requests for campaign donations. The scammer may claim to work for the campaign. They may have information on your party affiliation or even the amount you previously donated to the campaign. Do not be fooled; in many cases this information is publically available. You should make donations directly through the candidate’s website or other established method.
       
    • Surveys – Legitimate political surveys do not offer prizes or other rewards. Pollsters should never request credit card information or other personal financial data. If anyone claiming to conduct a political poll asks for this type of information report them to the police.
       
    • Registration Scams – Another election scam seeks to obtain personal information by claiming to be a state election official conducting registration over the phone. The scammer may claim you are ineligible to vote unless you answer some questions. If you receive a call like this report it directly to your state election office.

If you are an IDShield member and have been the victim of an election scam and believe your personal information has been compromised contact IDShield right away. Members may also download the IDShield App from the iTunes or Android store today. If you do not yet have an IDShield membership visit www.idshield.com to learn more.